The signs that have been installed in Perth’s east are racist and offensive, local Aboriginal leader Michelle Martin says.
The signs are posted in a manner that encourages white people to drive past and in some cases deliberately target Aboriginal people who don’t live close by, Martin said.
“They are offensive to Aboriginal people because they make them feel unsafe, they make us feel unsafe,” Martin said on Wednesday.
“This is a very, very bad idea, and the people who are behind it need to get their heads out of their asses.”
In April, a local resident, Paul Smith, posted a video to Facebook of a woman who was allegedly “acting suspiciously” around her home, as well as several other women, in the area of the road known as the Highway 456, a narrow stretch of road that cuts through Perth’s Aboriginal community of Blacktown.
“I don’t see any white people here, and I’m not a white person, I’m a Black man,” Smith told the ABC.
“These people don’t even have a driver’s licence, they don’t have anything.
I don’t think any of them are Aboriginal.”
Smith has been calling for a change to the signs for months.
He said the signs encourage people to stop at intersections and make eye contact with the white drivers who park next to them.
“It’s about people not feeling comfortable around people they don: that’s the way it should be,” he said.
Martin said the woman in the video was not acting suspiciously.
“She’s not acting like she’s doing anything suspicious, she’s just saying she’s not white, that’s all,” she said.’
I feel so uncomfortable’The signs have been put up at a time when Indigenous people in Perth are being targeted for a range of crimes.
In October, police said a man had allegedly assaulted an Aboriginal woman in an alleyway in the city’s south-east.
Police said the man, who was not identified, was found to be the subject of an outstanding warrant and charged with assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, as the woman was attempting to flee the scene.
In August, police in Blacktown said two women had been assaulted and robbed by a group of five men who approached them, demanded their mobile phones and fled the area.
In March, police released footage of two women being attacked in a shopping mall in Blackford.
Police in Blackland have said they are also dealing with a number of other incidents of racist behaviour on the highway.
In February, police arrested a man who they said was “provocative and racially aggravated” at a local shopping centre.
“We have been dealing with some very serious incidents on the Highway, but I feel like we have to get on with our business as well, and this is the first time we have seen the signs,” Martin told the Perth Now program.
“There are some signs that are quite blatantly racist.”
Martin has also spoken out against the “black lives matter” slogan being put up on the signs.
“What is this ‘black lives matters’?
It’s not about ‘black people’, it’s about ‘white people’,” she said, referring to the slogan the city has adopted as a way of rallying support for the Black Lives Matter movement.”
If you want to support this movement, you should get a clue: the police don’t care about your life.
They care about white people’s lives.”