On Thursday November 24 a small island in the middle of the pacific made world headlines, but not because of its natural beauty.
Today PNG police and immigration stormed the Manus Regional Processing Centre and attacked refugees who were fighting for survival after being abandoned by Australian and PNG immigration.
How did they find themselves in this predicament?
A common narrative is people washing up on tropical island after their boats have become lost at sea.
The refugees on Manus Island did embark on a dangerous voyage by boat but that is not why they are now in this situation, at least not directly.
Fleeing their home countries looking for safety and freedom they arrived on Australian shores and asked for protection.
Unfortunately the Australian government had just implemented a policy to send all people who arrived by boat to offshore processing centres.
These centers are in developing nations – Nauru and Papua New Guine – who this colonial power can bully and bribe with money.
PNG’s Manus Island fits the bill for a policy which seeks to send a message to other refugees that Australia is not a welcoming humanitarian country (as many believe).
After some three years of locking refugees in the derelict centre on Manus the PNG supreme court ruled this incarceration unconstitutional.
The centre was slated for closure, detainees were encouraged to return home some with bribes of up to $25,000.
A small number around 50 decided to settle in PNG, with some becoming homeless and trying to return to detention, one man even tried flying to Fuji and applying be protection there only to be sent back to PNG.
A number are in the East Lorengau ‘Transit’ centre, some having applied to go the America under a bizarre people swap deal and others expected to settle in PNG.
Human Rights Watch have recently detailed an upsurge in violent attacks by armed locals.
This is why when the detention centre closed on October 31 around 620 men decided not to leave.
Alternative accommodation has been provided however it is closer to town, and hostile locals, and insecure.
This and a series of terrifying events have lead to the current situation where detainees feel safer in the cage they have so longed to escape from than outside.
Besides according to sources, including the UN, the new facilities are not yet ready to house the men.
This was proven when SBS flew a drone over the new centres and broadcast the footage.
Mostly the men are refusing to leave as a political statement, after 4 years on Manus they are demanding freedom.
Even when not surrounded by the wire that was around the MRPC they are still held captive by the ocean and the administrative chains which deny them the freedom we take for granted.
Jock Palfreeman has been in jail in Bulgaria for about 10 years. Inside the prison he set up the Bulgarian Prisoners Association and campaigns for human rights inside the countries harsh prisons. We interview two anarchists who work to support Jock and keep his case in the public eye.
Bad Cop No Donut begins with a funny issue Victorian police are having with their uniforms, and we discuss the on going situation in Australia’s offshore detention centre on PNG’s Manus Island.
Police Association Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt said members had reported poor-quality and ill-fitting pants.
“The material used in manufacturing the pants is particularly unpopular with members, who have advised that the material does not breathe, and that the pants cause excessive sweating particularly in summer,” he said.
Mr Gatt said some officers had complained the excessive sweating had caused them medical problems.
He said the trousers limited police movements when they were trying to make arrests.
“Our members tell us that the cut of the pants limit their movement when they are required to execute some of the defensive techniques they are trained to perform, and are particularly limiting when they are required to complete routine policing tasks, such as jumping fences,” he said.
The Can’t Stand By network exists to make the Australian government’s regime of mandatory detention of refugees so economically, politically and socially expensive that they have no choice but to abandon this policy.
CSB is designed such that it will continue to operate until all offshore detention centres have been closed, the worst of the Australian onshore detention centres have been closed and there is a 30-day limit placed on detention in Australia with periodic judicial review of any detention after that. CSB will continue to apply pressure until these demands are not just an agreement but an operating reality.
On this weeks program we tackle racism and the socially inappropriate practice of black-face fancy dress. Also policing and police brutality and fascism.
The major story this week is the closing down of the Manus Island detention center which has left 615 men stranded parched and hungry. They are also fearful of attacks by PNG police, military or hostile locals.
These are the findings of a report by the Youth Justice Coalition.
Police calculate a person’s future risk of offending and put them into a category of extreme, high, medium or low risk. Those on the STMP are singled out for attention, including being repeatedly detained and searched while going about their everyday lives.
People are being stopped and searched several times a week`, and visited at home sometimes late at night for no specific reason.
Dr Vicki Sentas author of the report believes STMP interventions are often based on discriminatory assumptions, raising serious issues around procedural and substantive justice.
She says the policy appears to disproportionately target young Aboriginal people.
The STMP can involve police harassment of those under ten which increases their contact with the criminal justice system while not showing any observable impact on crime.
Kenyan security agencies are accused of using excessive use of force against protesters, including use of live bullets in Kisumu, Migori and Kibera in Nairobi.
In a statement, the US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec and UK minister for Africa Rory Stewart call for investigations into the allegations of police brutality against demonstrators in the immediate aftermath of the repeat presidential election which was held last week.
WORST IGNORANT COMMENT EVER – People also sit on the beach to change their skin colour, but would you call them racist? No. But technically, they are changing their skin colour..
‘Blackface has frequently been used to perpetuate demeaning stereotypes of people of colour and symbolises how people who are not white have been represented as “the other”. It is widely seen as a form racism.
