This article published in the Guardian this morning was only possible because of the contact RRAN advocates had last night with the men on Manus.
Phone credit also means communication with family can be done without every word spoken being listened to or every message sent being watched by guards. Lawyers can be contacted and even on occasion journalists spoken with. Most importantly of all, those seeking asylum have the opportunity to become friends with everyday Australians who do not agree with what is being done to them. We can share with them photos and videos of our protests and rallies. We can offer support and friendship. We can tell them we will never give up until they are free.
Smart phones are considered contraband as transparency is not something the Australian, Nauruan or PNG governments are keen on. The Australian government and opposition don’t want those in Nauru and Manus to know not everyone supports the policy of offshore detention. They want those who have fled persecution and asked us for asylum to give up and go home.
Phone credit in Nauru and Manus is expensive. Advocates pay for it themselves and we are finding it difficult to sustain. Please help us continue to provide an avenue for the voices of those incarcerated to be heard and for us to share the message of WELCOME by contributing to our communication fund.
$40 per month covers monthly credit for one person on Nauru and $38 per month covers monthly credit for one person on Manus. If you wish to make a regular donation towards phone credits you can set up a regular donation into an account set up to fund the regular credits RRAN does. Any amount is helpful and welcome.
Please make any contributions to the RRAN account with “phone credit” as the deposit description.
Account name: Refugee Rights Action Network (WA)
Bank: National Australia Bank
Account number: 53-142-9447
#LET THEM STAY #BRING THEM HERE
While the focus of the Palm Sunday marches this year will be the fate of 267 asylum seekers who are at risk of being returned to Nauru, we also remember the broader issues and other people who suffer under Austrlia’s asylum seeker policies.
The dissatisfaction with these asylum seeker polices has never been stronger. The policies have never been worse. Bi-partisan support for the current regime is almost total.
Men, women and children of all ages continue to be detained and ‘processed’ in the off shore black sites of Manus Island and Nauru. Places where they have been raped, assaulted and in one case murdered by staff.
Even those found to be refugees are not being offered durable solutions or realistic options to resettle and recover from their refugee experience. All at a cost of billions of dollars to the Australian taxpayer.
On shore there are still people being detained for periods of up to seven years or more. There are still thousands and thousands of people on bridging visas waiting for a decision on their asylum claims. The new ‘fast track’ process that they are subject to is patently unfair and unjust. The best that these people can hope for is some form of temporary visa if they are found to be refugees. They will have no certainty, no ability to be reunited with family or to bring their loved ones to safety.
And then there are those in increasing number who have been refused visas all together. Asylum seekers are in need of our protection, not more difficulty. We are inviting people from all walks of life to express their dissatisfaction with the current asylum seeker policy in a peaceful walk through the streets of Perth.
We have had very successful Palm Sunday peaceful walks in 2014 and 2015. We want 2016 to be the biggest yet!
Protest against sending families back to Nauru.
In the wake of the High Court decision on so-called ‘offshore processing’, there are dozens of children and hundreds of adults who are now vulnerable to being returned to the hell hole of so-called ‘open detention’ on Nauru. This includes children and adults who have been sexually assaulted, as well as physically and psychologically assaulted. None of the perpetrators have been held to account. Nauru is not a safe place for asylum seekers and refugees. Nauru is not offering permanent resettlement even for people determined to be refugees.
Join RRAN and other allied groups from a broad cross section of the Australian community to voice our collective disgust and absolute opposition with the government’s stated intention to send these people back to Nauru. They sought protection here. It’s Australia’s obligation under international law to consider those claims, not simply shunt people off to places where there is no protection to be had and no safety while they are subject to this farcical process.
Stand with us, stand in the way, let them stay.
6.30 PM. Thursday 4th of February.
Perth Immigration Residential Housing
97 Kanowna Ave East, Redcliffe.
‘Allen’ contacted us recently. He is back in Afghanistan. Sadly our airport action was not successful in preventing his deportation in spite of achieving a good turn out. We knew it was unlikely to succeed. The point is to not allow these deportations to occur without dissent and to build our campaign to the point that this sort of refoulement is not politically viable.
We lost this one, but we are not giving up. We continue the fight because we know that this is an issue with much broader consequences that just the welfare of the people suffering in front of us.
