More blood on Gillard’s hands
A Fijian man in the Villawood concentration camp (euphemistically called a detention centre) committed suicide on Monday morning. He was about to be deported to Fiji.
His blood is on the Prime Minister’s hands.
The asylum seeker concentration camps are hellholes. They imprison people who have committed no crime. They destroy physical and mental health.
Professor Patrick McGorry, Australian of the year, said when he received his award in January this year that detention centres were ‘factories for producing mental illness and mental disorder.’ He went on to say about the refugees that:
They’ve experienced severe torture and trauma. What we have been doing … is adding to those mental health problems.
McGorry called for these mental health factories to be closed and those in them to be allowed to live in the community.
Julia Gillard was then Deputy Prime Minister. Not satisfied with the blood of Afghan and Iraqi civilians dripping from her hands this warmonger defended mandatory detention.
Rather than leading, she pandered to the reactionary current in Australian society and those influenced by it to defend mandatory detention. She joined them.
It was Paul Keating and his Labor Party Government which introduced mandatory detention in 1992 supposedly to shore up the Western Sydney vote.
All this pandering to racism does is make Tony Abbott and his version of reaction look respectable.
A left wing Government would challenge racist ideas and explain patiently why they are wrong. But not Labor, whose final death rattle as a progressive party of the centre-left in both practice (long ago abandoned if it ever existed) and rhetoric we are witnessing.
It is no accident the political leaders responsible for the massacre of the innocents in Afghanistan and Iraq attack asylum seekers. They are two sides of the same coin.
Expanding Australian capitalism in the region through an alliance with US imperialism requires a few blood sacrifices – 21 Australian soldiers and innumerable and unknown Afghan civilians are a small price to pay.
Demonising asylum seekers, refugees, Muslims and aborigines is all apart of the wider strategy to cement the working class to the continued rule of the profit bludgers. It matters naught to Gillard that a few detainees die. It furthers her political objectives.
And what now in these hellholes? According to a statement from the Refugee Action Coalition:
This is the third death in a detention centre under the Labor government. Three Tamil asylum seekers in Villawood have attempted suicide in recent weeks and there have been serious suicide attempts on Christmas Island.
16 asylum seekers have been on dry hunger strike for 3 days, meaning they are taking no fluids. Their condition is deteriorating rapidly.
Now asylum seekers are on the roof of the detention centre demanding freedom. At the time of writing some are threatening to jump to their deaths.
‘Mandatory detention is killing people – some quickly some more slowly,’ said Ian Rintoul spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. ‘Rather than expanding detention centres, they should be closed. ‘
The apologists for these detention centre death factories will split hairs and argue the Fijian detainee wasn’t a refugee, or didn’t come by boat, or that it was just something no-one could have predicted blah, blah, blah. They are doing this to defend the indefensible – Australia’s concentration camps.
It was American independence fighter Patrick Henry who in the run up to the American Revolution supposedly said: Give me liberty or give me death.
Julia Gillard is delivering death to those seeking liberty. Close down the detention centre concentration camps.