asylum seekers

Good news — for a change

Senate rejects bid to make unemployed wait for welfare

An attack on young people has been defeated. A measure to force jobseekers under the age of 25 to wait an additional four weeks before accessing unemployment benefits has been defeated in the Senate, 30 votes to 35.

Labor and the Greens opposed the bill, announced in the May federal budget, meaning six of the eight crossbenchers had to vote with the government for the bill to pass.

Inside immigration detention on Manus Island

Carol Hucker worked on Manus Island as a counsellor for International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) and as a case worker for the Salvation Army from June 2013 to July last year.

She has allowed Green Left Weekly to publish her account of her time there so people can become more aware of what is occurring on Manus Island and to these men. She said: “It is my hope that through this brief account the men on Manus will not be forgotten.”

This is the first of a multi-part series and covers the period June to July 2013.

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How to get active


Come to a rally to save penalty rates on Saturday September 5 at 11am. Capalaba Sports Club, 113 Ney Rd, Capalaba. Organised by United Voice Queensland and supported by QCU.


Iranian asylum seekers being intimidated to return

Asylum seekers from Iran whose claims for refugee status have been rejected are being intimidated into “voluntary” repatriation. The Australian government does not have an agreement with the Iranian government which will not accept the forced return of those who have fled the country.

Michele O'Neil: Supporting boat turn-backs reinforces idea that seeking asylum is a crime

The Australian Labor Party’s 47th National Conference was held in Melbourne from July 24 to 26. It is its highest decision-making forum and the largest political gathering in the country. The conference decides the policies that Labor will take to the next federal election and potentially implement in government.

A few days before the conference began, Labor leader Bill Shorten announced a policy of turning back asylum seeker boats, essentially agreeing with the Coalition government’s policy.

Asylum seekers speak of their ordeal

Sixty people listened as refugees gave harrowing accounts of what had led them to seek asylum in Australia at a forum in Parramatta on July 15 organised by People Just Like Us.

Shokufa Tahiri and Ezatullah Salar spoke about the long history of oppression of the Hazara minority in Afghanistan.

In 1890, Abdur Rahman Khan exterminated 63% of the minority group and until the 1930s Hazaras were systematically driven out of cities, and deprived of citizenship and education. Under the Taliban, it became a crime to be Hazara, Turkic or Shia.

ALP abandons all pretence of opposition on refugees

A few days before the National ALP Conference on July 22, Labor leader Bill Shorten announced that he would support a policy to turn back boatloads of asylum seekers at sea if it is elected to government.

The announcement shocked and angered refugee rights advocates around the country, including members of his own party.

Socialist councillors: 'Let them land. Let them stay'

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.

Labor and Coalition: different names, same refugee policy

In breaking news, it seems that the Labor Party left cannot agree to oppose a “turn back the boats” policy. So there seems to be no chance that the upcoming national Labor Party Conference in Melbourne on July 24 to 26 will consider opposing the Coalition policy of turning boats back that are attempting to reach this country, so the passengers can claim asylum, a human right.

In brief

Remand prison riot over smoking ban

First Nations Liberation organised an action on June 30 in solidarity with the inmates, at the Metropolitan Assessment Prison, colloquially known as Metropolitan Aboriginal Prison because so many of the inmates are Aboriginal, following the riot that took place there in response to smoking bans due to commence on July 1.

The action included a smoking ceremony.
The ABC reported that about 300 prisoners were involved in the disturbance, which included breaching a “secure inner perimeter”.

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