At its heart, “blackface” is about power. Specifically, using one’s power to take something important from someone else and use it for ridicule or entertainment. ‘
Black face stems from when black people were slaves and was designed to laugh at black people because they were considered lesser.
Queen Antyfa’s Report
In a BiZaRR0 interview with news dot com dot au, local comic Shayne Hunter has announced his retirement as CEO of ANTIFA (‘I established a terror movement in Australia, and I quit’, Shayne Hunter, as told to Corrine Barraclough, news.com.a, October 24, 2017: ‘SHAYNE Hunter established the far-left and violent Antifa movement in Australia. After four years the Brisbane man quit. Here’s why.’).
East Coast Australia Anti Fascist Action Groups Statement
news.com.au has recently published an article by right-wing writer Corrine Barraclough, interviewing the self-described founder of the “Antifa” movement in Australia.
It goes without saying that anti-fascist movements have existed in this country for many, many decades previous to this person’s involvement in “far-Left” politics, and that their account of their own participation is delusional.
In reality, after being excluded from numerous leftist spaces in Australia due to his erratic behaviour and a history of sexual assault, we have seen this individual move towards a right-wing politics; one which better suits his hateful narratives about gender-diverse people, people of colour, and women.
Our advice to comrades would be to avoid this individual. Our advice to the media would be to apply even the smallest grain of salt when reporting on fantastical claims. Anybody with a genuine interest in the origins and history of anti-fascism would be advised to consult Mark Bray’s Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook (Melbourne University Press, 2017).
Behrouz Boochani is a journalist and an Iranian refugee held on Manus Island since August 2014. The Guardian invited Boochani to keep a diary of the countdown to the closure of the Australian-run detention camp that closed on Tuesday.
Wednesday 1 November
Last night the refugees were in a state of absolute exhaustion, starvation and thirst. They drifted into sleep as they wasted away. We have not been able to sleep well during recent months; the possibility of sleeping at night has been completely disrupted, particularly in recent weeks. Nightmares have been an inseparable part of our sleep and our lives. After the generators in Oscar compound have been shut off, many have left their hot tents and moved into other camps. As people are moving to other camps I observe this horrendous scene playing out before me. Their movements resemble people who are left wandering due to war, but it is people seeking refuge in a neighbouring country.
Rooms and tents are crammed with people, and the atmosphere is filled with tumult and a deafening ruckus. It is a tropical ecosystem out here, full of insects and oppressively hot. Without the benefits of having power, insects chew into the skin. The constant, unbearable fear is provoked by the events last night. This relentless fear continues to haunt us, a merciless fear has gripped the camp. Fear of being attacked, fear of being murdered. We decide to assign some people to watch the camp and inform others in case something suspicious happens or police attacks us.
Nevertheless, if any incident occurred last night, would there have been a place for us to take refuge? Surely not. And this is the reality of Manus today. If we are attacked, we will be nothing but a group of defenceless bodies. It took a long time for everyone to fall asleep, or maybe they were just pretending to sleep. Sleeping with absolute exhaustion, sleeping with starvation, sleeping with thirst. This is the most disastrous situation ever.
At 7am in the morning, the generators suddenly shut off. Subsequently, all refugees wake up at the same time. After a few minutes, dozens wander around the camp again. The heat is unbearable out here. This is hell out here. Hunger makes everyone angry, the atmosphere is full of tension out here, and there is struggle and tumult. In these tragic circumstances, a refugee has cut his wrist and his chest using a razor. It has agitated the situation even more for a while. It is like throwing a match into gunpowder, adding fuel to the fire. Shouts come up and tension rise. It takes a while until the situation becomes stable again. But the fear remains.
When the power is cut off the water in the toilets is also automatically cut off. This means the toilets have become even filthier. They stink to high heaven, it is extremely annoying and debasing. It is so humiliating. I have witnessed with my own eyes how a human being can degrade another human being, using toilets as a technology of torture. It is utterly disturbing when one comes to the realisation of the cruel machinations of a human being, of what a human being is capable of.
At 9am PNG immigration officers come and tell us: “You have to leave this place, there is no way you can stay.” However, it is very dangerous outside. In the past, refugees have been attacked several times, even the police cannot guarantee their safety. We are stuck here, no way to go forward, no way to go back.
Senator Nick McKim comes to see us again. He tries to enter the camp, but immigration officers threaten him in a manner that resembles a form of faux respect: “If you do not leave here within five minutes, you will be arrested.” He has to go. It is like a war zone here and people have become refugees all over again. They have become homeless in the detention centre; their faces are frightened, distressed and weary. Their eyes … their eyes are looking up at the sky, they are looking up at the clouds. Looking forward to rain. If it rains, the weather will cool down. Also, they can save water. They have trust in the Manusian ecosystem. It is a tropical ecosystem out here; it will rain in the evening for sure. Nature will not abandon us. Right now, there are hundreds of men out here with their clothes stripped off, they are wandering around.
