In the early hours of June 29, the Australian Senate passed legislation that is expected to entrench assimilation, disadvantage and racism for another decade in the Northern Territory. Aboriginal leaders across the NT declared a period of mourning after the new laws – called Stronger Futures – were passed as they reel from the decision, take stock and plan to up the ante in their fight against the latest neoliberal assault on their communities.
The Darwin Aboriginal Rights Coalition released the statement below on June 21. * * * Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory have spoken out against the Stronger Futures laws, which they say continue the discriminatory and racist laws launched with the NT intervention 5 years ago today.
“One spill could kill our country” Muckaty traditional owner Penny Phillips told 100 people at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on May 30. The meeting was organised by Anti-Nuclear NT to condemn legislation passed by the federal government on March 13 that names Muckaty station, 200km north of Tennant Creek as the site for a proposed nuclear waste dump. The meeting was opened by Larrakeyah woman Donna Jackson whose traditional lands cover the East Arm Wharf, which is one area the waste could be taken through to get to the Muckaty site.
Federal resources minister Martin Ferguson released a report on May 14 into Australia’s gas reserves. The report signalled a huge expansion of gas mining in the NT and bad news for the environment. Two new areas have been opened for gas exploration: shale gas exploration in the central NT, and conventional offshore gas exploration north-west of Darwin. Both of these present serious environmental problems. The shale gas industry relies on capturing gas by pumping sand, water and chemicals into the ground — a process commonly known as fracking.
Photos from refugee rights rally, April 6, 2012 in Darwin. Read the full report here.
Seven people from multiple Australian cities were arrested today while climbing a hill to make contact with refugees inside the Wickham Point detention centre outside Darwin. About 35 refugee activists from Darwin, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne were at the centre as part of several actions that took place outside the city’s three detention centres over the Easter long weekend for the annual refugee convergence.
The near-continuous introduction, change and reversal of several federal government policies on asylum seekers arriving by boat have had a severely damaging effect on refugees held in the Northern Immigration Detention Centre in Darwin. An Iranian man who arrived on Christmas Island just after the government announced it would “swap” 800 asylum seekers in Australia for 4000 refugees from Malaysia, said he was told every day he would be deported. “It was the worst two months of my life.”
About 120 refugee rights activists from multiple Australian cities gathered outside the Northern Territory’s parliament house in Darwin today to protest against mandatory detention and the three detention centres located around the region. The event kicked off protests that are taking place at the detention facilities over the Easter long weekend for the annual refugee convergence. Each year refugee activists gather at a place in Australia where refugees are held in remote or difficult-to-reach location.
On the first day of the Darwin convergence for refugee rights, activists visited the Darwin Airport Lodge (DAL) after rallying in the city.
The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) released the statement below on March 8. * * * DASSAN has been informed by asylum seekers inside the Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) that a hunger strike commenced today in the centre. A number of asylum seekers commenced the hunger strike this afternoon in the North 1 compound. They are protesting at the amount of time spent in detention and the levels of self harm they are witnessing inside NIDC.
The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) released the statement below on February 23. * * * The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network has been informed that an Iranian man attempted suicide today at the Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC). The man has been detained in the infamous North 2 punishment compound for two weeks. After self-harming during the day, the man climbed onto the roof of North 2, made a noose out of a sheet, and was stopped just before jumping from the roof.
The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released the statement below on February 16. * * * A Tamil asylum seeker has been taken to hospital after attempting suicide by hanging in the early of hours of this morning, at the Darwin Airport Lodge detention facility. Around 12.30am, the man, who has been in detention for 27 months, was found by fellow asylum seekers hanging by a bed-sheet noose in a secluded part of the facility.