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Now to the story...

Palm Is payback just 'emotional talk'

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

Brisbane Aboriginal leader Sam Watson says there will be no payback for the death of a man in police custody on Palm Island in north Queensland.

Carpentaria Indigenous spokesman Murrandoo Yanner has warned there could be retribution against police for the death, which sparked a riot on the weekend.

Mr Watson says that will not happen although the call is understandable.

"White people brought the Bible onto our lands, and the Bible clearly indicates that we should take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," he said.

"Payback is clearly very much a part of Christian ideology.

"We're not calling for that - brother Murrandoo is very deeply hurt, very grievously spiritually wounded, because the loss of a young person in these circumstances hurts us all.

"We're bleeding spiritually, and it's only natural we should react with strong language but there won't be any of that."

Mr Watson says the Brisbane community will walk through the city on Saturday week and he hopes other groups around Australia will follow suit

"It'll be a day of passive, non-violent protest to highlight the problems we've had with Aboriginal deaths in custody," he said.

"[We're] calling on the authorities to respond immediately to that criminal situation where a young Aboriginal man on Palm Island was clearly unlawfully killed, and yet there have been no arrests made to this day."

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