FLYING GREEK ANARCHISTS

FLYING GREEK ANARCHISTS

FTP

I could just about call every show we do FUCK THE POLICE and this one is no exception… but it goes without saying these days right? and the flying Greek Anarchists is a truly inspiration story.

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The show kicks off with April 29 1992 … a song about the riots in the aftermath of the acquittal of 4 people officers for the (video taped) beating of Rodney King.

There are riots all over America at the moment as communities rise up and express their discontent at yet more cases of police brutality (and fatalities) in which the officers involved are not held responsible for their conduct.

This song I think is the song for these times… especially the chorus ‘It’s about coming up and staying on top …. And screaming 187 on a motherfuckin’ cop’

Not that I would suggest violence…. just self defense.

The reason why the flying anarchists were hurling molotov cocktails (and a fridge!) was the hunger strike of Niko Romanos and the anniversary of the police murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos in December 2008 .

In Greece they say ‘remember, remember the sixth of December’

Romanos was the best friend of Alexandros Grigoropoulos and Alexis died in his arms, this event radicalised Romanos.

nikos-romanos

He is serving time in prison for a bank robbery which targeted one of the banks that was never brought to account for its part in Greek’s economic woes.

“What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?” (Bertolt Brecht)

His hunger strike ended last week when the Greek government gave in to his demand for access to education.

Below is an excerpt from a text written by Romanos about hunger strikes.

A hunger strike is the ultimate means of struggle of a revolutionary individual. Historically it has been used by a wide political spectrum of fighters held hostage for their subversive action, mainly against democratic regimes.

From the dead hunger strikers of the r.o. Red Army Faction (RAF) and the deaths of the fighters of the IRA and ETA, up to the successful hunger strikes of anarchist comrades such as Christophoros Marinos and Kostas Kalaremas, the members of Revolutionary Struggle and the CCF. Points in common can be minimal to non-existent, but there is a decision which remains the same, “I am fighting to the end.”

This decision has been capable of creating specific blackmail against the State. Blackmail which, as paradoxical as it might sound, has gained important power of negotiation because of the dead hunger strikers.

And right at the end of the show we interview Steve Towson about his new song Christmas Island . Which is a fundraiser for the Asylum Seeker Resource Center.

MUSIC

Riot grandpa

Scott Morrison may gloat but asylum seekers’ boats haven’t really stopped

nooneisillegal

The Guardian

Two facts emerge as the UNHCR meets in Geneva to look at protection for refugees at sea: more people than ever are fleeing their country by boat, and deterrence doesn’t stop them…

For all the slogans and military operations, over 54,000 people have boarded boats across the Indian Ocean this year, with around 20,000 in just the two months of October and November. As much as Scott Morrison may gloat, the boats haven’t really stopped.

The point you won’t see on any media release or hear at a doorstop press conference is this: even if people haven’t drowned on the way to Australia, they’ve still drowned. Because people fleeing countries in the region are still getting on boats.

There are many inconvenient facts for those who won’t stop talking about stopping the boats. But perhaps the facts are not so bothersome if they aren’t on the nightly news. After all, if an asylum seeker drowns well enough away from Australian territorial waters, will there be a leadership challenge today? And have you seen Julie Bishop’s broach?

For the rest of us, here are some details.

According to the UNHCR report on Irregular Maritime Movements in South-East Asia, over 50,000 people set sail just from the Bay of Bengal area in January-November 2014. The smugglers operating in the region move people who are trafficked as well as those paying for passage outside of legal migration channels. The latter includes people such as ethnic Rohingya who do not have any nationality (and therefore no official travel documentation) and have a long history of persecution and discrimination by the Burmese government.

The UNHCR estimates that around 21,000 people have departed from the Bangladesh-Burmese maritime border in the two months of October and November 2014. About 10% were women, and around one-third of arrivals interviewed by UNHCR in Thailand and Malaysia were minors. The numbers for October 2014 are a marked increase (37%) from the year before.

And not all the deaths at sea are merely from drowning, according to the report:

“One in every three interviewees said at least one other passenger on their boat died en route; one in every 10 said 10 or more people died on board. Deaths were attributed to severe beatings by the crew, lack of food and water, illness, and heat.”

