Melbourne: Serco Compound Attacked in Solidarity with Refugees in Detention

serco: Last night, a group of people in Naarm / Melbourne, responding to the call out for 8 Days of Solidarity for Refugees, undertook an action targeting Serco.

Serco is a multinational corporation which is directly responsible for the inhumane incarceration conditions faced by refugees, asylum seekers, and detainees, in so-called Australia. Serco is also a major player in the international privatised prison complex.

The group gained access to a central Naarm / Melbourne, Serco compound and immobilised 7 vehicles. The group also left spray-painted messages on Serco compound property, including vehicles, reading “Serco Psycho Scum”, “Serco, profiting from refugee detention- this is war”, and “Serco profits from misery, we hold YOU responsible”.

Deaths in Detention Vengeance and Accountability Crew

Christmas Island: protesters injured by riot squad

3 June: Reports from Christmas Island indicate that at least six people were taken by ambulance out of the detention centre following the bashing of peaceful protesters by the Federal Police riot squad.

Asylum seekers who witnessed the baton-wielding, helmeted riot squad attacking the protesters said they saw people whose faces and shirts were covered in blood. They have told the Refugee Action Coalition that besides the six transported out of the detention centre, other injured asylum seekers are being treated at the detention centre’s medical clinic.

It is believed that there are many injured hands and arms from the baton attack. Continue reading “Christmas Island: protesters injured by riot squad”

Sydney: alleged Villawood rioters plead not guilty

August 17:  Seven of the 16 asylum seekers charged over a riot at Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre have pleaded not guilty.

In April last year, nine buildings at Villawood Detention Centre burned down in a two-day riot involving up to 100 detainees.

Sixteen men, mainly from Iran and Afghanistan, were charged. Seven of the men pleaded not guilty at the Supreme Court in Sydney this morning. They face two charges each – one of unlawful violence and another of threatening Serco staff. Continue reading “Sydney: alleged Villawood rioters plead not guilty”

Sydney: March 9 International Day of Action Against Serco: Report-back

Indymedia. On Friday 9th of March in response to a call for an international day of action against Serco, a British corporation running government services around the world, from juvenile and adult prisons to immigrant detention centres, to army bases in Afghanistan, to speed cameras in Victoria, parking meters in Chicago, and soon the Sydney Ferry system.

Demonstrations were held in London, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, where a number of coordinated demonstrations were held throughout the day. Continue reading “Sydney: March 9 International Day of Action Against Serco: Report-back”

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.