Sydney: Refugee solidarity protestors clash with police outside Liberal Party dinner

11 Nov – Former prime minister Tony Abbott’s sister, Sydney councillor Christine Forster, had her “favourite jacket” ripped as she tried to enter a Liberal Party fundraiser surrounded by hundreds of Manus Island detention protesters.

Riot police formed a human chain to shield guests arriving for a Liberal Party fundraiser from several hundred Manus Island protesters who had formed outside the Friday night event which was also attended by Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

Cr Forster had to be helped through the crowds by police and had her jacket torn in the crossfire.

“Basically a melee broke out, it was a riot,” she said.

“It was an extraordinary situation, it was very unpleasant, it was dangerous for everybody, it was an aggressive, awful, scary situation.

“I’m a local City of Sydney councillor and I don’t want to ever have this kind of stuff happening in my electorate.”

Cr Forster said people should able to walk into an event “unmolested, unassaulted and unattacked”.

“It was shocking to me and it was dangerous. People were trying to punch us, people ripped the jacket off my back … If you want to make your political protest, anyone can make a political protest anywhere in Australia, but you don’t do it like that.”

“It was a very unpleasant, unnecessary, dangerous situation that those people put everybody in,” she said.

“It was a situation that I have never been in and I would never choose to be in ever again. It’s my favourite jacket and it’s shredded sadly and it was shredded off me from behind.

“It was a very volatile and extraordinarily surprising situation to me.”

The protesters were calling for the Immigration Minster to restore services to the now-closed Manus Island detention centre and bring the remaining asylum seekers to Australia.

The Australian Government had officially closed the detention centre on the Papua New Guinea Island on October 31.

On Friday, refugees and asylum seekers on Manus island told the ABC they were “extremely scared” as workers tore down fences around the compound.

The Papua New Guinea Government also put up a notice warning “force may be used to relocate those who refuse to move voluntarily”.

Protesters outside the Liberal Party event at Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh spoke on loudspeakers and harassed and berated guests, with police forced to intervene several times.

Hundreds of protesters came with whistles, pots and pans, shouting “Abbott, Dutton, blood on your hands” and “Shame on you” to the guests who made their way through through the crowd.

Activist Lily Campbell said she was protesting because Mr Dutton and Mr Abbott were “responsible for the siege on Manus Island right now”.

“I think every refugee should be brought here and should be granted asylum in Australia,” she said.

“I can’t believe the state it’s got to on Manus Island,” another protester, Margaret Walters, said.

“It’s just atrocious … they should never have been put in an offshore detention camp.”

Hundreds of people also marched through central Melbourne calling on the Federal Government to assist refugees at the Manus Island detention centre.

The rally began at the State Library before demonstrators marched along Swanston Street.

There were no arrests.

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Sydney: Manus Solidarity Graffiti on the Department of Immigration HQ

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8 Nov – Graffiti in solidarity with the refugees on Manus Island painted on the headquarters of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Sydney, so-called Australia.

Graffiti reads: ‘FREE THE REFUGEES’ , ‘161 WSC’ (Western Sydney Crew).

via: Insurrection News

Melb: Report on the Melbourne Cup Disruptions for Manus Refugees

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8 Nov – RISE: Refugee Survivors and ex-Detainees called for a Day of Action on November 7 in solidarity with over 600 refugee men who are currently blockaded inside the former Australian-government run detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. The Australian government imprisoned the men on Manus as part of their despicable policy of mandatory detention for all refugees who tried to enter Australian territories by boat.

The detention centre has been officially closed by the Australian government and all essential services have been cut including water and electricity. Papua New Guinea police and military have been preventing food and other essential items from entering the detention centre. The Australian government are refusing to take any responsibility or duty of care for the refugees and have been actively blocking other countries from accepting them, insisting that the men must move to a new centre that have been built on Manus. This centre is not safe nor is it equipped to meet the needs of the refugees who are justifiably fearful of being attacked by angry locals who do not want the refugees in their communities. As a result of this situation the 600 men are refusing to leave the Australian detention centre and have been calling on the international community to intervene and help them. Conditions inside the detention centre are grim – no food, no water, no sewage, no electricity and no medical facilities.

