|Azaria Chamberlain |
The one person who was often forgotten in this tragedy was Azaria. The horror of this tiny baby being clasped in the jaws of a wild animal and dragged from her bed and taken off into the night to be eaten, was ignored, while the scientists, police and lawyers squabbled over her bloodstained clothing. Even her mother's protest during the trial that "this is not some object we're talking about. It's my little girl." elicited no signs of remorse from her accusers. Little Azaria was never given a real funeral and there is no gravesite at which people can kneel and pay their respects. But she will never be forgotten by the family who loved her and named her Azaria - "blessed of God." Fight 4 freedom:
The "Free Lindy Campaign" would come to appear to be the most well organised public rallying effort ever to be seen in Australia. In fact, it was mostly due to the spontaneous efforts of individuals who had risen to the cause, drawing with them thousands of new supporters. At its base were men and women who gave tirelessly to the cause of justice and the Chamberlains. People such as Veronica Flanigan who went from door to door in her village, 120 kilometres southwest of Sydney, gathering names for a petition. Mrs. J Edwards spent hours in Perth central mall handing out leaflets urging people to write to parliamentarians about the case. In Melbourne supporters stood on street corners, collecting signatures, twelve hours a day. A group of Brisbane women organised the mailing of masses of letters to politicians and newspapers. A schoolteacher traveled from Victoria to Darwin to set up vigil with placards outside Parliament to protest 'bush justice'. The efforts of all of these people resulted in the gathering of the largest number of signatures on a petition for a private person in Australia's history, numbering in excess of 130,000. Every means possible was used to keep the Azaria Chamberlain case alive in the minds of the Australian public, meetings were organised all over the country, thousands of letters were written to newspapers and politicians, leaflets and flyers were written, printed and distributed, letter-box drops were organised, bumper stickers and t-shirts were printed. A pre-recorded information service was established to enable supporters to gain up-to-the-minute information. Hundreds of thousands of books, booklets and pamphlets covering various aspects of the case were distributed all over the country. In an effort to co-ordinate all of these individual activities, a newsletter was created. By January 1988, fourteen issues had been published. It covered detailed reports of every aspect of the case and the results of all legal proceedings, as they became available. After the High Court's decision to uphold the jury's verdict, the Lowes, Wests and Whittakers were now free to air their opinions about the case and the verdict. They attended rallies all over Australia wrote letters and appeared on television, in an attempt to educate people about Lindy's innocence. On 11 November 1985 they wrote and signed the following statement which appeared in the Northern Territory News: We the undersigned, who were present at Ayers Rock camping ground, the night Azaria Chamberlain disappeared, know that Mrs Chamberlain had no opportunity to commit the alleged homicide for which she is now unjustly serving a life sentence in Berrimah Jail, Darwin. Though we were all Crown witnesses at the trial, we feel that insufficient weight was given to our evidence and all of our evidence was not elicited. We demand, therefore, that there be an unfettered Judicial Review of this terrible miscarriage of justice. They were not the only witnesses to travel throughout the country, at great personal inconvenience and without any remuneration. Kevin Childs, reporter for the Melbourne Age, reported that a total of fourteen of the...