Forty-eight hours to send newly arrived refugees back the way they came and a plan to conceal when boats are “turned around” at sea, were among immigration minister Scott Morrison's statements at his first weekly briefing under “Operation Sovereign Borders” on September 23.
Soft brown eyes flicked furtively towards the guard’s room, then back to the ripe luscious strawberry she had carefully placed on the table’s edge. She waited for the guard’s laconic indifference to blend into the certainty of distraction, then secreted the treasure in her loose pocket. “For my friend,” she confided, while a hint of defiance momentarily lit up eyes that for most of our visit had spilled out a lifetime of sorrow and loss. “My pregnant friend.”
Peter Boyle is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Sydney. He gave this speech to a rally for single parents rights in Redfern on August 24. *** Together with Dianne Hiles, the Greens candidate in the same electorate who just spoke, I am campaigning against the cruel cuts to single parent entitlements by the former Julia Gillard Labor government and campaigning for a break from major party rule, from conservative major party policies and from the corrupted, old politics those parties stand for.
The two big parties have long considered refugees’ rights forfeit. This election year has been a time of unprecedented sacrifice of refugees, as each “policy” idea from Labor and the Liberals becomes more extreme than the last. After signing up Papua New Guinea and Nauru to bogus resettlement deals, PM Kevin Rudd has most recently sent families to Nauru and continues to oversee legally dubious deportations.
The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua departed on August 17, a week after the arrival of its supporters who had travelled in a land convoy from Lake Eyre. Aboriginal elders, West Papuan refugees, filmmakers, musicians and artists will sail the flotilla’s two boats to West Papuan waters, via Cooktown, Thursday Island and Daru, in Papua New Guinea.
Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sydney, confronts the racism of Liberal and Labor, and explains Socialist Alliance's pro-refugee alternative.
It is often said young people do not care about politics. A survey by the Australia Institute in July found that more than one million young Australians under 25 feel that no political party represents them. On top of that, 45% of respondents also said they were “disinterested” or “not really interested” in the upcoming federal election. It is not hard to imagine why young people might be switching off when neither of the two big parties is dealing with the issues young people are most concerned about.
The Australian environmental movement is under attack by populationist and anti-immigration forces in a calculated attempt to divide the Green Party vote at the federal election. The Stable Population Party (SPP), the Stop Population Growth Now (SPGN) Party in South Australia and their mother organisation, Sustainable Population Australia, are “green washing” their anti-immigration policies to make them more palatable to the electorate.
About sixty people attended a meeting on “America’s Pacific Push” on July 25. Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, spoke about the growing US military presence in the Pacific. Examples included the expansion of a missile test range in Hawaii, the building of a naval base on South Korea’s Jeju Island despite strong resistance from local people, and the plan to station 2500 US troops in Darwin. Gagnon said that US bases in Australia play a crucial role in US military strategy.
Nauru's terrible poverty, stagnant economy and unstable administration has paved the way for its main aid-provider, the Australian government, to sign it up for a similar refugee “deal” as Papua New Guinea. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that refugees who arrived in Australia by boat could be sent for processing and then would “settle and reside” on Nauru.