Darwin: Teenage prison riot injures guard and causes $50,000 damage

5 January: A prison riot by teenagers in Darwin has left a guard injured and caused $50,000 worth of damage to the Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre. NT Police were called to the prison about 6:00pm on Sunday after the teenagers armed themselves with broken glass and poles.

The teenagers smashed windows and doors in the prison’s G-block before setting it on fire in the 40-minute rampage. The ABC understands a toaster was used to set fire to a mattress.

One of the teenagers managed to get onto the roof of the prison, but all of the group eventually surrendered after a prison unit responded. Continue reading “Darwin: Teenage prison riot injures guard and causes $50,000 damage”

Darwin: Teenagers escape prison cells

14 September: Two teenagers escaped from their cells at the new prison in Darwin’s rural area but did not get out of the prison precinct. Police said the 16 and 15-year-old males broke out of their cells around 3:00am and were found sitting on the roof of the prison. Duty Superintendent Rob Burgoyne said the pair came down from the roof after an hour and were returned to their cells.

The NT Government decided to move juveniles out of the Don Dale juvenile detention centre after a break-out in August, when five teenagers escaped, with two remaining on the run for almost four days.

A few weeks later tear gas was used against six teenagers who escaped their cells, armed themselves with glass and smashed windows and light fittings. Corrections Commissioner Ken Middlebrook said he believed the teenagers, aged between 14 and 17 years, were protesting being placed in the secure unit after five of them had escaped earlier.

“I think they were trying to create as much damage as they possibly could to disable those cells so that they couldn’t be kept there,” he said. Continue reading “Darwin: Teenagers escape prison cells”

Darwin: two teenage asylum seekers flee immigration detention

31 July: Two teenage asylum seekers have fled from detention in Darwin, the Immigration Department has confirmed.

The ABC understands the two are unaccompanied Vietnamese boys, both aged 16, who were moved by the department to Darwin from Adelaide a month ago.

The pair had previously been living in community detention in Adelaide and attending Woodville High School.

Woodville principal Meredith Edwards said staff and students were devastated that the boys had been sent to Darwin.

“These are 16-year-old boys and up until now, they’ve committed no crime,” she said.

She has been told the boys ran away while they were attending classes at Sanderson High, a school in Darwin’s northern suburbs that teaches many asylum seekers detained at the Wickham Point detention centre. Continue reading “Darwin: two teenage asylum seekers flee immigration detention”

Darwin: prison disturbance

26 April: As many as 50 prisoners at the Berrimah Prison are in lockdown after a “disturbance” forced the highly trained Immediate Action Squad into a rare show of strength.

Department of Corrections spokesman David Harris said prisoners from C Block had been locked in a dining area on Friday while guards conducted a routine search of the cells.

A group of them — between 40 and 50 — then began to shout and bash on the windows, triggering a swift response from the IAS, who subdued the mob and marched the offending prisoners back to their cells. Continue reading “Darwin: prison disturbance”

Darwin: Rowdy anti-election action as anarchists burn campaign posters and also activists’ banner

325: On Friday the 6th of September as the farce of Australia’s federal election came to a close we decided to breathe some more fire into the mix.

50 + political posters with the names, faces and political parties who claim to want to “represent” us were collected throughout the night and as we descended on a footbridge across Trower Rd we noticed some do-gooder activists had already visited. With a banner reading “Don’t vote for Abbott, preserve your lifestyle” being immediately removed, covered in petrol and blanketed in party posters we set the kindling ablaze and had 2 banners hanging over the road below it; “FUCK THE VOTE” and “FREEDOM NOW.” They greeted the traffic and the authorities that arrived to deal with it. It was rather pretty when it all went up 5 metres off the ground across three lanes of traffic.

We will not vote at the ballot, we will vote with fire, we will not vote at the polls but we’ll do it with poles.

Much respect to all fire starters in Australia, we march forward with much inspiration. To all comrades imprisoned and on the run – eternal solidarity.

Darwin (almost) Ninja League

Darwin: police attacked breaking up NYE party

January 1: Police were attacked with rocks and bottles when they went to break up a riotous party on the outskirts of Darwin.

