Community groups from across NSW came out to rally against Westconnex and attacks on public transport on February 17.
A man waves over a roughly boarded fence, as a guard walks intimidatingly in front of it. A group of refugee protesters, sweltering in the hot sun in Leonora — a two day drive from Perth into the desert — wave back and yell “azadi”, the Farsi word for freedom.
I am one of the protesters and I am filming the protest.
One week earlier, just before the start of my second year at university, I opened an email from an activist group advertising a “Caravan of Compassion” to Leonora detention centre.
A few days later I was on the bus, barely knowing one other person.
In the first episode of Activist Stories we travel up to Canberra to join activists from around the country protesting against the Adani mega coal mine on the first day of parliament on February 5. We then look back at the campaign, the pressure mounting on Labor to oppose the mine and how you can get involved.
To get involved Stopadani.com Adani’s threat to Australia’s groundwater greenleft.org.au/content/adani-threat-great-artesian-basin
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Photos from the Justice for TJ Hickey rally on February 14.
The rally called for parliament to Re-open the inquiry into TJ Hickey's death.
TJ Hickey was killed in a police chase whilst ridding his bike in Waterloo.
Read more: https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/tj-hickey-14-years-and-still-no-justice
Four years ago thousands of people lit candles in more than 750 locations across Australia to remember slain 23-year-old Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati and demand an end to Australia’s detention system.
It was the largest post-Howard government mobilisation for refugee rights to date.
At rallies across the country activists who had been in contact with people in Manus Island detention centre exposed the horrors of that night.
On the first day of parliament in 2018 Stop Adani activists protested on the front lawns to send a clear message to Labor and Liberal - Stop Adani.
The Turkish government’s attacks on the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria’s (DFNS) Afrin Canton in northern Syria are an attack on refugees.
The approach of the Kurdish-led forces to the Syrian refugee crisis, in which millions of people have become displaced, should be an inspiration.
Western television cameras have captured footage of people taking the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean Sea seeking safety in Europe. But thousands more are also fleeing to Rojava.
Footage from Sydney's massive invasion day march.
In 2011, in the days leading up to January 26, with Australian flags fluttering off cars and used as capes, accompanied by cartons of beer, sporting excellence as the pinnacle of Australian achievement and politicians lecturing the country on what it means to be a “proud Australian”, I left Perth.
The Manus Island tragedy is the latest in a series of systemic human rights abuses by successive Australian governments in recent decades.
But there is another story: one of courageous resistance in some of the most hostile situations imaginable — a resistance led by several hundred people on Manus Island who are still protesting, still demanding “freedom, nothing less than freedom”.
As the tropical sun set over Manus Island detention centre on November 23, Walid Zazai wrote on Twitter for the final time that night. He reflected on the day as:
“A day of horror. A day of fear. A day I will never forget.
“I thought I’m back in Afghanistan in a war zone. There was no way to hide, just the sky.
“Friends have been beaten, have been taken by force to town centres.
“Don't know what will happen tomorrow. Remember us in your prayers.”
After depriving hundreds of men of food, water and medical support for more than three weeks, Papua New Guinea police moved into Manus Island detention centre on November 23.
They are forcing the 400 men left in the centre to move to alternative accommodation on Manus Island which, according to Kurdish asylum seeker and journalist Behrouz Boochani, is like “moving to another prison”.
The statements, photos and videos that have emerged from the refugees inside paint a brutal and tragic picture.
Four hundred men are still protesting in the Manus Island detention centre. They are calling for nothing less than their freedom and will not move to another centre on the Island. They have held out since the Australian government shut down the centre and removed services on October 31.
November 15 was the 107th consecutive day of protest on Manus Island since the Australian government announced it would close the centre.
If there is one thing I have learnt from being involved in this campaign over the past decade, it is that seeing people protesting, known that someone cares about you and is watching, has always made a difference to people suffering in detention.
“This place is like a war zone,” wrote Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian journalist locked up in the Manus Island detention centre, as he exhaustedly began to describe the situation on November 2 – day 2 of the “Manus Island siege”.
Since October 31, 600 desperate men, suffering in more ways than most people can comprehend after more than four years of torture in detention, have barricaded themselves in the centre.
Immigration minister Peter Dutton’s citizenship bill amendments lapsed on October 18. It is not the first time Dutton has failed to pass new laws relating to immigration, visas and citizenship and is another illustration of the growing discontent with some of the government’s far-reaching, Trump-like, proposals about immigration law.
It was opposed in the Senate by Labor, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team. They also combined to deny Dutton an extension to October 20. In the end, with the numbers against it, the Bill never even made it to the floor.