This is a statement in solidarity with communities affected by police violence and racism issued by our Justice-involved Young People Network
The Justice-involved Young People Network condemns police violence and racism. We stand in solidarity with communities in Australia and the United States that have recently experienced and witnessed violence and racism, resulting in trauma and death. We acknowledge that these recent events are part of a long-standing and unacceptable pattern of racist violence that should not be occurring. They contribute to ongoing and widespread trauma and suffering in communities that are often already marginalised and suffering other forms of injustice.
The over-representation of First Nations and racialised young people in the criminal justice system represents systemic racism. The violence experienced by young people from authorities and within justice institutions is unacceptable and contributes to fear, distrust and anger which undermine the relationships necessary for individual and collective healing, change and recovery.
Those in positions of power in our society – be they police, teachers, magistrates, guards or doctors – have a responsibility to conduct their work free from violence. These are professions where anti-racism education is vital in order to work towards social institutions that effectively address historical legacies of discrimination that contribute to ongoing suffering.
The Justice-involved Young People Network is committed to bringing together researchers, policymakers, practitioners and young people to address discrimination and injustice and build communities that nurture strong relationships, kindness, care and solidarity. We call on the government to ensure police institutions are held accountable for actions that endanger and traumatise the communities they serve, and to properly resource services and organisations that are working to support communities to thrive.