refugee rights

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the Villawood detention centre. Most of what I knew came from mainstream media, which usually ignores a particular perspective: that of the refugees themselves.

“Queue-jumpers”, “expensive”, “unwelcome”, “should be sent back” are common themes. This rhetoric reduces asylum seekers and their experiences to nothing more than blood-sucking parasites looking for a warm place to nestle.

“Boat people” make up only 3% of all refugees coming to Australia. The rest arrive in planes. Where’s all the hype about “plane people”?

The conspicuous presence of barbed wire in Australian immigration detention centres, such as Rudd’s newly re-opened Curtin detention centre, is a reminder of the inhuman pedigree of these grim despair factories.

It is no accident that barbed wire — or the “devil’s rope” as the First Nations people of North America called it — has accompanied and facilitated many of the worst crimes against humanity of the modern era.

“Stop trampling rights to win votes”; “Stop breaking laws to win votes”; “Stop racist policy risking lives” and “Stop the freeze on asylum seekers' rights” were key slogans at a rally organised by Amnesty International and other human rights organisations on May 8, as part of a national day of action.

The 300 protesters heard from Chaman Shah Nasiri, a Hazara refugee from Afghanistan who had suffered in the now-closed Nauru detention camp under previous Coalition prime minister John Howard's Pacific Solution policy.

In the United States, Google-owned video-sharing site YouTube has banned the video for hip hop star M.I.A.’s new single “Born Free”, citing the graphic nature of its content.

More than nine minutes long, the clip, directed by Romain Gavras, begins with heavily armed soldiers with US flags on their uniforms raiding someone’s home. The location is not known, but the setting is reminiscent of Baghdad or the Palestinian West Bank.

Forty refugee rights supporters protested outside Labor foreign minister Stephen Smith's office on April 23, demanding an end to the government's "freeze" on asylum-seeker applications from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Speakers included Refugee Rights Action Network members Phil Chilton and Victoria Martin-Iverson, Socialist Alliance candidate for Perth Alex Bainbridge and Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.

The next action planned by the Refugee Rights Action Network is an overnight vigil outside the Perth Immigration Detention Centre on May 7.

Over April 19-20, Indonesian police and naval officers forced almost 150 Tamils onto buses at Port Merak and took them to the Tanjung Pinang detention centre. For seven months, more than 250 Tamils had withstood appalling conditions aboard a squalid boat at the West Java port.

Their hope was for refugee status in Australia. Their fear was of being locked up in Indonesian detention centres or deported back to Sri Lanka.

Two hundred and seventy people gathered for the Resistance 2010: The World Can't Wait! conference in Thirroul, near Wollongong, over April 24-26. The national conference brought together young activists from all over Australia to discuss a broad range of political issues and to get organised in the face of an uncertain future.

Are you concerned about the refugees imprisoned on Manus and Nauru?

Join us for a weekly vigil to help raise awareness of their plight.

We're back at parliament house from 4.30 to 5.30pm. Then walking to the southern end of the footbridge to hand out flyers to those going to the big bash finals.
It will be great if you can join us in getting information about what's happening on Manus and Nauru out there.

Gathering at politicans' offices with 12 empty chairs and 12 pairs of shoes representing the deaths of 12 people in detention or in community. 

Time:   3.30pm - Gather outside Richard Marles office 17a Yarra St Geelong

             4.30pm - Gather outside Sarah Hendersons office 195 Colac Rd Waurn Ponds

             5.30pm - Gather at corner of Latrobe Terrace & Ryrie St Geelong with banners

Actions organised by the Combined Refugee Action Group as part of a week of national protest action.

Evacuate Manus NOW!

Saturday November 25 @ 2pm
The Perth Cultural Centre, 47 James St Mall, Northbridge

Hosted by Refugee Rights Action Network Perth

https://www.facebook.com/events/185759778640477/ 

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