Last year marked an important turning point in the struggle of Aboriginal people for justice and sovereignty.The 40th anniversary commemoration of the Tent Embassy in Canberra, culminating in the January 26 Invasion Day protest, sparked a renewed fight by activists young and old against the ongoing and institutionalised racism endured by Aboriginal people.
Issue 41 - February-March 2013
The punitive conditions of the Australian government’s mandatory detention of refugees are well known around the country and even internationally. However, despite all the cruelty that the system imposes, it has not deterred refugees.
The reason for this is quite simple.
Issue 40 - November-December 2012
Against racism and Islamophobia and for the right to protest
The Revolutionary Socialist Party unreservedly condemns the New South Wales Police force for its September 14 assault on protesters who were peacefully demonstrating against a racist video attacking Islam.
Issue 38 - February-April 2012
Two deportations of Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers have been averted at least temporarily, pending a High Court challenge to be heard in the new year. These were to be the first deportations of people who arrived by boat under the current Labor government.
Setting out on Australia Day, the Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN) travelled to Leonora, a remote town in the Goldfields of Western Australia. The tour, entitled “Boundless Plains to Share”, spent three days in Leonora seeking to expose the conditions of mandatory detention and included protests in solidarity and visits with refugees locked up in the detention centre.
As predicted, the ALP national conference was another low point for the neoliberal pro-capitalist party, which adopted offshore processing as part of its platform. It was a win for Chris Bowen, the immigration minister, who gained support for putting the weight of the party behind the government’s proposed Malaysia solution.
Issue 37 - December-January 2012
The ALP national conference in Sydney on December 3 and 4 should present an opportunity for the ALP to reassess its policy of mandatory detention and an opportunity to adopt a more humane approach towards refugees. But no one is waiting with bated breath.
Two deportations of Sri Lankan Tamils have been averted, pending a High Court challenge to be heard in the new year giving the asylum seekers a temporary reprieve. These were to be the first deportations of people who arrived by boat under the current Labor government.
Issue 36 - October-November 2011
After the High Court ruling it illegal to send asylum seekers to Malaysia, the Gillard government could have used the opportunity to take a new approach in how it treats refugees. Instead, the ALP kept to its usual script of trying to outdo the Coalition in attacking refugees and decided to redraft legislation to resume offshore processing.
San Francisco – On September 21, shortly before 11 pm, the state government of Georgia injected poison into the veins of an African American, Troy Davis. The murder was completed at 11:08 pm.
Issue 35 - September 2011
A 100 strong anti-racist rally was held in Brisbane on August 6. The rally was called in response to a protest organised by the far-right racist group, Australian Patriots Defence Movement (APDM). The APDM takes its inspiration from the racist English Defence League – the same group that inspired the gunman who slaughtered nearly 100 people last month in Norway.
For a lot of people who have spent much time in Britain, the widespread riots were not a big surprise. Rather the response has been “What took you so long?”
People need to know the truth: that the reality of Western Australia is very different from what community organisations, legal organisations and government bodies wish members of the community to believe.
Issue 34 - August 2011
Signing the refugee swap deal with the Malaysian government on July 25, the Gillard Labor government has confirmed again that it is a world leader in dealing misery to refugees. The arrangement between Australia and Malaysia will exchange 800 asylum seekers who have sought asylum in Australia for 4000 refugees living in Malaysia.
A week before Four Corners aired its horrific footage of the fate of Australian cattle in Indonesia, Dateline on SBS featured terrifying and disturbing images of canings, detention and brutal treatment of asylum seekers at a Malaysian detention centre.
Issue 32 - May 2011
[This is an edited text of the speech by RAC activist Nicole Mousley to the April 2 Broadmeadows rally.]
Western Australia’s small mining town of Roebourne became a centre of attention following a native title meeting that was taken over by outsiders and turned into a sham on March 16.
The immigration detention centre at Curtin airbase has again erupted in protests as hundreds of asylum seekers engage in a hunger strike. The centre, located 2500km from Perth in the remote west Kimberley region, was shut down in 2002 following a series of riots and incidents of self-harm by detainees. The federal government reopened it in June 2010.
More than 200 people marched to Villawood Detention Centre from Chester Hill station in Sydney’s west on April 25 to protest the treatment of refugees and call for an end to Labor’s mandatory detention, deportations and offshore processing regime.
About 300 pro-refugee activists converged upon the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) centre in the outer-Melbourne northern suburb of Broadmeadows on Saturday, April 2. The protest was organised by the Refugee Action Collective and was intended to raise awareness about children in detention.
Issue 31 - April 2011
Dramatic scenes unfolded as at least 150 asylum seekers, believed to be mostly Iranians, broke out of the Christmas Island detention centre on Saturday, March 12. After pushing down a fence, a number of detainees fled to the north-west tip of the island, which is covered in jungle. Almost 20 men are still at large, but are being hunted down by Australian Federal Police.
The March 23 Sydney Morning Herald reported that two Sri Lankan men who were originally rejected asylum seekers and were taken to the Australian mainland to alleviate overcrowding at the Christmas Island immigration detention centre in March 2010 have now been granted refugee visas after a High Court challenge determined that they were denied procedural fairness according to
More than 140 unaccompanied minors from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan are currently crowded into a centre originally built to house 40-50 asylum seekers, the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation centre (MITA), located in the suburb of Broadmeadows.
Issue 30 - March 2011
Melbourne police have dropped charges against two Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) activists involved in a dramatic protest against Australian racism on January 26 last year. The protest received extensive media coverage in Australia and around the world, especially in India.
Issue 29 - February 2011
Thirty activists from the Perth-based Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN) visited the remote mining town of Leonora in late January to protest against the mandatory detention of asylum seekers and to provide solidarity to those detained there.