UPDATE: Latest information 10.30 am. This Deportation appears to be going ahead. Barring a last minute reprieve we will be meeting at Perth International Airport, terminal T1 from 6pm to flyer passengers and crew.
We deduce that he is going to be on Emirates flight EK421 departing at 22:10.
‘Allen’ is an ethnic Tajik from Afghanistan. Last month the Australian Border Farce (oops force), tried to deport him to danger. We hope that some brave souls on the flight will object to ‘Allen’ being deported on that flight. It is within the purview of the captain to disembark ‘Allen’.
Kabul is a war zone at the moment. There was a car bomb and deaths at the airport in Kabul only yesterday!
We believe ‘Allen’ will be in danger. He has refused to cooperate with his deportation. He has refused a repatriation package, even though he knows that this means indefinite detention in Australia. He has already spent three years in detention here. For him, detention is better than death. A fate already suffered by his brothers and father.
So join us at T1 from 6.00 pm.
No Deportations to Danger.
-Watch our for updates in case the deportation is cancelled … again-
Perth Detention Centre: Corner Baker st & McComb st Redcliffe
This Saturday RRAN will be putting mandatory detention on trial. If you can’t wait to see the likes of Abbott and Rudd in the dock for their abuses of refugees then join us in the people’s court for this creative protest outside Perth Immigration Detention Centre 1pm this Saturday.
We will be sharing testimonials of people detained on Nauru and Manus during the trial.
4.00 pm, Friday 22 May, 2015
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
836 Wellington Street
West Perth (Next to Harbour Town)
– Rescue the Rohingyan refugees
– End Boat Turn Backs
– Australia must resettle refugees from Indonesia
Having spent up to 3 months on boats, being turned away from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, up to 8000 Rohingyan asylum seekers are now stranded in the Malacca Straits and Andaman sea. 200 are already dead and more are at risk from dehydration and starvation.
It has become glaringly obvious that turn backs don’t save lives – they cause deaths.
Instead of calling for and joining a collaborative rescue effort, Tony Abbott has shamelessly stated his support for Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in turning back Rohingyan asylum seekers. What’s more Tony Abbott has advocated for more resources to be invested in securing the Burmese border to prevent Rohingya refugees from being able to escape their abuse and persecution.
The stateless Rohingyans are victims of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Indonesia has offered support to around 600 Rohingyan asylum seekers who have landed in Aceh. Australia must immediately lift its ban on accepting UNHCR refugees from Indonesia and offer Rohingyan refugees safe passage to Australia.
The lives of the Rohingyan asylum seekers rest in the hands of regional governments of Australia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Every hour that passes without assistance puts more lives in danger.
In solidarity with those in Yongah Hill who had been staging a roof top protest on Thursday and Friday the 19th and 20th of March some RRAN activists and other supporters traveled up to Yongah Hill to protest on the hill opposite the detention centre on the evening of Friday the 20th.
Our reasons for going were,
- to show solidarity with those detained
- to help them highlight the deteriorating conditions in the centre
- to object to indefinite mandatory detention without charge or trial
This is an account of this action.
About 15 people in total held a small but passionate protest on the hill which overlooks Yongah Hill detention centre last ngiht to support the men who had spent Thursday night on the roof of one of the compounds protesting against the lenght of their detention and the conditions in which they are detained.
We arrived about 6pm and the detention centre seemed pretty quiet; we couldn’t see anyone walking around or hear any noise. We received a message form a man detained within the centre who reported that Serco had ended the protest late afternoon.
One man voluntarily came down from the roof and was crash tackled by Serco officers, which had sparked other people in detention to argue with staff in his defence.
While all was quiet we started chanting ‘Freedom!’ and ‘Azadi!’ (freedom in Farsi), beeping our car horns and flashing our headlights to let the guys know we were there to support them. We then heard the guys start responding with whistles and chanting. Pretty quickly we saw some men climb onto the roof of the centre and the chanting became much louder.
We received an update from one of the men detained in the centre who explained that the protest had now spread across all compounds within the Yongah hill IDC and about 30 people were on the roof.
