SYDNEY — Thousands across Australia joined vigils protesting the racist murder of 15-year-old Aboriginal boy Cassius Turvey, inset, in Perth in West Australia. Some 3,000 people rallied here Nov. 2, one of more than 40 actions in cities and regional towns nationwide.
Turvey was walking home from school with four friends Oct. 13 when they were attacked by a group of Caucasian males shouting racial slurs, telling the boys to run, brandishing a machete and a metal bar. Turvey died 10 days later. One of the attackers has been charged with his murder, and with assaulting another of the boys and stealing his crutches. No other charges have been laid.
Responding to a police statement that the attack may have been a case of “mistaken identity,” Aboriginal leaders in Perth issued a statement saying, “Cassius was not ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ He was in his school uniform with his friends in broad daylight.” We “are outraged by this mindless, inhumane, cowardly racist act against an innocent child.”
Mechelle Turvey, Cassius’ mother, told the Perth rally that she was “overwhelmed and eternally grateful” for the “outpouring of tributes across the nation.” Her statement was read at the other rallies nationwide.
“I am angry. Cassius’ friends and family are angry,” she said. “But I don’t want any form of violence at any of these rallies in the name of my child.”