Liz Thompson explains why she is not speaking at the Close Manus rally on Saturday

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I am not speaking at the Close Manus rally on Saturday, organised by RAC [Refugee Action Collective]. Without thinking, I agreed to do it, thinking there could be no harm. But in fact the reaction to me speaking on Dateline has made me reconsider. 

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NOONE IS ILLEGAL

Hello and welcome to this episode of Autonomous Action Radio … I’m your Anarchist host Linda and I am ready for action. This is the first show for the year thanks for tuning in or downloading.

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Why am I ready for action? I am ready for action because since the election of the Abbott consverative govt in Australia and the Newman conservative govts in Queensland things are just that little bit worse than under Labour govts.

And this obvious disregard for human rights, democracy and law is really starting to change the apathy which infested the general public for so long.

Street March
Street March for Reza Berati

Last week I got to take to the streets without a permit with hundreds of others in Brisbane and the feeling was empowering.

 Author and activist Naomi Klein said recently that to get noticed you have to stop traffic and that’s what we did and I’m looking forward to that happening again soon.

 The march I went on was in response to the murder of Iranian refugee Reza Berati inside the Manus Island Immigration Detention Center last week.

His untimely death is the spark that light the fuse for tens of thousands Australia wide to make their opposition to Australia’s detention of refugees heard.

Light the Dark vigils were held in over 750 locations around Australia on Sunday night making international media coverage.

Underlying Australia’s treatment of refugees and the reason such a small issue has become so polarising is a current of racism which we often fail to acknowledge.

 To address this issue first on today’s show I’m going to play episode 6 of a documentary series I co produced last year on peace psychology – Peace in Mind.

 This episode looks at racism or the belief that ones racial group is superior and that ones’ skin colour or ethnicity influences their intelligence or moral qualities .

Later in the show I will be talking to Morgan Rogers Gibson about the bi centenial of Mikhail Bakunin’s birth and why this is significant.

You just heard Asylum is a Crime by Pataphyshics and Refugee from the United Struggle Project

Refugee advocates with contacts on Manus Island are reporting witnesses saw PNG police and locals attacking refugees after security employees allowed them into the Immigration Detention Center.

One asylum seeker is dead and over 77 injured after the attack.

Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has been forced to admit that his initial assertions that injuries were sustained outside the center were false.

The incident is another in a long line of human rights breaches and international relations disasters for the Abbott government.

Although the reopening of Manus Island occurred when Labour was in power and the party still supports the sending of refugee boat arrivals there.

bloodonyourhands

Greens and refugee advocates are calling for the closing of Manus Is. and the sacking of Minister Morrison.

Senator Hanson-Young says…

“Scott Morrison’s attempts to blame the victims of this incident are sickening.

“Responsibility for this policy failure falls directly at the feet of the Abbott Government and the Immigration Minister.

“The Government was warned about the toxic environment on Manus Island repeatedly by organisations like Amnesty International and the UN but those warnings were ignored and dismissed.”

On Sunday there was an uprising after asylum seekers were stonewalled by immigration officials who had promised to give them answers about their future.

Despite the Australian governments plans to settle asylum seekers who arrive by boat in Papua New Guinea, PNG has not yet agreed to do so.

This uncertainty has caused raised tensions on at the detention facility.

As I mentioned earlier in the show I attended a protest rally on Friday.

It was organised by The Refugee Action Collection of Queensland and held at King George Square on Friday at 5.30.

There were a number of speakers including Hassan Ghulam from the World Hazara Council.

He spoke about one particular refugee from Afganistan then about the situation on Manus and Australia’s refugee policies.

King George Square
King George Square

MUSIC

Pataphysics – Asylum is a Crime

Refugee – United Struggle Project

Astrid and the Astreroids – Love Right

Backing Music by Jore

 

Australians apologise to asylum seekers with photographic campaign

Hazara Asylum Seekers

February 25, 2014

AUSTRALIANS have taken apologies into their own hands after the Federal Government’s blunderous approach to incidents involving asylum seekers.

And now a website is offering ordinary Australians the opportunity to say what the government hasn’t following the tragic death of 23-year-old Iranian detainee Reza Berati at Manus Island detention centre last week,

Sorryasylumseekers.com allows Australians to post a picture alongside their apologies… and the trend is quickly spreading across the web.

A photo of Reza Berati, who died during riots on Manus Island last week.

A photo of Reza Berati, who died during riots on Manus Island last week. Source: Supplied

According to the website’s creator Ryan Sheales, the movement is “based on a philosophy that Australia’s asylum seeker policy debate — while worthy and necessary — should take place on a bedrock of humanity.

