Archive for 'Refugees'
Refugee advocates have called on the parliamentary Labor Party not to support any Coalition legislation aimed at saving offshore processing from a successful High Court challenge. The Human Rights Legal Centre’s challenge seems to have exposed what so many felt for a long time – that offshore processing is illegal. It certainly has exploded the lie that offshore processing is the responsibility of Nauru and PNG.
On asylum seekers Labor has been hoist with their own petard. It would be laughable if it were not so serious. The time has come for Labor to abandon the stink bomb that is their refugee policy and welcome those fleeing war, rape, imprisonment and persecution. I know that will not happen. It is up to refugee activists to continue our long fight to defend asylum seekers. Instead of Labor and Liberal lies, that means, as a start and as Red Cross has shown, telling the truth about our abandoned brothers and sisters and exposing Labor and the government for the liars and criminals they are. It means pointing out too that the government (of whatever neoliberal persuasion) that is attacking workers and the poor also attacks asylum seekers. We are all in this together.
No matter how badly Abbott and co treat asylum seekers, many workers will still have insecure, poorly paid unfulfilling jobs. Joining in the demonisation of refugees won’t change that and only reinforces and assists the very people who create the rotten system that gives us rotten jobs and enables them to worsen our conditions. While the one sided class war the bosses have waged successfully against us cannot go on for ever, mass class struggle isn’t going to break out in the immediate future. Instead we may well see Captain Crook and his listing ship Team Australia win the next election on the back of demonising asylum seekers, MUSLIM!!!!! terrorists and lifestyle choice Aborigines while a pathetic Opposition cheers them on and a cowed labour movement continues its surrender.
“The Australian government is playing with asylum seekers’ lives,” said Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition. “It is suddenly obvious that offering ‘turnback’ advice to Malaysia and Indonesia cannot save lives at sea, but only endanger them.” “The boats must be welcome in Indonesia and Malaysia, and Australia. Australia must immediately lift its ban on accepting UNHCR refugees from Indonesia and offer Rohingyan refugees safe passage to Australia. An international rescue effort can guarantee that no lives are lost.”
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums imprisoned in Australia’s asylum seeker concentration camps. Here is a GetUp! video on the issue.
Successive governments have closed Australia’s borders to asylum seekers. Without a demand to unequivocally “open the borders”, regional processing simply perpetuates the rotten political pillars that underpin the present policies of both major parties.
Australia’s detention centres are concentration camps.
Writing in the Irish Socialist Worker Memet Uludag argues that we must support refugees, oppose the imperialism that drowns them at sea and build a political alternative that embraces our humanity, not hatred. Among other things Memet explains the increase in deaths this year in the Mediterranean are the result of rotten racist anti-immigrant policy changes by the EU.
My own view is that for the refugee movement in Australia to defend asylum seekers and to defeat the rotten, cruel, inhuman and rights abusing policies of both the Liberals and Labor we need to begin to have a discussion about civil disobedience as the next step in our campaign to free the refugees from Australia’s concentration camps here and offshore and from the hellholes in Indonesia and Malaysia.
The Moss Review exposes the sexual and physical brutality on Nauru and all Tony Abbott can say is ‘things happen’
Let’s build the demonstrations against this sexual and physical brutality and violence and for refugees this coming Sunday, Palm Sunday, in capital and other cities across Australia. See you there.