As Alice Springs grapples with the alleged bashing death of an Aboriginal man by five young white men, one man has begun selling “Alice Springs White Power” t-shirts and caps from his car. And it’s all happening outside the Alice Springs Town Council offices, with local police and council officials refusing at least two requests by local residents to shut the man down.
The t-shirts and caps were yesterday on display in the passenger side window of a 4WD ute parked directly across the road from the council chambers.
The t-shirts include a swastika motif:
The number plates on the vehicle read “GANGSTA”, and a hand-written sign was taped to the back passenger window advertising the shirts and caps:
The sign included pricing — $25 for a shirt, $25 for a cap or to [sic] for $35. The sign includes a mobile phone contact.
The sale of the merchandise follows the July 25 death of Donny Ryder, an Aboriginal trainee ranger, aged 33. Mr Ryder was walking home along an Alice Springs back street when a group of five white youths aged 19-24 allegedly alighted from a 4WD and bashed him to death.
The youths have each been charged with murder, and up to nine counts of reckless endangerment — about a half hour before the bashing death the youths also allegedly drove their vehicle at itinerant Aboriginal men and women camping on the dry bed of the Todd River.
Two residents who contacted the National Indigenous Times last night said the man had been seen making several sales of the t-shirts outside the council chambers. After complaining to council officers they were told no by-laws were being broken because the sign advertising the vehicle was situated inside — not outside — the vehicle.
One of the residents who complained (and requested anonymity) said: “The fact he was sitting out the front of the council building, probably within view of many security and CCTV cameras … I think it’s pretty brazen.
“By doing it in front of council he’s trying to assert some sort of power. He’s trying to say that he has immunity to spread hate around town.”
The residents said they also complained to local police but officers declined to take any action. Calls to the Northern Territory government also fell on deaf ears.
A spokesperson for NT Police this morning confirmed officers had received one complaint, but made no further comment.
We didn’t, however, have much trouble getting comment from the seller of the t-shirts.
The owner of the vehicle is a local man in his late 40s. He identified himself only by his nickname, ‘Red’. In a lengthy interview, Red unleashed a torrent of racial abuse, after initially claiming that the t-shirts and caps weren’t for sale.
“I’m not selling the t-shirts, I’m giving them to people who want them,” Red said. But when told NIT had photographs of the advertising signs in Red’s car, he replied, “You’re just some white c-nt who’s a f-cking n-gger lover.”
Red claimed the shirts were popular among local residents — even police had shelled out the $25.
“I’ve sold them to police … I’ve sold them to nurses, school teachers. No c-nt has ever come up to me and said nothing about it. I wear my shirts and hats everywhere I go,” he said.
Red said the Alice Springs community was angry at the death of a white man allegedly bashed to death by several Aboriginal men earlier this year. He said he had grown up in the central Australian town and that Aboriginal people were the source of all the problems.
He pointed to the fact jails in the Territory were full of black criminals as proof that Aboriginal people were the cause of Alice Springs’ problems. ”… 80% inside were f-cking n-ggers for doing sh-t,” he said, later conceding that he knew because he’d “done time … for flogging the f-ck out of some c-ons”.
Red said that “n-gger lover d-ckhead lawyers and reporters” only made the problem worse because they defended Aboriginal people.
A spokesperson for Alice Springs town council this morning said that the council was unable to act because there had had been no sign of “paraphernalia” being sold. Instead, it was simply a singlet that was visible from the outside of the vehicle.
Chris Graham is editor of the National Indigenous Times.