“Whatever your views on the Pacific, Malaysia or PNG solutions, surely we can all agree that basic human decency is a worthy objective?”

The website, says Sheales, is…

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Australia asks impoverished Cambodia to take some asylum seekers

Another example of Australia’s racist foreign policies.
Prak Chan Thul Reuters2:45 a.m. CST, February 22, 2014

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Australia asked Cambodia, one of Asia’s poorest countries, on Saturday to take in asylum seekers detained while trying to reach the Australian coast and Cambodia said it would think about it.

Australia’s government came to power last year partly because of a tough stance on asylum seekers arriving from Indonesia with Prime Minister Tony Abbott promising to “stop the boats”.

Australia already has offshore detention centers in the impoverished South Pacific nations of Papua New Guinea and Nauru for asylum seekers it intercepts, often in rickety boats.

On Saturday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop asked Prime Minister Hun Sen if Cambodia, which in the 1970s and 1980s saw a huge exodus of refugees fleeing war and starvation, could also house some migrants.

“The Australian minister has requested that Cambodia takes in some refugees,” Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told a news briefing with Bishop.

“In the past, Cambodians have fled their country to other countries but now, it’s time that Cambodia takes in refugees from other countries,” he said.

Hun Sen would “take serious consideration” of the request, Hor Namhong said.

In her comments, Bishop did not refer directly to the Australian request but said she had discussed cooperation with Cambodia in various areas including people smuggling.

The number of asylum seekers reaching Australia pales in comparison with other countries but it is a polarizing political issue that also stokes tension with neighboring Indonesia over border policies that have been criticized by the United Nations and international human rights groups.

One asylum seeker was killed and about 80 were hurt in rioting last week at the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has said the Manus camp should be shut because it fails to provide “safe and humane conditions of treatment in detention”.

Vigils in Support of Refugees

Reza Berati has become a symbol for the extreme cruelness of Australia’s refugee policies.

Reza has murdered inside the Manus Island Immigration Detention Center which was run by British multinational G4S on behalf of Australia.

See earlier article: https://autonomousactionradio.com/2014/02/18/manus-island-refugee-hell-hole/

Memorial in Brisbane @ Emma Miller Place
Memorial in Brisbane @ Emma Miller Place
Emma Miller Place
Vigil in Brisbane for Reza Berati and other refugees suffering because of Australian refugee policies
New York City vigil for Reza Berati
New York City vigil for Reza Berati
Sydney had over 10 000 people attend.
Sydney had over 10 000 people attend.
Adelaide
Adelaide
Hobart
Hobart
Melbourne over 5000 people
Melbourne over 5000 people
Reza Berati
Reza Berati
Many others joined in  home and posted their photos to the internet
Many others joined in home and posted their photos to the internet

Manus Island Refugee Hell Hole

manus island

Refugee advocates with contacts on Manus Island are reporting witnesses saw PNG police and locals attacking refugees after security employees were withdrawn from the detention centre.

One asylum seeker is dead and another two have been sent to Australia for treatment…. many more are injured while others are also unaccounted for.

Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison continues to peddle the lie that an internal “riot” was the cause of the injuries and mainstream media are perpetuating the minister’s lies.

The incident is another in a long line of human rights breaches and international relations disasters for the Abbott government.

The Refugee Action Coalition’s Ian Rintoul spoke the the ABC this morning and told them reports he’d heard from staff at the centre, detainees and others’ who had been in touch with detainees.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has published transcripts of messages from asylum seekers on Manus Island.

“The asylum seeker says detainees were forced to leave the detention centre on the night of February 17 in fear for their lives.”

Greens and refugee advocates are calling for the closing of Manus Is. and the sacking of Minister Morrison.

Senator Hanson-Young says…

“Scott Morrison’s attempts to blame the victims of this incident are sickening.

“Responsibility for this policy failure falls directly at the feet of the Abbott Government and the Immigration Minister.

“The Government was warned about the toxic environment on Manus Island repeatedly by organisations like Amnesty International and the UN but those warnings were ignored and dismissed.”

Read an Amnesty International report on conditions on Manus Island here.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is calling for the removal to Australia of the 1300 refugees currently on Manus Is.

