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<nettime> nettime's refugee digestive
ben moretti on Mon, 28 Jan 2002 04:39:40 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> nettime's refugee digestive

An update on the refugee situation in Australia

[1] Protests grow
[2] Wimpy Labour Party changing tack
[3] Spare room for refugees
[4] Right-wing Australian government trying to silence media over 
detention centres

[1] Protests grow


> Protesters gather at Villawood to support asylum seekers
> A large protest is underway outside the Villawood Detention Centre in
> Sydney's west.
> More than 150 protesters have gathered to voice their anger at mandatory
> detention.
> The protesters are also supporting hunger strikers in South Australia's
> Woomera Detention Centre.
> Sister Susan Connelly, from the Catholic Mary McKillop Foundation, told
> the crowd what she finds hardest to accept is the criminalisation of
> asylum seekers.
> "I believe that one of the worst aspects of the current asylum seeker
> debate is the obliteration of the human identity of the people in
> detention," she said.

[2] Wimpy Labour Party changing tack

Naturally the ALP is changing its position on this issue once the 
election is over and there are no longer any votes in it for them.


> Labor leader Simon Crean has also ended the bipartisan policy on the 
> detention of refugees, calling for the immediate release of all 
> children and their mothers held in centres.
> In an Australia Day address in Brisbane yesterday, Mr Crean said the 
> nation could show compassion when dealing with asylum seekers without 
> being seen as a "soft touch".
> "Australians are becoming increasingly distressed with the plight of 
> the children in detention," he said.
> "One of the principles the Labor Party holds dear is that, regardless 
> of their family background, all children should have the chance to be 
> happy and healthy and get a good education. It's a principle we must be 
> big enough to extend to the children currently held in detention. Their 
> plight is not their fault."
> Mr Crean wants unaccompanied children seeking refugee status to be 
> released immediately into foster care, while other children and their 
> mothers should be supervised in housing in the community.

[3] Spare room for refugees

 From a friend Reginaldo:

> www.spareroomsforrefugees.com
> This is the name of a website run by Julian Burnside and Kate Durham.
> Julian is a barrister in Melbourne who was involved in the Tampa case 
> last
> year...trying to have the Tampa people land and claim refugee status.
> He and his partner have established a network to either provide private
> housing for "official" refugees in Melbourne & Sydney...
> The site gives details of how one can help. I don't know if the scheme 
> has
> spread to Adelaide...
> They also publish names & addresses of some asylum seeker detainees in 
> the
> various centres: Maribyrnong in Melbourne, Woomera, Port Hedland, 
> Perth...
> and suggest that you write to one of them and remind them that not all
> Australians line up with Howard and Ruddock. Also phonecards are 
> requested,
> as they are vital for telephone use in all detention centres. Except
> Woomera, where they are banned!
> I was inspired to read about all these efforts to help. I'll start 
> writing
> tonight...

Can I humbly request that Nettime-L readers of this consider writing to
these people. Readers in Australia may want to consider sending phone

[4] Right-wing Australian government trying to silence media over
detention centres

The right wing Australian government is now attempting to prevent or
restrict the access of media to the detention centre (ie: concentration
camp) at Woomera in South Australia.





> Journalist arrested
> Meanwhile, the Democrats have attacked the government over the arrest 
> of an ABC journalist as the media were ordered to move 200 metres back 
> from where they had been situated at Woomera for eight days.
> During the relocation last night, Natalie Larkins was arrested for 
> failing to leave Commonwealth property.
> Democrats Immigration spokesman Andrew Bartlett says the government had 
> previously been eager to show the media the damage done during last 
> year's riots in the centre.
> "But when there's actually people wanting to voice their concerns in a 
> more peaceful way the government is keeping the media out and obviously 
> arresting anyone who even tries to get closer details of what's 
> actually happening," Senator Bartlett said.
> "I think that's symptomatic of the way the government's been treating 
> this problem basically trying to keep the facts away from the public."
> However the Immigration Department denies it gave any directive to have 
> the media moved.
> The ABC's director of news and current affairs, Max Uechtritz, says the 
> broadcaster will vigorously defend the charge brought against Natalie 
> Larkins.

ben moretti
mailto:bmoretti {AT} chariot.net.au

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