Tag Archives: Refugees
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If G4S is to blame for Manus violence, the government has blood on its hands

28 Feb

Comment is free If G4S is to blame for Manus violence, the government has blood on its hands

It’s up to every day Australians to demand better. Regardless of whether or not you think asylum seekers should be stopped or held in detention until processed, abuse and abandonment is hardly the ground for a proud and free democratic nation to stand on, or just step away from. If we are truly a mature(ing) nation, we must insist this is not done in our name nor allow it to happen to any person. We would react strongly if it happened to animals (and quite rightly). But, to do nothing when it is happening to people ostensibly, and mostly found to be, seeking help, it is not only complicit, it is anathema to a nation’s very heart. Australia abusing, or being complicit in abuse, is not a way to hold our head high to ourselves, let alone to the world. We are losing our way by choosing the dark path. Don’t look externally for the lit path, it lies within. It’s what gives and makes character, pride, and strength. Come on, Australia. Are you up to it?

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Court gets tough on Manus rights case

27 Feb

Court gets tough on Manus rights case

The PNG National Court is prepared to do what the Australian Government has a responsibility to do but refuses. It’s an extremely dangerous time when the government keeps secrets even when such a dreadful incidence as what happened on Manus Island in an Australian detention centre results in over 70 injuries and one murder. This is being done in our name. And it’s being done in secret. Hard to not think gulag, concentration camps, torture chambers; all done to people who are found guilty of no crime, are given no hope, and if/when processed are found to be over 90% genuine in refugee status. This is not good enough, Australia. What are you going to do about it? To be ‘helpless’ is to be complicit.

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Morrison the Evangelical Jailer

30 Dec

Morrison the Evangelical Jailer

Scott Morrison is an evangelical. The church he worships at is closely aligned to Hill Song. That is his business. However, he brings his evangelical zeal to the way he carries out his treatment of asylum seekers. This is our business. And it is completely unacceptable.

It is past time Australians of all political persuasions, religions, ethnicity or age bracket accepted this concentration camp style of treating asylum seekers. Whether they are genuine refugees or not, it is a reflection of us not them when we punish them, treat them inhumanely and don’t test their claims fully.

This is not the Australia I’ve spent more than 60 years helping build, nor the social attitude of the people I’ve known Australians to be. It is abrogation of responsibility, of humanity, to just ignore, accept or self-doubt what the government is doing. Everything they do, they do in our name. They represent us, they work for us, they are us.

If non-refugees, or criminals are found among the asylum seekers, they can be dealt with by sending them home. However, 90%+ are found to be genuine refugees yet we treat them first as criminals and as less than human, even the children. This is not only appalling, it is on all our hands if we allow it. We are paying for this mistreatment in dollars, but we are paying an even bigger price in who we are as a people and the legacy we leave our children.

The time has more than come for Australians to stand up and act with courage by telling the government that this is unacceptable and must stop.

If you believe it is done to stop people drowning at sea, it is not. For that to be true, the government would spend money, far less than we spend now on gulags, to ensure better quicker processing offshore and with safe travel assistance. They do not. Actions speak louder than words, however, the words are unsaid, the questions are unanswered, the facts uncorrected.

This alone, the silence, the secrecy, is totally unacceptable in a free and open democracy. Regardless of what any politician says, we are not at war with these people. They do not arrive in armed vessels carrying weapons, intention or plans to overthrow us. They come pleading for help.

For help.

We even take their medication off them and make them wait weeks or more before returning it, if at all. Then we make them stand in the sun for hours, often several times a day, to line up for a dose.

There is not a redeeming feature about our current treatment of asylum seekers. Our actions, and they are our actions because they are done in our name with our tax dollars, are despicable no matter how you look at it. To not stand up and say NO to this cruelty is to condone it. To condone it is equal to perpetrating it as it would be for you to kick a dog that has just been run over. Or to punish a child for getting sick. You might rail against this notion, but deep down, you know it is true.

Please, for the sake of your own humanity if not theirs, write directly to Scott Morrison, snail mail as email is too easily ignored but post is always opened and read, to tell him to stop what he is doing right now, to find humane solutions and to be fully open and accountable. And insist he does so. It is the responsibility of all Australians to do so, to end this shocking and extreme inhumanity now.

Temporary Protection Visas Don’t Work

7 Dec

Modern Australia is built on people arriving on boats, including the current PM. Abbott and Howard and Pyne, in particular, love to pontificate on wonderful modern Australia and its British heritage; but it would never be – apart from the rich resources in the ground – without the many migrants and refugees who chose to build their lives here. They build modern Australia, not a few white male politicians with a one shoe fits all approach. TPVs will lead to more incidents like SIEV X and risks radicalising young people who feel unwelcome and utterly disenfranchised. It also risks sending genuine refugees back to torture and/or death. When applied exclusively to those who arrive by boat but not those who arrive by air, it is doubly cruel. If you are more ‘middle class’ in your country of persecution, have paperwork and the ability to escape with papers in tact, then you are approved; but if you are poor, have no papers or cannot risk carrying your papers, you are further persecuted. This is not the Australia I want to leave to my children or my children’s children. We are selling ourselves and our forebears short if we continue down this path; and we build risk where none need be.

To read a first hand account, follow this link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/05/i-am-a-former-tpv-holder-here-is-why-they-do-not-work?CMP=twt_gu&commentpage=1

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