A recent Refugee Action Collective forum exposed the punitive nature of temporary visas for asylum seekers, reports Chris Slee.
Refugee Action Collective
Regular actions are being organised to demand the federal government frees almost 120 refugees detained at Kangaroo Point, reports Alex Bainbridge.
Located in the suburb of Broadmeadows, Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) has been described as a "hidden hell for refugees".
More than 100 people attended a rally called by the Tamil Refugee Council on May 15 which combined a commemoration of the genocidal massacre of Tamils in Sri Lanka 10 years ago.
About 100 people attended a forum on April 23 with the theme: "Change the rules for refugees".
The forum, organised by the Refugee Action Collective (RAC), aimed to show the links between the struggles for union rights and refugee rights.
Chairperson Lucy Honan, a member of RAC and the Australian Education Union, said that unionists and refugees are under attack by the same Coalition government. She noted that many refugees are themselves workers.
Victoria Police are being used by the state Labor government to threaten and harass protesters who have been organising in support of asylum seekers on Manus Island. Activists described the behaviour of the police at a recent rally as state sanctioned violence.
On November 24, a neo-Nazi grabbed the rally microphone and began screaming into it that refugees were rapists and that they should not be bought to Australia.
More than 200 people participated in a rally and march for refugee rights on September 2. A similar rally was also held in Sydney.
The demonstration was organised at short notice by the Refugee Action Collective in response to the federal government's decision to end the $100 a week income support for people who were brought to Australia from Manus Island and Nauru for medical treatment and evict them from the houses they are living in. This will initially affect 100 people, but may eventually affect many more.
More than 100 people attended a public meeting called by the Refugee Action Collective (RAC) on July 24 to discuss how to break bipartisan support for offshore processing. The discussion focused on ways to change Labor Party policy.
Chairperson Margaret Sinclair read a message from Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus, who said Australia has a "responsibility to take a greater number of refugees than we do". She said the current intake is "shameful".
The Refugee Action Collective organised a public meeting on November 7, addressed by Harry Wicks, who had worked as a carpenter at the Nauru detention centre and Bernard, a Malaysian who has done volunteer work at refugee camps in Malaysia.
Wicks said that Nauru, a small island with a population of 10,000 people, has a 90% unemployment rate.
Refugee activists attended a meeting on October 3 to discuss strategy for the refugee rights movement.
The meeting was organised by the Refugee Action Collective (RAC) in response to an article written by Robert Manne, Tim Costello, Frank Brennan and John Menadue calling for a "compromise" solution to "our refugee crisis".
RAC invited Manne to speak at the forum. Chris Breen spoke on behalf of RAC.