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Redfern remembers Thomas Hickey

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 24 February 2004


More than 200 people have gathered in Redfern for a memorial service for 17-year-old Thomas 'TJ' Hickey and a protest march.

The community plans to present a list of demands to local police.

Thomas Hickey died last week when he was impaled on a steel fence at Redfern.

His family say police were chasing the boy when he died, a claim the police deny.

His death sparked a riot in which more than 40 police were injured.

Members of the community from the Block are wearing T-shirts with the teenager's face on them and are carrying placrds saying 'Justice for TJ', as well as bouquets of flowers.

Aboriginal leader Lyall Munro says the march has been organised at the request of the boy's mother.

"We're just carrying out and honouring her request," he said.

"I know there is some dissention in the ranks of Aboriginal organisations and so-called elders, but being the case as it is, they've been conspicuous by their absence in the past two weeks.

"This is a community effort to show the respect that's coming from the community."

Mr Munro promised a solemn and dignified march to the place where the teenager died and on to the local police station.

He says a list of demands, among them a call for an independent inquiry into Thomas Hickey's death, will be presented to the police at Redfern.

He says there are "17 demands to represent the age of the young man".

Police have kept a low-key watch on the march as it moved through the streets.


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