Denis Walker (activist)

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Denis Walker (born c. 1947),[1] also known as Bejam Kunmunara Jarlow Nunukel Kabool, is an Australian activist.

He is the son of poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) from Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island, Southern Queensland) and Bruce Walker. He has a younger brother, Vivian.

Denis Walker was a major figure in the civil rights and land rights movements of the 1970s.

Denis Walker co-founded, with Sam Watson, the Brisbane chapter of the Australian Black Panther Party (ABPP) on January 8, 1972.[2][3] At the time, Walker declared the Black Panther Party (BPP) to be "the vanguard for all depressed people, and in Australia the Aboriginals are the most depressed of all".[3]

Walker's stance on political violence was similar to the stance taken by other BPP and BPP-derived movements around the world. In a directive to members of the ABPP he said that "members must learn to use and service weapons correctly".[3] In January 1972, having himself been in court only a few days beforehand on the charge of possessing a concealable firearm,[4] he told reporters that "if you haven't got a gun, you have nothing. We're not going to get what we want by standing here and talking."[5] The following March, in an address to the student union of Melbourne University, he contrasted the Australian BPP's position with that of the American BPP, saying that the Australian BPP's priority was not violent revolution, and that its focus was land rights rather than urban issues. As such, he asserted that the Australian BPP was prepared to use guns to back Aboriginal action over land rights, arguing that Aborigines should have the right to carry guns for self-defence.[6]

In October 1981, Walker was nominated for the elections to the National Aboriginal Conference, but was disqualified because at the time he was serving a two-year jail sentence for wounding a Department of Aboriginal Affairs official in Brisbane in 1979.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Denis Walker", Collaborating for Indigenous Rights 1957–1973, National Museum of Australia, retrieved July 31, 2014 
  2. ^ Sam Watson (1993-11-17). "Indigenous activist's long struggle for justice". Green Left Weekly. 
  3. ^ a b c Kathleen Cleaver and George N. Katsiaficas (2001). Liberation, imagination, and the Black Panther Party: a new look at the Panthers and their legacy. political science reader series. Routledge. pp. 24–25. ISBN 0-415-92783-8. ISBN 9780415927833. 
  4. ^ "Aboriginal leader in court on gun charge". Sydney Morning Herald. 1972-01-06. p. 2. 
  5. ^ "Aborigines seeking black power". Boca Raton News. 1972-01-16. p. 19. 
  6. ^ "Blacks 'ready to use guns'". The Age. 1972-03-01. p. 6. 
  7. ^ "Poll ban on jailed black". The Age. 1981-10-01. p. 19. 

Further reading[edit]

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