Globally, around 350,000 people have risked it all by taking a boat this year. On 10-11 December 2014, UNHCR is hosting a meeting looking specifically at protection at sea. The non-governmental organisations taking part have recommended, among other things, that to implement effective protection and ensure safety at sea, it is vital to “address ‘route causes’ and ‘root causes’ of forced and dangerous migration”.
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UNHCR notes that these reasons for irregular movement include: conflict and war, protracted refugee situations, statelessness, the absence or inadequacy of protection systems, family separation, poverty and economic inequality.

What is notably absent from all the recommendations to “stop the boats” from these experts is deterrence, which in Morrison’s parlance is also known as “taking the sugar off the table”. This was of course the honourable minister’s reasoning last month for reducing the number of refugees Australia would resettle from Indonesia and banning those who registered with UNHCR in Indonesia after 1 July 2014 from ever getting to Australia.

Sweet though that poison may be (and poisonous is certainly how one can characterise the way Australia treats those who come across the sea), no refugee is paying a people smuggler for any sort of benefit other than getting the hell out of the hell they were in.

At the opening of the UNHCR meeting yesterday, the High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said, “You can’t stop a person who is fleeing for their life by deterrence, without escalating the dangers even more”.

So what would work to actually stop people getting on boats? Again, according to the NGO recommendations, practical solutions for preventing irregular migration by sea include:

More opportunities for legal migration
Cooperative international agreements by states to provide more safe-havens for asylum seekers, e.g., through expanded UNHCR resettlement programmes; and
Migration and asylum policies that recognise the benefits of migration and the contributions of migrants and refugees to the development of countries of destination and origin.

It’s ultimately pretty simple and obvious: the key to reducing irregular movement of people by dangerous ways is to increase pathways for properly managed, safe and regulated movement. It involves as Guterres said, “looking at why people are fleeing, what prevents them from seeking asylum by safer means”.

In practice, nobody is going to be able to neatly pack their passport and customs declarations cards in order to flee discrimination or state persecution in a “regular” way. Which is why, in the case of those people, the Refugees Convention set up a system for countries around the world to join forces to help them, and why the UNHCR’s resettlement process allows for countries to accept refugees who cannot return to where they fled. Both of which the Australian government is slowly but surely repudiating.

Opening and expanding legal channels for migration and the movement of asylum seekers and refugees will reduce the use of smugglers and black-market operations. But for various reasons it’s doubtful Australia would be checking off anything on that list of solutions any time soon.

And so the boats will sail on, but just a little further off Morrison’s horizon.

SCOTT MORRISON MP RETIRES DEFEATED AND SAD

SCOTT MORRISON MP RETIRES DEFEATED AND SAD

[UPDATE: Even though he managed to pass the bill it was through bullying and blackmail. No one is going to stop fighting for refugee rights = human rights. Read how Morrison used children as bargaining chips]

Let’s make this happen. Morrison has been trying to pass draconian legislation to introduce Temporary Protection Visas and other measures to make the lives of refugees even harder ever since he got into his position.

But he keeps getting stopped and is going to be stopped again with your help.

Since it looks like we aren’t going to be able to gather in the streets or in front of Parliament House in Canberra to urge all crossbench Senators to reject the bill sending letters and making phone calls will have to do.

The government is getting

So I sent this please feel free to change to suit your situation.

Dear Senator,

I write to urge you to vote against the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014.

While I have always supported the right of anyone to seek asylum in this country regardless of the way they arrive here, I am now closely affected by this bill because my partner is an asylum seeker from Iran.

I know first hand the difficulties people face when they must leave their home countries for fear the government will kill them.

It is incumbent upon you to be educated on the life and death matters contained in this Bill.

This proposed legislation is more harsh, more cruel and more internationally illegal than any other piece of legislation proposed in Australian history.

It legislates against refugees human rights and it will cause people to die.

The deaths at sea, the deaths by torture if the people are sent back to their homeland from which they fled… and the suicides that result if this legislation is passed – these deaths will be on your conscience if you vote for this draconian piece of legislation.

Here is an lawyer speaking on what the Bill means.

I earnestly urge you to watch it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eETzMYgEaM

Let us remember that those people who arrive here by boat, the ones we detain (ostensibly jail) commit to a island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, put into the community to live a life of destitution without work rights on Bridging Visas – for one and two and now, under the” no advantage policy” an undetermined amount of time, prevent from re uniting with their families in the future …these people just want to live, and not die… and to live a life that’s worth living.

