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Qld police terrorising our kids, Aboriginal activist says

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 1 December 2004

Aboriginal activist Sam Watson has told a Brisbane rally that Queensland Police's Special Emergency Response Team could be described as "thugs in balaclavas".

It is the latest outburst in a climate of anger within the Aboriginal community in response to the death in custody of 36-year-old Cameron Dommadgee on Palm Island.

Mr Watson says a Brisbane street march and national day of action is planned for next week.

He has rejected calls for violence against police but says the deployment of the special emergency response team on Palm Island is deplorable.

"The only violence we've had in the Aboriginal community within the past few hours has been the tactical response force running through our homes and terrorising our old people and our children," he said.

"We've had small children, eight and nine-year-olds, cast onto the ground and their heads forced into the dirt by these thugs in balaclavas with submachine guns.

"That sort of thing doesn't even happen in Iraq."

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