Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Baxter,'akin to the time in Nazi Germany'

I went to Baxter this Easter just past, and became more aware that this time is akin to the time in Nazi Germany when the concentration camps were being set up.

To their shame, and for some of them, to their demise, the citizens then did nothing while their government set up these camps, and rounded up the "undesirables." The Jews, the unionists, independent women, gypsies, gays and other classed as deviants.

How can I sit by while that happens again? How can you?

The private global corporation running the detention centres makes money off of the incarceration of children kidnapped from primary schools, and off of mental patients tortured for months, and off of people who have committed no crime and who are accused of no crime, who are locked up for nothing but fleeing for their lives and seeking asylum here.

I was not too worried about being charged for flying a kite at Baxter, because even if I was locked up for this, I would know what the charge was, and how long the incarceration was for. This is more than those adults and children (including orphans!) detained indefinitely in our concentration camps have.

Why not come and join me next Sunday at the local concentration camp for "undesirable foreigners", Villawood, gathering 10:30am at Villawood Train Station for a march to the privatised detention centre.


1) Protest at Villawood detention centre - for the release of all asylum seekers and to condemn the DIMIA raids on schools when they snatched kids and put them into Villawood. Meet at 10.30am Sunday 10 April at Villawood station, and then march to Warraweena Rd entrance of the detention centre. We had already planned for this protest to involve kite-flying. After the famous "Operation Pop Balloons" by the cops at Baxter, why not bring balloons as well as kites for this protest? If you don't have either, just bring yourself, placards, banners, noise-makers, etc.

(2) Rally to support the refugee activists. 9am Tues 12 April at Downing Centre Court, cnr Liverpool and Elizabeth Sts, City

On 1 December 2004, Australian Federal Police and DIMIA officers raided the homes of several refugee activists. They charged four of them with signing false passport statements. Two of the charges have already been dropped as the police realised they had no case. The charges relate to escaped asylum seekers who left Australia rather than spend more time in detention or be deported back to serious danger.

The real crime is what goes on in the detention centres, the insecurity and uncertainty of TPVs and the prospect of deportation. To help refugees is not a crime. ALL the charges should be dropped.

(3) Anti-deportation public meeting, 6-8pm Thursday 21 April, Teachers Federation 23-33 Mary St, Surry Hills

Speakers: Phil Glendenning (Edmund Rice Centre and co-author of recent report, Deported to Danger) Sally McManus (Australian Services Union Executive President) Fashid (Iranian ex-detainee) Ian Rintoul (Refugee Action Coalition)

By Norrie MAy-Welby 6 April 05


Asylum seeker denied medical help, court hears
An Iranian asylum seeker was denied access to psychiatric help, despite slashing himself several times inside South Australia's Baxter detention centre, the Federal Court in Adelaide has heard.

Once You've Been to Baxter You Can't Sit on the Fence
I spent this Easter in the desert. I spent this Easter protesting at Baxter detention centre to draw the world's attention to the injustice of Australia's racist and inhumane mandatory detention system and treatment of asylum seekers.

Detention Centres, Solitary Confinement
On Friday night the NSW Council for Civil Liberties awarded Sydney solicitor John Marsden honorary life membership. Julian Burnside was invited to make the speech in Marsden's honour. In the course of his speech, Burnside referred to the unregulated use of solitary confinement in Australia's immigration detention centres, criticising it as inhumane and also as unlawful.

MP urges asylum seekers' release
A federal Coalition MP has called for the release of all asylum seekers being held in immigration detention centres.

Rau ordeal a raw deal
Ms Rau spent time in a Queensland prison and a hospital before being handed to immigration authorities who kept her in detention for another four months.

Australian held in Baxter detention centre
It has been revealed an Australian resident has been locked up in Baxter Detention Centre in South Australia for the past four months. Authorities had been unable to establish her identity since she was found wandering in far north Queensland last September.

Lawyers want Baxter detainee released for treatment !
Lawyers acting for a hunger-striking detainee inside South Australia's Baxter detention centre have asked the Federal Court to order a psychiatric assessment for the man, saying he needs to be in mental health care, not detention.

Baxter protesters 'being denied water, sleep'?
One of the three Iranian men has been on the roof of the gymnasium since Sunday last week, with two others joining him on Tuesday.

Detainees urged to abandon rooftop protest!
Kathy Verran from Rural Australians for Refugees, says one of the men has since come down and has been taken into the management unit. [solitary confinement for Xmas?]

Advocates warn of detention centre riot risk
A prominent refugee advocate warns South Australia's Baxter Detention Centre is on the brink of a major riot. A protest involving about 25 male detainees broke out at the centre on Tuesday, over a new system which is delaying the process of dispensing medication to detainees.

Villawood detainees go on hunger strike
A refugee advocacy group says up to 200 detainees at the Villawood Detention Centre, in Sydney, have begun a hunger strike to draw attention to their situation ahead of the federal election.

Afghan children lose High Court battle against detention
Lawyers have lost their constitutional challenge to the detention of four children at a South Australian immigration centre. Four siblings from Afghanistan, aged between seven and 15, have been in detention since they arrived in Australia in 2001.

Australia's "GITMO" System
Australia's "GITMO" System In June 2002 on the PM program on ABC radio, PHILIP RUDDOCK is quoted as saying: "Well, let me just say, detention centres are not prisons. They are administrative detention.

Senior cleric damns Baxter as 'disgraceful'
A senior world religious figure has called on the Federal Government to scrap its mandatory detention policy after visiting the Baxter detention centre in South Australia's north.

Detention centre media ban criticised
The Howard Government has been criticised in a report by media freedom advocate Reporters Without Borders for stopping journalists covering the conditions in refugee detention centres.

Baxter detainee continues hunger strike
A detainee at the Baxter detention centre near Port Augusta in South Australia has been on a hunger strike for a week. Sri Lankan Zeldon Daggie, 23, says he has been detained since arriving in Australia four years ago.

Democrats to keep up pressure over asylum seekers
The Australian Democrats will maintain their pressure on the next federal government over Australia's treatment of asylum seekers, if the party can retain its strength in the Senate.