Thursday, December 9, 2004

Palm Islanders set up to 'fail' bail

A community justice group fears the men granted bail over the Palm Island riots in north Queensland have been set up to fail. Chief Magistrate Marshall Irwin imposed strict conditions in granting bail to those accused of rioting and other offences on November 26.

Cedric Barry, 20, was jailed yesterday for breaching his bail conditions on Tuesday.

The Justice Group's chairman Graham Pattell says Barry's arrest is not a good sign for the others on bail.

"This is their writing in the sand really isn't it?" he said.

"I think it is just the start of a political war by the police force. They've declared they are going to ensure that all 19 apparently are going to breach their bail conditions, that's what it seems to me and I'm not really surprised."

More than 1,000 people have marched in Townsville in north Queensland to protest against the death in custody of Palm Island man Cameron Doomadgee. The crowd cheered and applauded loudly as they walked past the Townsville police station.

Lex Wotton, the man the police allege led the Palm Island riot chose the time to report to police as part of his bail conditions. Wotton raised his arms in acknowledgment of the crowd but remained silent. Cameron Doomadgee's sister Elizabeth ran from the crowd and embraced Wotton calling him her warrior. The march continued down to Central Park to a rally where elders and Indigenous community leaders addressed the crowd.

By Sorry 9 December 04


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