Island buries Doomadgee as protesters rally
December 11, 2004 - 2:50PM/the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
Island home ... Friends and family walk ahead of the hearse carrying the body of Cameron Doomadgee.
Cameron Doomadgee, who died three weeks ago while in police custody, was buried today on Palm Island, off north Queensland.
A coroner's report showed Mr Doomadgee had four broken ribs and a ruptured liver when he died.
The release of the report sparked a riot on the island. Twenty-eight residents were charged with 64 offences, including a 60-year-old woman who faced a charge of riotous demolition of a building on the island.
Earlier, up to 1,000 people marched in Brisbane to protest against Aboriginal deaths in custody.
The start of the march was delayed by about two hours as the supporters, both black and white, gathered at Roma Street forum to hear addresses by Aboriginal leaders and Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Minister Liddy Clark.
At the rally, a lone didgeridoo sounded during a minute's silence to represent the moment the funeral was to begin on Palm Island.
Attending the protest was Mr Doomadgee's cousin, Alex Doomadgee, who said that while it was a difficult decision not to be at the funeral he was heartened by the turnout.
"I am going to be seeing my family in the coming weeks so hopefully I can get to go with them and put some flowers on my brother's grave," he said on ABC Radio.
"But [I am] here today for this march and to make a point to the Queensland Government and the Queensland Police Service that we are not going to let you get away with what you did."
The protesters made their way through city streets to end the march at Musgrave Park in South Brisbane, where they were gathered in a show of support for the Doomadgee family.