The Day of Action was called for November 7th to coincide with the annual Melbourne Cup, a high profile international horse racing event in order to generate maximum publicity. In Narrm / Melbourne, activists responded to the call with a diverse series of actions…

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#SanctionAustralia banner drops by the RISE Team and volunteers in front of Flemington Racecourse (where the Melbourne Cup is held) as well as East Link and City Link toll roads. (source)

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On the outskirts of Narrm / Melbourne, a banner reading ‘SAFETY 4 MANUS MEN’ was dropped from a bridge along the highway to provincial city Geelong. (source)

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In the north-eastern suburbs of Narrm / Melbourne, a banner reading ‘MANUS = CRIME’ was displayed alongside a busy highway. (sent anonymously)

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At Flemington Racecourse where the Melbourne Cup was being held, two women activists from the group WACA (Whistleblowers, Activists & Citizens Alliance) entered a construction site on the racecourse grounds and scaled a crane that overlooked the middle of the stadium where they unfurled a banner that read ‘SOS: EVACUATE MANUS NOW!’ The women were able to successfully negotiate with the police and agreed to climb down from the crane under the condition that they would not be arrested and that the banner would stay on the crane. WACA later released a statement regarding the action, here is an excerpt from it:

“We are joining with others across Australia to demand that the government evacuate the men on Manus immediately and bring them to safety for processing.

This is an emergency. This is an humanitarian crisis. We refuse to sit by whilst the Government, with the complicity of the Labor Party, puts over 600 men’s lives at risk.”

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Also at the Flemington Racecourse, members of WACA ran out onto the racecourse itself and unfurled a large banner that read ‘FREE THE REFUGEES!” before being evicted by security.

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In Ascot Vale, a group of anarchists caused major disruption to trains transporting people to the Melbourne Cup by blocking the railway tracks with a car. The car was covered in slogans in solidarity with the men on Manus and against the Australian government’s barbaric policies towards refugees. A woman padlocked herself inside the car and the car’s tires were punctured to make its removal from the train tracks more difficult. Signs and a banner were displayed prominently highlighting both Australia’s cruel treatment of refugees and also Australia’s celebration of the Melbourne Cup, an event that glorifies cruelty to animals. Police attended the scene and began the time-consuming task of unlocking the woman from the car and removing the car from the train tracks, resulting in lengthy delays in trains services to and from the Melbourne Cup. Unfortunately 4 comrades were arrested, it is not known yet what charges they are facing however all 4 were released later that day.

Sydney: Women held after Manus solidarity protest

3 Nov Sydney students occupied immigration department offices on Friday to protest the federal government’s refusal to bring refugees on Manus Island to Australia.

Three women have been arrested after chaining themselves together as part of protests at the Immigration Department building in Sydney’s CBD.

The protests come amid dire conditions at the recently closed Manus Island detention centre.

The protesters briefly occupied the government department and then stormed the offices of Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek demanding authorities bring refugees stuck on Manus Island to Australia.

The Australian-funded detention centre was officially closed on Tuesday but up to 600 refugees and asylum seekers remain on the site without food, water or electricity.

The men are refusing to move to alternative accommodation in the community because of fears they’ll be attacked by locals.

The Sydney protesters were evicted from the immigration offices and three women were arrested after refusing to comply with a move-along direction.

They were taken to a nearby police station and continue to help investigators with inquiries, a NSW Police spokeswoman told AAP.

The remaining protesters marched to Ms Plibersek’s office in nearby Surry Hills.

Alice, a 20-year-old student, told reporters that overseas detention centres had historically been set up by Labor and they’d failed.

“There’s been a bit of scapegoating by Labor in terms of shifting responsibility without having solid policy to actually have targets to close these detention centres,” she said.