They come from Iran, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Burma, Palestine and many other places.

There is no way for people like my partner to seek asylum other than come on a boat to Australia.

There are no queues in these countries.

Australia is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention.

We invite these vulnerable people here by being a signatory. As though we are their friends. And then, as they knock at the door, we open it and then slam it shut in their face. Except it s not really like this. It is much much much worse. It’s literally a matter of life and death.

These are people, just like you and me. Not political footballs for point scoring.

We need to find a solution to this problem which is humane and just. Please don’t just vote against this bill but also actively use your position to influence policy so people on Bridging Visas and those in detention can be processed. And Australia formulates a way of assisting the worldwide issue of displaced people.

Here’s some information from Get Up on this Bill.

What are the key implications of this bill?

Yours Truly..
bloodonyourhands
INFORMATION ON THE BILL AND CONTACT ADDRESSES

The Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014, is currently before Parliament. It is expected that it will be voted on in November. As well as the proposal to reintroduce TPVs, this bill contains a lot of very disturbing amendments to the Migration Act:

If passed, the bill will:
• Remove references to the UN Refugee Convention from the Migration Act and replace them with ‘Australia’s interpretation of international law
• Remove the ability of the High Court to challenge refugee policy and operations
• Exempt Customs/ Navy/ Border Force boats from maritime laws. This will allow actions such as removing safety devices, food, water and fuel from asylum-seeking boats.
• Allow the Government to send boats or individuals anywhere it chooses. The bill removes the need for Australia to have a Memorandum of Understanding in place with countries in the region, or for the country to be a signatory to the Refugee Convention. It also allows boats to be towed to a “place” that is not another country. It would allow boats to be towed beyond Australian waters and just left there without regard for safety.
• Establish a fast track assessment process which removes access to the Refugee Review Tribunal and provides very limited review processes. Fast turnaround processing was ruled illegal in the United Kingdom in July 2014 as it carried an “unacceptable risk of unfairness”.
• Classify children born in Australia, to asylum seekers who arrived by boat, as “transitory persons”, giving them no access to permanent residency or citizenship.
• Change the definition of ‘refugee’ to allow the government to deny a claim for refugee status if it decides that there is a ‘safe area’ in the country of origin, or that the nation’s police force is ‘reasonably effective’.
• Allow the Australian government to return / remove people regardless of non-refoulement obligations.
• Keep asylum seekers, currently living in Australia, in indefinite statelessness and uncertainty, unable to reunite with their families or move on with their lives.

We all need to write to our state Senators and to the cross bench Senators and tell them that if they vote for this bill, they will be voting for Australia’s domestic law to authorise human rights abuses. Ask the Libs to cross the floor, and ask the Nationals to think for themselves! Write to Clive and ask him what he was thinking when he helped Morrison craft this horrendous bill.

Use some of the points above, but use your own words. Include something personal about yourself. “As a parent of three children…” “As someone who is interested in history…” “As a twenty year-old with a long future of voting ahead of me….” Anything you can think of to give it a connection to a real voter.

Here are the addresses for the cross bench Senators and Clive Palmer. Paper letters in envelopes are best, but please email rather than doing nothing. Make sure you include your name and address.

Senator Bob Day AO (Family First)
Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices
100 King William Street
Adelaide SA 5000
senator.day@aph.gov.au

Senator Jacqui Lambie
29 Wilson Street
Burnie TAS 7320
senator.lambie@aph.gov.au

Senator Glenn Lazarus
PO Box 228
Brisbane QLD 4001
senator.lazarus@aph.gov.au

Senator David Leyonhjelm
PO Box 636
Drummoyne NSW 1470
senator.leyonhjelm@aph.gov.au

Senator John Madigan
17 Albert St
Ballarat Vic 3350
senator.madigan@aph.gov.au

Senator Ricky Muir
Level 4, Treasury Place
Melbourne VIC 3002
senator.muir@aph.gov.au

Senator Dio Wang
PO Box 6120
East Perth WA 6892
senator.wang@aph.gov.au

Senator Nick Xenophon
Level 2
31 Ebenezer Place
Adelaide SA 5000
senator.xenophon@aph.gov.au

Mr Clive Palmer MP
Palmer United Party
PO Box 1978
Sunshine Plaza, QLD, 4558

You’ll find the other Senators for your state here. You can search by state by using the map. Then click on their names for contact details.
http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Senators

Pregnant refugees from Nauru protesting on bus near Darwin detention centre, group says

Two pregnant women brought from Nauru to Darwin to give birth are refusing to get off a bus with their families near the Wickham Point Detention Centre, asylum seeker advocates say.

Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said the families were from Iran and had spent 15 months in detention on Nauru.

They were among a group found to be refugees and resettled within Nauruan communities earlier this year, he said.

He said the women had been brought to Australia yesterday to give birth.

They had been assured they would not be placed in detention while in Darwin, he said.

“When they arrived in Australia, they were told they would be taken to the detention centre and put on a bus to take them to Wickham Point,” he said.

They arrived at the centre and began their protest before midnight last night, he said.

“The women are both around eight months pregnant,” he said.

The 10-year-old son of one of the women and both women’s husbands were on the bus, he said.

Mr Rintoul said he had spoken with a brother in law of one of the women, who was in Australia, as well as friends of the families on Nauru.

He said pregnant asylum seekers were often transferred from Nauru to Wickham Point to give birth, but this was the first time the policy had been applied to refugees living outside of detention.

The ABC has contacted the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for comment.

Source: ABC news.

Related: Manifesto for a pogrom: hostility to resettled refugees grows on Nauru

Refugees attacked as tensions escalate on Nauru and Manus

heguardian.com, Tuesday 4 November 2014 11.16 AEST

Tensions continue to escalate on Australia’s offshore island detention centres, with a further series of assaults on refugees on Nauru and rising disquiet on Manus Island reported by sources.

On the Pacific island of Nauru, an Iranian refugee was stoned and then beaten by a group of local men riding motorcycles on Saturday. They threw rocks and swore at him before beating him and kicking him in the head.

Guardian Australia has seen photos of the man in hospital with one eye swollen shut by bruising and swelling on his head.

On Monday, a resettled refugee who had a job as carpenter on Nauru, was threatened by three local men who told him refugees were not allowed to work. He was told to quit his job or he would be killed next time he went to work. He has quit his job.

Other men have reported having cars swerve at them and being spat on in the street.

These attacks follow an assault last week on four teenage refugees, who are without parents on the island. One of the child refugees was taken to hospital. The four boys have not left their home unaccompanied since the attack.

“ ‘Fuck you, refugee’ is very common slogan these days in Nauru,” one refugee told Guardian Australia.

“The locals spit on refugees in public. They believe that there is not enough space in Nauru for the refugees and locals to live together. They think the refugees are taking the job opportunities and consuming all the resources in Nauru and they want to protect their country.”

Reports that an interpreter from Myanmar had been stabbed on Manus Island on Friday are “completely false”, according to the office of the immigration minister, Scott Morrison.

But Guardian Australia understands from sources on Manus that there have been several confrontations with guards and local contractors over the past month, increased cases of self-harm attempts by detainees, and more assaults by detainees on other detainees.

Each month, several men are choosing to be returned home rather than stay on the island. Several of those choosing to go home have been found by Australia to be refugees and face a “well-founded fear of persecution” if they go home.

One Manus worker told Guardian Australia: “The men say, ‘I am dying here on this island, I might as well go home and die in my own country. I will take the risk.’ And sometimes it is an extreme risk that they will be killed at home.”

“These men have been in detention for 15 months, many of them, they live behind huge fences and they are no closer to a resolution. They are constantly told, ‘Stay here forever, or go home.’

“It’s advertised on signs all over the camps: ‘Missing your family? Talk to IOM (International Organisation for Migration).’ These men despair, they are desperate and, eventually, they just give up and go home, even if they know it’s not safe.”

Human Rights Committee finds Australian immigration proposals violate international law

Republished from the Age

Sarah Whyte November 02, 2014

Proposed Abbott government changes to the Migration Act are incompatible with Australia’s human rights obligations, says a parliamentary committee on human rights chaired by a Liberal senator.

The report, delivered by the Parliamentary Committee into Human Rights, is scathing of nearly all of the government’s proposed changes to the act, saying they would put Australia at odds with international human rights law.

It is particularly critical of a proposal to cut the time in which asylum seekers’ refugee claims would be assessed, warning it could lead to genuine refugees being sent home to face persecution or torture.

