The High Court supports Australia’s offshore concentration camps
In a 6-1 decision, the High Court has ruled in favour of the concentration camp on Nauru. The Australian government can legally arrest innocent people, hold them without trial, ship them off overseas to euphemistically named detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island and then wash their hands of those brutalised in this way and brutalised in the camps.
The decision poses a stark question for the refugee movement. What is the way forward now?
There are 37 babies born here in Australia who will be deported to Nauru. 54 children. 267 refugees all up who will be sent back to the rape factory, the sexual and physical abuse factory that is Nauru. How can we resist this?
My own view is that to win this fight to free the refugees will require the movement, which about 30% of Australians agree with, to move from passive protests to mobilisations that do change minds and which challenges the rule of the oppressor directly. That means civil disobedience.
It means shutting down the centres of the major towns with thousands occupying. It means thousands turning up to stop the deportations to the concentration camps. It means unions banning anything to do with the concentration camps. It means building a radical edge to the movement to do that and to bring the thousands and then tens of thousands in to build that militant campaign of workers and protesters.
There are protests on Thursday across Australia to let them stay. Let’s begin the conversation then for more action.