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Police, pickets and death: Past and present

October 5, 2013

Paper presented by David Baker, Monash University

Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology conference for 2013

Tuesday 1 October 2013 – Brisbane
Abstract of paper:

Despite the precarious nature of the policing of picket-lines, death has occurred rarely throughout Australia’s industrial disputation history. This paper explores three case-studies in which workers, innocent victims, were killed during industrial confrontation as the result of the use of police force, the only occasions when such fatalities have resulted in Australia. This paper highlights the direct policing involvement that led to these deaths, the lack of accountability of police and the deficiencies in the administration of justice. It argues that the three deaths, during a prolonged and bitter era of class warfare, highlights some glaring characteristics of police dysfunction and inadequacies. Although there has been no police-inflicted industrial death since 1929 in Australia, this historical research can stimulate comparative questions and lessons about recent events such as the fatal police shooting of 44 miners at Marikana, South Africa, in 2012.

From → Policing

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