refugee boat turnbacks

The fate of more than 600 people rescued at sea by the Doctors Without Borders rescue ship Aquarius is one more example of the impact of right wing populism on human rights in Europe today.

While the architect of Australia’s detention system Liberal Senator Jim Molan was rehearsing his lines to promote this cruel system on ABC’s Q&A, a woman was arrested for the crime of standing outside and peacefully holding a banner reading “Close the Camps, Bring Them Here”.

The demonising of asylum seekers is an elaborate exercise in racist scapegoating designed to distract Australians from the real causes of anxiety and insecurity in their lives. We need to be absolutely uncompromising in our resistance to this toxic agenda.

Earlier this year it looked as if Labor4Refugees’ amendments to the Labor Party’s platform that specifically reject boat turnbacks might win enough votes from the ALP left and the Catholic right to get through at the ALP national conference in late July.

However, the Labor leadership is committed to a policy of deterring asylum seekers and is working to prevent any policy change at the conference.

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