Canberra & Sydney: Activists Occupy Dept of Immigration & Border Protection

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Sydney: Four arrested as protesters clash with police outside Villawood detention centre

25 March 2017 – Protesters have camped outside Villawood detention centre overnight despite the arrest of four people yesterday.

The riot squad was called in at 3.30pm after an initial group of 30 protesters grew to around 70 and began blocking traffic on Birmingham Road.

Police said the group, who were gathered at the detention centre to protest the deportation of a 60-year-old Iraqi man identified only as Saeed, began to impede traffic in and out of the facility.

“This is kind the kind of horrible rise of racism we’re trying to fight here,” Josh Lees, a protester from the Refugee Action Coalition, said.

“We want to see a world of equality and justice not a world of division and hatred and racism.”

Protesters allegedly ignored several move-on directions from police and tried to break a police line, which was formed to allow traffic flow into the facility, just before 7.30pm.

Two men and two women were subsequently arrested.


 

The protesters allegedly tried to break the police line.

The two women, aged 25 and 29, were later released for breaching the peace.

An 18-year-old man, who was chased down a storm drain before being arrested, was charged with assaulting police and resisting arrest. He was granted bail and is expected to front court on April 12.

A 25-year-old man was issued with  a Field Court Attendance Notice for assaulting police.

A police officer suffered minor injuries during the protest.

A small group of demonstrators camped out overnight at the detention centre to continue the protest.

One protester said they were “physically” trying to stop the deportation of the man.

“We’re trying to physically prevent a deportation of man who, if he is deported, his life is at risk,” she said.

“We’re not protesting, we’re actually trying to stop our government from violating international law.”

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection today confirmed Saeed will be deported.

Sydney: Nuns Train To Resist Government Threat To Church Sanctuary

SANCTUARY

13 March – At Mary MacKillop Place, near where the tomb of Australia’s first saint rests, people – including nuns – gathered on Sunday to learn the principles of non-violent resistance.

They were shown how to body block and deal with police in preparation for the possibility they would need to protect asylum seekers looking for sanctuary in the church from being taken by Australian Border Force officers.

The North Sydney-based Sisters of St Joseph, along with more than 100 other church groups across Australia, have pledged to provide help to asylum seekers in the community who may seek refuge.

This includes the 267 asylum seekers in community detention in Australia who are slated for return to Nauru.

Continue reading “Sydney: Nuns Train To Resist Government Threat To Church Sanctuary”

Brisbane: Protestors blockade hospital treating infant asylum seeker

About 300 attended the vigil for baby Asha at the Lady Cilento Hospital on Saturday night.

21 Feb – Hundreds of protesters have held a week-long vigil turned blockade, outside a hospital treating a baby girl facing deportation to an offshore immigration detention camp, blocking exits amid reports she would be removed imminently.

Doctors at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane have refused to release the girl following treatment for serious burns, adding to pressure on the government over its tough asylum seekers policy.

The one-year-old girl, known only as Asha, and her parents face being returned to a camp on the tiny South Pacific island of Nauru, about 3,000 km (1,800 miles) northeast of Australia. The detention centre, which houses more than 500 people, has been widely criticised for harsh conditions and reports of systemic child abuse.

Following numerous statements this week declaringing the government would deprot the child and not be “blackmailed”, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced Sunday that Asha and her parents could remain in Brisbane under “community detention,” a policy that allows asylum-seekers to move about freely in the community.

But Dutton warned the family could still be sent back to Nauru at any time, saying “it is an important message to send” to the detainees in Nauru that “there is a continuation of the government’s policy.”

Continue reading “Brisbane: Protestors blockade hospital treating infant asylum seeker”

Melbourne: Two protesters scale 162m-high Arts Centre spire

Protesters climb a spire

19 Feb – Victoria Police says it will not press trespassing charges against two women who scaled Melbourne’s Arts Centre spire to protest against offshore detention.

The women, aged in their 20s, ended their 12-hour protest about 3:00pm on Friday.

“The Art Centre has informed Victoria Police that it will not be pressing trespassing charges at this stage against the two women,” police said in a statement.

They pair, who climbed the 162-metre structure about 3:30am, left a “LetThemStay banner on the spire.

Continue reading “Melbourne: Two protesters scale 162m-high Arts Centre spire”

Vic: ‘Let them stay’ bridge protest

11 Feb – Two protesters who suspended themselves from a Melbourne bridge with a banner imploring the federal government to let asylum seekers facing deportation stay in Australia are back on the ground.

Katherine Woskett, 25, and Hannah Patchett, 22, began their protest on the Yarra Bend Road overpass on the Eastern Freeway alongside a “let them stay” banner at 7.30am on Thursday.

They want to stop the imminent deportation of 267 asylum seekers, including 37 babies, from Australia to Nauru.

A High Court decision on February 3 cleared the way for their return following a failed challenge against Australia’s offshore processing arrangements.

Ms Woskett and Ms Patchett’s protest ended after about three hours when they came down on their own accord and spoke to waiting police officers, who confiscated their banner.

“The pair left pending further inquiries,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman told journalists.

It’s unclear if the women will be charged but police have told them to expect a summons in the mail.

The pair had widespread support on social media, as well as from asylum seekers in detention.

“All day we have been receiving messages from refugees who are actually in detention centres,” said protest spokeswoman Helen War.

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.