ASRC says witnesses have told them:
“asylum seekers tell us they ran from compound to save their lives not to escape, guards not protecting them when locals attacked.”
“”injured many of us, lots of people bleeding..we are not here by choice..who is responsible for our lives?” asylum seeker on Manus”
https://twitter.com/ASRC1

Social media is awash with reports from witnesses such as this one:

“My friend on Manus spoke to me today and said that he’d been hit in the head by a rock and was covered in his own blood. He has described the scenes in Manus as a battlefield. All the staff have left their compound, now it’s the asylum seekers versus the locals – the locals comprising most of the G4S staff. There is no one left to protect them. When he phoned he said everyone had gone from the compound except 4 or 5 people and after the phone call he would run away too. We’ve had reports that the PNG locals are standing outside of the centre with guns, knives and rocks and have probably gone inside the centre by now.

This is hugely concerning because it sounds as if people are SERIOUSLY injured and there’s no way for them to receive medical treatment, they wouldn’t know how to find the hospital and there is no staff to take them there.

Now we have silence. And we wait.”

The Refugee Action Collection of Queensland had issued a media release yesterday stating that asylum seekers feared attacks by local vigilantes who were armed with machetes, knives and guns.

A spokesman from Mr Morrison told Fairfax Radio that any information about a second attack on Monday was ”completely untrue” and they should be ”more sceptical of stories coming from activists”.

On Sunday there has been an uprising after asylum seekers were stonewalled by immigration officials who had promised to give them answers about their future.

This was the first report I saw on Sunday night. From refugee advocate Sarah Ross

‘There’s currently a riot on Manus Island. I just spoke to someone in the centre on the phone. They were in tears, and there was an indescribably shrill panic and desperation in their voice. He kept saying “just listenjustlisten. I don’t have long”… ”we will die, we will die”. There was yelling and noise in the background, he said that people were fighting with G4S guards and the PNG Police, that people were injured and had “broken arms and legs”. They said that everything was destroyed and that people had “run outside the camp”. Everyone was running and he kept saying ”I have to go, I have to go…please tell everyone, please tell human rights”‘

Despite the Australian governments plans to settle asylum seekers who arrive by boat in Papua New Guinea, PNG has not yet agreed to do so.

The Refugee Action Collective in Queensland has called a protest for 12noon Wednesday 19th February outside the Department of Immigration, 299 Adelaide Street, Brisbane.

Commentary from Guardian Australia  Australia’s Sick and Proud Message to the World: Refugees are going to Suffer]

With Australia Day just past it’s important to keep reminding people that the history of this nation holds many many terrible facts which ‘white Australia’ would prefer to forget.

‘We can’t be held responsible for what our ancestors did’ is a common statement by white settlers in this country who don’t realise the privileged lives they lead today are possible because of the on going destruction of aboriginal people, land and culture.

‘Get over it … it was over 200 years ago’ is another common phrase heard when people rightfully bring up Australia’s true history.

These people seem to assume that the effects of the British invasion of Australia had on Aboriginal people lasted for a very short time.

And that aboriginal people were treated as equals from the beginning of colonisation.

Anyone who knows history or who cares to take a moment to research Australian history is aware of the many forms of oppression Aboriginal have faced and continue to face in this country.

Aboriginal people like most ‘uncivilised’ people were thought to be savages and not people who were due the same respect and rights as white settlers.

In fact the colonisers believed that Aboriginal people needed to be cared for, the government controlled every aspect of their lives, where they could live and work, how they spent their wages and even if they could keep their children.

(With the introduction of the Basics Card, the intervention and the forced fostering of Aboriginal children not much has changed to this day… )

However some ‘lucky’ Aborigines were able to be exempted from their race with this fabulous card!

Aboriginal exemption

The holder of such a card would be allowed to live in the wider ‘white’ community but in gaining these rights would be required to lose their Indigenous identity and culture, their family and their homelands.

“Exemption Certificates were granted only to those Aborigines who demonstrated to the Chief Protector’s satisfaction the capacity to survive in the outside world. In other words, they were imbued with capitalist values concerning money, time and work. But the standards required for exemption were high; certificates were not freely issued’ Thom Blake.

This was part of a broad plan by the invading government to rid the country they called Australia of its original inhabitants.

In 50 years we should forget that there were any Aborigines in this country.—A.O. Neville, Western Australian Chief Aboriginal Protector.

NSW governor quote

“Of the Australian black man we may certainly say that he has to go. That he should perish without unnecessary suffering should be the aim of all who are concerned in the matter”- Anthony Trollope (1873).

“Whether the Blacks deserve any mercy at the  hands of the pioneering squatters is an open question, but that they get none is certain. They are a doomed race, and before many years they will be completely wiped out of the land”- Harold Finch-Hatton (1885). Aboriginal Genocide

While Aboriginal people still survive on the Australian mainland the colonisers of Australia were successful in the complete genocide of Tasmanian aborigines. Read about their extermination here.