Chaired by Senator Dean Smith, the committee comprises five Coalition, four Labor and one Greens members. Their report is used to advise senators how they make their decision on the proposed bill.

The changes proposed by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison would re-introduce temporary protection visas to be applied to about 30,000 asylum seekers still living in Australia.

It would mean asylum seekers found to be refugees would get a three-year visa allowing them to work, but they would ultimately have to return to their country of origin.

The changes would also expand maritime powers covering people detained at sea, and allow Australian law to significantly limit the country’s responsibilities under international human rights laws.

The committee criticised the plan to expand powers to detain people at sea, saying it would have prevented the recent High Court case on behalf of 157 asylum seekers who were held on the high seas on the Australian customs ship the Ocean Protector for a month earlier this year. The asylum seekers were subsequently moved into detention on Nauru. The High Court is still considering the case.

According to the committee, the proposed amendments would “further constrain the already limited ability of the courts to evaluate Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers”.

On refugee assessments that needed to be “fast-tracked”, the report says: “The committee considers that the proposed fast-track arrangement appears to be primarily directed to ensuring the assessment and review processes are as brief as possible.”

Dean Smith, a West Australian Liberal Senator, said Australia’s sovereignty should not exempt it from the international human rights obligations it has made.

“The committee requires the government to demonstrate it is alert to and respects the obligations it’s made in international treaties,” he said.

“As a scrutiny committee, the committee acts to provide a technical and bipartisan review of legislation.”

Professor Jane McAdam, from the University of NSW’s Kaldor Centre, who will address the report at the centre’s annual conference on international refugee law on Monday, said the findings from the bipartisan committee were telling.

“It’s very clear that they think many aspects of this current bill breach international law,” Professor McAdam said.

“Essentially we are being asked to just trust the minister, where we know his main objective is deterrence. This is [based on] the assumption that any person who arrives by boat will not ever receive permanent protection.”

Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said the bill was in clear contravention of Australia’s human rights responsibilities.

“This bill will see refugees returned to danger, the breaking of international law and people being subjected to extended and damaging arbitrary detention. That can’t be allowed to happen,” she said.

The damning report comes as Australia continues to lobby for a seat on the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee to be voted on in 2017. Last month, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told Fairfax Media that Australia’s bid is “consistent with our nation’s history of promoting and protecting human rights.

“Our strong and principled stand on numerous human rights issues in our role as a temporary member of the Security Council will form part of our campaign,” she said.

FIRST FORCED ASYLUM REMOVAL TO AFGHANISTAN SCHEDULED FOR TONIGHT, TUESDAY 26 AUGUST

REFUGEE ACTION COALITION

MEDIA RELEASE

A last minute application in Federal Circuit Court and an appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Commission are underway to try and prevent the forced removal of an asylum seeker to Afghanistan.

The decision by the Federal Circuit Court is due to handed down at 3pm this afternoon. The 29 year-old Afghan asylum seeker, who arrived in Australia in December 2011, is scheduled to be removed to Afghanistan at 9.40pm tonight (Tuesday 26 August).

If the government succeeds in removing this asylum seeker, it will be the first forced removal of an Afghan asylum seeker to Afghanistan.

The official Afghan government position is that they will not accept forced removals from Australia.

The government’s last attempt, in February this year, was stopped at the last minute by a Federal Circuit Court order.

“It is shocking that the Minister would consider sending anyone to Afghanistan given the deteriorating security situation there,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The country assessment was done almost two years ago in December 2012.
There is no doubt that the situation has seriously deteriorated since then.

“The political vacuum in Afghanistan is being filled by daily violence, and the situation is dramatically unstable.

The Taliban are making daily gains. Kabul itself is not safe. Hazara areas of the city are now being constantly shelled.

“The case also reveals serious flaws in the refugee determination system and the inconsistency of Refugee Review Tribunal decisions.

At least eight other RRT decisions using more recent country information have recognised the danger in Jaghori province and granted protection visas.

“Given the Afghan government’s unwillingness to issue travel documents, we have serious concerns that the government is using dodgy documents to facilitate his removal from Australia.

This will also make his situation in Afghanistan more precarious and more dangerous.

“The Minister has the power to prevent this obvious lack of natural justice. Afghanistan is unsafe for anyone.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713

www.refugeeaction.org.au

Refugee Action Collective Queensland