refugee rights

GREEN LEFT REPORT #10: Left wins in council and union elections + more

Features interviews with Sue Bolton, the newly elected Socialist Alliance councillor for Moreland in Melbourne and Lindsay Hawkins, one of the Progressive PSA team that have won control of the union representing NSW public servants.

ASYLUM SEEKER ART CRIES FREEDOM

Darwin and Northern Territory residents will have a rare opportunity to see first-hand an exhibition of more than 100 works of art from asylum seekers detained in Australia’s immigration detention centres and facilities.

Local curator Vikki Riley, who has worked with the artists from Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Sri Lanka, said today the 12-day exhibition at the Supreme Court of Darwin afforded art lovers as well as supporters of those in detention a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the stunning selection of high quality art works.

Event date: 
Thu, 09/08/2012 - 9:00am - Fri, 24/08/2012 - 5:00pm
Event time: 
Sun, 12/08/2012 - 9:00am
Phone: 
0467272127

Challenging 2GB shock jocks on refugees

I am a Year 11 high school student, and when I heard they were trying to transfer more refugees from Villawood, I couldn’t stand by.

Standing outside the detention centre in the early morning of April 5 while waiting for the buses to move, I saw a Facebook status from one of the protest's spokespeople, Clo Schofield, who had just been interviewed on right-wing radio station 2GB. Schofield encouraged us to ring to air our grievances about Australia's cruel and heartless asylum seeker policy.

Why we tried to stop the forced transfer of asylum seekers

When refugee activists found out about the imminent transfer of at least 83 asylum seekers from Villawood detention centre to a remote detention centre in Curtin in Western Australia, a picket was hastily organised to try to stop the buses leaving.

Even though there was very little time — about 10 hours — activists wanted to show the asylum seekers that there is broad support for them.

Cambodia solution? Fresh plan to dump refugees

The former Labor government tried and failed with its ill-conceived "people swap" deal with Malaysia in 2011. Now, the Tony Abbott government has said it may try a resettlement deal with the even poorer nation of Cambodia.

After talks with foreign minister Julie Bishop in February, her counterpart, Hor Namhong, said Cambodia was considering an offer to resettle refugees from Australia. Immigration minister Scott Morrison visited Cambodia again this month, to discuss "regional cooperation to deal with asylum seeker movement".

Department of immigration threatens advocates

Vanessa Powell has been visiting the Villawood detention centre for three years, and helped to organise a large visit at Christmas last year and a Persian New Year's celebration recently.

When she heard asylum seekers housed there were being forcibly transferred to detention centres in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, she decided to join others in blockading the front entrance to stop the transfers on April 4.

During the protest, Powell, along with many advocates, took photos of refugees handcuffed inside darkened buses and uploaded them to Facebook.

Hundreds rally for refugees in Geelong

More than 400 people turned out in Geelong on April 5 to demand that the government be more humane to refugees and asylum seekers.

The Combined Refugee Action Group (CRAG) organised the rally, and called on the government to: immediately end offshore processing and mandatory detention, re-install family reunion for refugees, and to end the indefinite detention of refugees with negative ASIO status.

Palm Sunday marches: End the war on refugees

ADELAIDE: Sun 13 April 2pm, at the steps of Parliament House. Gather there then walk to Light Square via the Immigration office in Currie Street

ARMIDALE: Sun 13 April 11am, Central Park

BRISBANE: Sat 12 April 1pm, King George Square

CANBERRA: Sun 13 April 1pm, Gareema Place, Civic

MELBOURNE: Sun 13 April 2pm, State Library

PERTH: Sun 13 April 1pm, St George's Cathedral

SYDNEY: Sun 13 April 1pm Hyde Park

So which country has a 'refugee problem'?

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced that the number of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon had gone over 1 million. Half of these are children and most live in dire poverty.

"The influx of a million refugees would be massive in any country. For Lebanon, a small nation beset by internal difficulties, the impact is staggering," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres in an April 3 statement.

LIVEBLOG: Activists, asylum seekers resist removals from Villawood to WA

A group of refugee rights activists staged an eight-hour blockade outside Villawood Immigration Detention Centre on April 3 to try to stop buses forcibly relocating refugees to Curtin Detention Centre in remote WA. Eight protesters, including Green Left Weekly's live blogger Rachel Evans (scroll down to see her photos from the action) were arrested.

UPDATE: April 5

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