“It’s unfair for Labor to pretend they have no hand in it.”

Ms Plibersek says she’s concerned about the situation on Manus Island.

“It is completely unacceptable – the refugees and asylum seekers have been there too long,” she told journalists in a statement.

“The government has completely failed these people.”

Ms Plibersek called for detainees to have access to essential services. But she stopped short of calling for the refugees to be brought to Australia.

Protestor Zeb Parks, 24, said it was unacceptable to force the former detainees to return to the countries they’d fled or accept resettlement in Papua New Guinea at the Lorengau transit camp where refugees have previously been attacked.

“We’re saying those options are not acceptable, it’s a gross violation of human rights, and we’re willing to stand in solidarity with them,” Mr Parks told AAP.

Conditions for the 600 refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island have worsened in recent days with the men reportedly digging wells for water.

Refugee and detainee on Manus Island Behrouz Boochani chronicled the deteriorating conditions in the camp through Twitter on Friday afternoon.

“At the moment hundreds of naked men are lying around me,” he said.

“They are starving and their bodies are getting weak.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week reiterated her government’s offer to resettle 150 of the men from Manus Island or Nauru.

The Sydney protesters were ordered by police to leave Ms Plibersek’s office after midday and left peacefully.

Australia: Open letter to the PM & Immigration Minister from the men incarcerated on Manus Island

1 Dec – Open letter to Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton from the men incarcerated on Manus.

Six hundred men in Manus RPC, PNG, signed the following letter to Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia and Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. Embargoed for publication until 30 November 2015

Transcribed text of that letter follows:

30/11/15

Hello Dear Mr Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton.

As the refugees and asylum seekers trapped in Manus Island detention we wold like to request you something different this time.

As previously we wrote and asked for help and there was no respond to our request to be freed out of detention we realized that there are no differences between us and rubbish but a bunch of slaves that helped to stop the boats by living in hellish condition. The only difference is that we are very costly for the Australian tax payers and the Politicians as our job to “stop the boats” is done.

We would like to give you some recommendations to stop the waste of this huge amount of money ruining Australian’s reputation and to keep the Australian boarders safe forever.

1. A navy ship that can put us all on board and dump us all in the ocean. (HMAS is always available)
2. A gas chamber (DECMIL will do it with a new contract)
3. Injection of a poison. (IHMS will help for this)

This is not a joke or a satire and please take it serious.

We are dying in Manus gradually, every single day we are literarly tortured and traumatized and there is no safe country to offer us protection as DIBP says.

Best regards

Merry Christmas in advance

Manus refugees and asylum seekers.

Melbourne: G4SMelbourne headquarters attacked

Anarchist news: In the early hours of the morning of Friday the 28th of February 2014, the corporate headquarters of G4S – 441 St.Kilda Road Melbourne, were attacked by people outraged by the recent events on Manus Island. G4S was the contractor responsible for ‘security’ on Manus Island. G4S’ huge global profits are made through their worldwide work in security, prisons, surveillance and ‘logistics’.
Their oppressive operations need to be destroyed.

Paint flew sky high and glass shattered to the ground surrounding the words left blazing in paint on the building: ‘G4S – murderers’.

Solidarity to all those in detention struggling for freedom.
We encourage everyone to take action : fight back! riot! destroy!
No borders, no detention centres, no prisons!

Manus Island: protests at detention centre, asylum seeker killed by police

February 17: An asylum seeker was killed and at least 77 injured in the second riot this week at a detention center in Papua New Guinea. 23-year-old Reza Berati, from Iran, was killed by police. One person among the wounded was in a critical condition with a head injury and another sustained gunshot wounds during the clashes on the small island in impoverished Papua New Guinea.

The facility, part of Australia’s tough stance against asylum seekers, has come under fire over human rights concerns. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the riot began when detainees forced their way out of the center, but refugee advocates said it was triggered when Manus Island residents and police stormed the facility, attacking the asylum seekers.