Alcohol Ban

Controversy Surrounding Curfews in Alice Springs and its Historical Context

Main image to the post Controversy Surrounding Curfews in Alice Springs and its Historical Context

Since early 2023, the Northern Territory and federal governments have been implementing various social control measures in Alice Springs (Mparntwe) to tackle concerns about youth crime. This included reinstating strict alcohol laws in Aboriginal communities, increasing police presence, funding for prisons, and most recently, the introduction of curfews.

Concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of these curfews, with little evidence to suggest they will reduce violent behavior or enhance public safety. Trailblazing Arrernte midwife Cherisse Buzzacott, who grew up during the NT Intervention years, expressed fears about curfews as a form of surveillance and potential racial discrimination against Aboriginal youth.

The current curfew legislation in Alice Springs allows for criminal penalties for non-compliance, raising worries about the discriminatory impact on Aboriginal young people. Organizations like the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Association (NAAJA) have criticized the curfews as "racist lockdown laws" and expressed concerns about police targeting Aboriginal youth in their enforcement. Historically, curfews have been used in Australia to restrict the movement of Aboriginal populations, reminiscent of policies under the Aboriginal Protection Acts that controlled and segregated Indigenous communities.

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Round userpic of the post author Kyle Broflovski
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May 21, 2023 | 05:09