More than 30 officers spent several hours dispersing drunks. Senior Sergeant Bob Harrison said the confrontation tied up “valuable police resources”.

About 60 of the 300 people at the party in Humpty Doo spilled out onto the road and began shooting fireworks at passing cars and into neighbouring properties.

The mob turned on police when they arrived. Snr Sgt Harrison said there was also brawls and glass-smashing. Continue reading “Darwin: police attacked breaking up NYE party”

Darwin: roof top protest at detention centre

Refugee Action Coalition: Four long-term Iranian asylum seekers occupied the roof of the Northern Immigration Detention Centre from Wednesday April 18 unitl Thursday, when a Serco tactical response group broke up thier protest. The four protesters taken off the roof are now in the high security isolation section of the detention centre.

Another Iranian asylum seeker attempted suicide in the NIDC on Friday evening. The high security facility is notorious for its toxic environment – producing one of the highest rates of self-harm and attempted suicide of any of the detention centres.

Over the Easter weekend, Serco management warned NIDC asylum seekers that any moves – even waving a hand – to support protests outside the centre would result in their files being handed to the federal police and put an end to any hopes of the detainees being released on community detention.

2011: Detention Centres

Just some of many:

12 March –Christmas Island

At least 150 detainees break out of the detention centre. All Serco guards withdraw from the compound to search for them.

18 March –Christmas Island

As many as 300 detainees were involved in a protest that saw two administration buildings and seven accommodation tents burnt. Asylum seekers armed with bricks and poles charged police and the perimeter fences. Some rioters breached the perimeter wall. Police responded with tear gas and bean bag rounds. The protests started in response to a letter asylum seekers received from Canberra.

20 April – Villawood (Sydney)

At least nine buildings were set alight in a protest at Villawood Detention centre which involved up to 100 immigration detainees. The disturbance grew out of a rooftop protest by a number of asylum seekers.

Sandi Logan, an immigration spokesperson, said:

“From time to time, frankly quite unacceptable, quite appalling non-compliant behaviours have occurred.”

10 June –Christmas Island

About 100 detainees joined in an overnight protest when guards tried to take a detainee to the feared “red block” isolation unit. Detainees, some of whom armed themselves with metal poles and broken concrete, protested at the perimeter of the detention centre and pelted police and guards with projectiles.

This was the worst disturbance at the centre since riots in March, but there is said to have been some kind of disturbance at the facility, every night since the March riots, with at least three separate attacks on guards in the past month.

14 July – Villawood (Sydney)

17 People were caught while attempting a mass break-out from Villawood Detention centre

13-20 July –Darwin

A seven-day rooftop protest by five asylum seekers. 

19-21 July –Christmas Island

There were two nights of rioting at Christmas Island detention centre. More than 10 protesters on the roof of the detention centre set fire to sheets, and tents and rubbish bins were also torched. Serco guards withdrew from the detention centre as asylum seekers broke down fences and opened doors to allow free movement between the compounds inside the detention centre.

The major protest follows a series of smaller roof-top protests, and the lock down of the detention centre over the previous week. Federal police responded with tear gas and bean bag rounds.

September – Darwin

On two occasions over a number of weeks, 20-30 people buried themselves in a hole dug for construction in the compound. There were also daily protests by up to 70 detainees for several months, involving all nationalities in the detention centre– Iranians, Iraqis, Afghans, Burmese and Ahwaj Arab Iranian minority.

Proposals from Serco in response to the protests, to change the food, offer more fruit, bring singers into detention have only inflamed the tempers of the asylum seekers, who demanded an end to their long-term detention.

22 Oct – Scherger detention centre (far north Qld)

Following an assault on a Tamil refugee by a Serco officer, which left him with several broken teeth and a suspected broken nose among other injuries, other asylum seekers responded with a melee that left several broken windows and chairs. They surrounded the injured Tamil to prevent him being removed from the compound

8-10 November –Darwin

On Tuesday 8 November, people who had been detained for up to 22 months went on a rampage and destroyed computers, TVs, washing machines, tables and other fittings. Two days later there was another destructive protest, when Serco guards and Federal Police entered the compound to capture and remove about 10 men to Christmas Island as punishment.