We have no idea what will happen tonight. It is both horrific and surreal when the threat of an attack and abandonment is fused with extreme starvation, thirst and instances of self-harm. The worst part of this oppression and debilitation is the humiliation. Throughout this whole ordeal we have been utterly debased. The situation in the toilets, the lack of food and water, the insulting visits by Australian and local representatives and guards, the looting of out belongings, the abandonment … the abandonment … It is humiliating to be thrown into this prison space for years and now left to deteriorate.
There is a rumour in this camp that the navy is ready to attack. The fear is unbearable. We have taken control of the camp and refuse to be forced into a place we are not wanted and where we do not feel safe at all. However, even though we have experienced a glimmer of autonomy by deciding to stay here against all odds, it is like we are now living under the sword of Damocles. The edge of the sword is looming over our heads.
I am worried about my physical health. I have become very weak over this past week. I have not slept. I am extremely concerned about my whole state of being. I am no longer afraid of experiencing nightmares as I sleep. I am now undergoing a surreal experience where the horrifying reality of my waking state has taken on the characteristics of the most harrowing nightmare, and this nightmare is more horrendous than I can ever imagine.
The woman under the pseudonym Anna Chalmers was in a car which was pulled over and searched for drugs. 2 detectives Richard Hall and Edward Martins allegedly found drugs but only detained Anna, not her two male friends.
Taken away in a van Anna was allegedly forced to perform oral sex and was raped before being dumped by the road.
A DNA rape kit tested positive for the officers’ DNA on Chalmers.
Both officers have been suspended and will go before a grand jury.
He appeared at Hobart’s magistrates court, didn’t enter a plea and had his bail continued.
The charge has now been amended to causing harm to a Commonwealth public official, a federal charge which if heard in the Supreme Court would see Mr Labe face up to 10 years in jail. Many Australian voters would rather he was given 10 years free beer for this act of defiance.
The case will return to court on January 18.
Two noteworthy things happened during the Senate Estimates hearing. One was Immigration and Border Protection chief Mike Pezzullo making a joke about ‘torture’ when being questioned by Senator McKim about the situation for refugees on Manus the second was reminiscent of the BBC tv series Yes Minister.
Labour Senator Kim Carr in Senate Estimates questioning ABF personnel.
“Peter Dutton has stated we haven’t had a successful boat arrival in now over 1100 days.
KC: Did a boat arrive on Sabo Island on the 20 August?
KC: And did it involve six Chinese nationals?
KC: And was there a New Guinean people smuggler involved?
ABF: There was a New Guinean on board, yes.
KC: Why is that not arrival in Australia?
ABF: It’s not an arrival under the scope of Operation Sovereign Borders.
KC: Oh, I see. So, I want to be clear. Just so that we understand what 1,000 days means, it doesn’t mean Chinese, it doesn’t mean east coast?
ABF: We get illegal arrivals all the time and have for years, as you know.
The reason OSB was set up was not to deal with Papua New Guinea. As I articulated, it was to do with people arriving on the high seas, primarily out of Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Sometimes when a boat arrives, it actually doesn’t. It depends on where it comes from.
KC: Good to talk to you. Thank you.
Canstruct a Brisbane based civil engineering firm and Liberal party donor have been named as the successful tender to take over delivery of services to refugees on Nauru.
As of the time of writing they had not signed a contract.
Broadspectrum – previously Transfield – opted not the renew their contract which finishes at the end of the month. Actually when they were taken over by Spanish company Ferrovial they were keen to withdraw earlier but the govt extended the contract.
A strong No Business in Abuse and divestment campaign was a factor.
This is ridiculous and arbitrary and mean and degrading.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald the department declined to clarify whether goldfish, guinea pigs or birds were included in the crackdown, or whether it would apply retrospectively, forcing asylum seekers to obtain permission for pets they already own.
Neither would the department provide a list of criteria for assessing whether an asylum seeker should be allowed to buy a pet.
Q – The revolutionary alternative to the status quo today is not collectivised property administered by a ‘workers’ state’ whatever that means, but some kind of anarchist decentralisation that will break up mass society into small communities where individuals can live together as variegated human beings instead of as impersonal units in the mass sum. The shallowness of the New Deal and the British Labour Party’s post-war regime is shown by their failure to improve any of the important things in people’s lives – the actual
relationships on the job, the way they spend their leisure, and child- rearing and sex and art. It is mass living that vitiates all these today, and the State that holds together the status quo. Marxism glorifies ‘the masses’ and endorses the State. Anarchism leads back to the individual and the community, which is ‘impractical’ but necessary – that is to say, it is revolutionary
A – What was journalist Dwight McDonald’s most quoted paragraph?
Q – First, by asserting herself as a personality, and not a sex commodity.
Second, by refusing the right to anyone over her body; by refusing to bear children, unless she wants them; by refusing to be a servant to God, the State, society, the husband, the family etc., by making her life simpler, but deeper and richer. That is, by trying to learn the meaning and substance of life in all its complexities, by freeing herself from the fear of public opinion and public condemnation.
Only that, and not the ballot, will set women free . . .
A – Emma Goldman The Tragedy of Women’s Emancipation