We saw the police drive into the centre. A couple of large vehicles arrived. We thought they may have been the portable cells the police use. However they could have also been carrying the AFP riot squad. We received another report from within the centre saying the Serco officers and other staff had left the compounds and only asylum seekers remained there. I assume this is the moment when the AFP riot squad entered the centre.
I should point out that at this point there was no riot taking place. This is how the detention regime and the police respond to lawful, peaceful protest by asylum seekers bringing attention to their suffering.
The protest continued for quite some time. We could clearly hear people chanting ‘Freedom!’ and we started chanting back and forth in response to each other. Apparently the centre refused to serve them food (it was dinner time) while the protest continued so people remained in their compounds rather than in the meal area.
Suddenly the chanting appeared to stop and apart from the occasional voice we could not really hear people. Someone closer to the fence later reported that at that time a quick series of snapping/popping sounds could be heard which silenced the chanting. We suspect this was the sound of flash grenades or a similar device being released by the AFP into the compounds (these have commonly been used in previous detention centre protests).
We also received reports from within the centre that police dogs had been brought into the compounds. From the hill we could hear the dogs barking. It appears the police were walking form compound to compound intimidating people and picking off those people they believed to be ‘the ringleaders’ of the protest. We received a report that a number of the men had been removed from their compounds.
Later in the night we could see people running around the compound and hear more of the popping sounds from before. There was no loud chanting at this stage but clearly people were still protesting and running away from the police within the compounds. We tried taking photos but did not have a camera with strong enough to zoom for a clear shot. We continued making noise with our cars, continued chanting, and we raised the massive F.R.E.E.D.O.M letters on the hill which can be seen within the centre.
We received a final message form our contact within the centre thanking people for their support and explaining that the small demonstration of solidarity had been a huge lift to their spirits. They told everyone to drive home safely. About 10:30 we left feeling a mix of emotions. We were happy to have shown these guys that their protests are being heard within the community and we were glad that even though our protest on the hill was small it was a significant boost to the spirits of the people trapped inside the detention centre, so much so that they had the strength and the spark to expand their protest for a second night.
However, as always, we left feeling incredibly angry that people are subjected to this abuse and that we weren’t able to physically stand with the guys in the centre as they resisted the heavy-handed force of the AFP and Serco.
I look forward to the day when our movement is lagre enough and strong enough to step in and put an end to this nightmare.
Free the Refugees!
Join the RRAN contingent
Sunday 29-03-2015, 1.00 PM
St. Georges Cathedral forecourt
38 St Georges Terrace, Perth
The regime for refugees who arrive by boat has been getting even worse since the Federal Election in 2013, if you can believe it.
The legislation that was passed in December 2014 by threatening to keep children in detention indefinitely has created a framework that is completely inconsistent with any aspiration to respect human rights, international law and common human compassion.
Australia is becoming a significant human rights abuser, with the International Criminal Court now commencing an investigation and all international human rights bodies condemning Australian policy.
In spite of this bipartisan support for the basic policy framework seems a solid as ever. This includes,
- Indefinite mandatory detention without charge or trial
- Offshore processing that has resulted in staff murdering and maiming men Manus and sexually assaulting children on Nauru
- For those sent offshore, no realistic prospect of ever finding any permanent solution even when found to be a refugee
This is only the tip of the iceberg of cruel, insidious and vindictive policies and practices that pervade refugee policy and law. Increasingly we are seeing that approach leech across into other areas of public policy.
If we are to see any change it is up to us to force that change.
It is up to us, we the ordinary people in the community who think that the lives and welfare of refugees, or anyone else, should not be subservient to the political interests of our political leaders.
Justice denied to one is a threat to justice for all.
Be a part of this growing community movement for justice for refugees. Join us on Palm Sunday and help create a better Australia that respects human rights, international conventions and rejects the sort of hateful and cruel politics on offer by both the major political parties.
RRAN MeetingsRRAN WA is currently meeting on Mondays from 6.30pm at the Activist Centre, U15/5 Aberdeen Street, Perth (just north of the McIver Train Station). For more details, send us a message via our Contact RRAN WA page, or call/text us on 0412 860 168. Fremantle RRAN meets at 6pm on the first and third Wednesday of each month at The Federal Hotel, 23 William St Fremantle. Contact Fremantle RRAN