On 17th June, members of WRI affiliate in Australia - Wage Peace - blockaded the facilities of the NIOA bullet manufacturer in Benalla in solidarity with the call by Senior Elders from the aboriginal Yuendumu community for a police ceasefire. Another group also blocked the companies factory in Brisbane. The ceasefire demand from the Yuendumu community comes with a raft of judicial and social measures to increase the communities safety, and for the state to respect self-determination.
NIOA is a Brisbane-based weapons manufacturer and the majority supplier of guns and bullets to Australian police. The Benalla factory is where NIOA makes the bullets that end up in police guns. According to their website, by 2022 “Over one billion rounds have been supplied by NIOA to the Australian Law Enforcement, Military and Sporting markets”.
At the blockade in Brisbane, activists spoke to the connection between continuing state violence, the militarisation of police forces and the development of the Australian weapons industry. Speakers drew the connection between extreme frontier violence by militarised police in the previous two centuries of colonisation and the current presence of militarised police across remote communities. They listened to the plea from the heart of Australia from the elders of Yuendumu: “Enough violence! No more guns in remote communities.”