Last week the black movement lost one of its strongest fighters for Aboriginal rights. Uncle Ray Jackson passed away peacefully in his sleep on the night of Thursday 23rd April after attending a regular Indigenous Social Justice Association Meeting.
Uncle Ray was the President of the Indigenous Social Justice Association and put most of his efforts into battling Aboriginal deaths in custody. He had been instrumental in organising many direct action events to challenge the authority of the state and his involvement and support for the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy will be missed.
During my time as NSW Indigenous Officer, Ray helped me build the Stop the Intervention Campaign and gave me the knowledge and wisdom that an Elder is expected to pass down to the younger generations without hesitation. Since then I had joined Ray in many areas of activism such as the Land Rights and Sovereignty movements, along with the recent Sniff Off campaign targeting the overuse of sniffer dogs in heavily black areas such as Redfern.
Obviously, being a political activist, people saw Ray as either an obstacle or a comrade. Clearly, I saw him as a comrade. He was a teacher and uncle to many, a driving force behind the peoples’ motivation to seek social justice, and he did not get caught up in corporate greed to become a mere pacifier for the mob to keep us quiet.
He will be missed.
Please respect that cultural sensitivity must be used around areas of significance such as Aboriginal organisations in Redfern and the Tent Embassy during sorry business.