If Dennis DJ Doolan could see the support he has outside his prison cell, he’d take comfort knowing he’s not been forgotten.
This weekend more than 80 community members marched through the streets of the NSW town of Cowra, calling for justice after the 32-year-old was shot in the lower back by police two months ago.
The peaceful protesters chanted their way to Squire Park, banners and flags in hand.
Mr Doolan’s relative Les Coe thanked the community for their support and hoped this show of solidarity unites the community beyond Cowra.
“The thing that this demonstrates, in the unfortunate events that have happened with DJ, it may bring us all together as a people. It’s certainly started to bring us together [in Cowra] as a community.” He told NITV.
Mr Doolan is currently recovering at Bathurst Jail.
DJ's mother Roddina Doolan says her son isn’t doing "too well at the moment".
“[He’s] hanging in as best he can at the moment, we’re trying to get him down to Long Bay jail down in Sydney” she told NITV.
DJ's brother Desi Doolan told the crowd the police had said, "he’ll [DJ] be aright, he’ll be okay," on the day of the shooting. Now Desi says he’s "got news for that copper".
“He’s not going to be okay. Internal injuries are with him for the rest of his life. Physically and mentally he’s not the same man I picked up from jail two months ago,” he said.
Other community members like George Coe, said DJ Doolan's story isn’t over.
“We want the sun to shine on all of us, get rid of the fear, get rid of the rot and put some truth in it” he told NITV.
It wasn’t just the local community who wanted to lend support over the weekend.
Bill Ryan, a 94-year-old Veteran from World War II, drove up from Sydney to be part of the protest when he heard about Mr Doolan’s case.
“I’ve realised throughout my life, when there’s something wrong, you’ve got to do something about it. I realise the people up here haven’t been getting justice, in the justice system,” he told NITV.
“I lived through the depression and when people are in despair and so forth they turn to alcohol and then all these other problems are created, so they [the Indigenous people] are no different to anyone else. So I get great comfort when I come to these things to see people taking [nonviolent direct] action,” he added.
Harry Wedge is a cousin of DJ’s and a representative of the Fighting in Solidarity Towards Treaties group [FIIST] and he says marches like this can be ‘quite productive’.
“We’re going to build awareness and hopefully wake up a lot of people in this country to the problems going on”.