RISE End Detention Student WalkOut Statement – 01/03/2021
RISE eX-detainees are calling for students across Australia to take action against successive Australian governments for their inhumane treatment of refugees in Australian-run onshore and offshore mandatory detention centres.
When: May 5th at 1pm
Where: State Library, Melbourne
We eX-detainees ask students to walk out of their classrooms and campuses at 1pm (Melbourne Time) wherever you are, and hold banners that read #EndDetention and hold 1 minute of silence for those who survived and those who have lost their lives in Australian-run detention centres.
Instead of mandatory and indefinite detention, and boat turn backs, our eX-detainee and detainee communities need;
- An end to mandatory detention policies
- The immediate shutdown of all Australian run detention centres
- All onshore and offshore refugee detainees and eX-detainees (in camps, hotels and the community) to be given permanent protection, freedom and justice with proper humanitarian, financial and medical support
- All the refugee detainees and eX-detainees granted permanent protection
- All detainees and eX-detainees to be able to apply immediately for family reunion under the humanitarian category, and fast track the processing of their applications
- Fast track refugee detainees permanent residence to citizenship
Australia has provided the world with a blueprint for contemporary modes of border imperialism- Donald Trump told our government our policies were harsh even by his standards in 2019. Australia has an unrelenting devotion to deterring people who seek refuge by boat that is in turn built on the foundations of the White Australia policy and the theft of Aboriginal land. For over 30 years, successive Australian governments have enacted the systemic torture and abuse of refugee/asylum seeker adults and children in mandatory detention- and this goes hand in hand ideologically with Aboriginal deaths in custody and dominant polciies of enacting white supremacy.
The labels of “Refugee”, “Permanent resident” or “Citizen” are legal terms which do not reflect the reality of the lives of people seeking safe harbour and freedom from torture and abuse. In Australia, the eX-detainee and detainees communities are one of the poorest, most racially profiled and systematically oppressed communities. We endured abuse in our own countries, and upon seeking protection, only to suffer institutional abuse in Australia.
We have been constant targets of the successive governments- we regularly suffer permanent mental and physical disabilities because of the effects of Australian mandatory detention. Our families and children are separated. Our children grow up in detention. Mandatory and indefintie detention is defined as torture by the United Nations- yet this is standard policy in Australia.
There have been many inquiries and many reports of deaths and sexual abuse within the Australian-run camps. Not one government official or party has ever been held accountable.
Students who support human rights everywhere should stand up and join the call of eX-detainees to End Detention Centres and End Mandatory Detention Policy.
We denounce the torture, abuse and bloodshed occurring in and outside detention centres- and we ask students to join us in solidarity.
As eX-detainees in Australia, we acknowledge that the land we seek protection on is the land of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples whose sovereignty was never ceded. ‘Always was, always will be Aboriginal land’.
This post was originally published on RISE.