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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Australian Government has failed to meet the primary recommendation of the HREOC Report that all children be released from immigration detention.<br><br>
Please send the Australian Government a letter asking them to immediately release all refugees from the Australian and Nauru detention centers.<br><a href="http://www.amnesty.org.au/whats_hap...?cid=20&pid=236" target="_blank">http://www.amnesty.org.au/whats_hap...?cid=20&pid=236</a><br><br>
Thank you!
 

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I would love, love, love it if everyone here sent the Australian gov't a letter on this topic. What they are currently doing is inhumane. They lock children up for years; some have spent their entire short lives locked up in a detention centre in the middle of nowhere. Schooling is shoddy, or non-existent- why bother with schooling some Hazara Afghan refugee when you're just going to deport them in a few years anyway?? Suicide is common- young children try to kill themselves by drinking shampoo. You should see some of the pictures these kids produce in art therapy if they do get released on appeal..... It's horrifying, & it's a national shame......<br><br>
the bastard-in-chief's address (plus his two main apologists), in case you don't feel like looking at the Amnesty site that dingo girl provided.<br>
ADDRESS AND SEND YOUR APPEALS TO:<br><br>
Prime Minister<br>
The Hon John Howard MP<br>
Parliament House<br>
Canberra ACT 2600<br>
Fax: 02 6273 4100<br>
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister<br><br>
SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:<br><br>
Attorney General<br>
The Hon Philip Ruddock MP<br>
Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600<br>
Fax: 02 6273 4102<br>
Salutation: Dear Attorney General<br><br>
Minister for Immigration and Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs<br>
Senator Amanda Vanstone<br>
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600<br>
Fax: 02 6273 4144<br>
Salutation: Dear Minister<br><br>
Tell them that the whole world is watching!! Please help!
 

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Some links. No kidding, I think the Federal gov't is on the brink of a turn around on this policy of detaining children. Your letters may really help.<br><br>
you can also go here to email the ministers, rather than send a letter.<br><a href="http://www.refugeeaction.org/rac/help.htm#speakout" target="_blank">http://www.refugeeaction.org/rac/help.htm#speakout</a><br><br>
This is particularly horrifying. One woman watched her three daughters drown, one after another..... In all 353 people died. <a href="http://www.refugeeaction.org/policy/relex.htm" target="_blank">SIEV X</a> It's a bit unclear as to whether or not the government instructed the Navy to stop looking/ let them drown. Some of the sailors who knew what was going on are haunted by this sorry tale of inaction & inability to see boatpeople for what they are- desperate humans fleeing for their lives.....<br><br>
and this, I suppose, is the main reason why I think this current Liberal (conservative) gov't will have a change of heart, particularly since it will be politically advantageous to do so. <a href="http://www.ruralaustraliansforrefugees.org/" target="_blank">Rural Australians for Refugees website</a><br>
The Rural Australians for Refugees describe themselves as "an informal group of concerned citizens, prepared to work hard to turn this country away from an inhumane and bizarre policy. Our members range from National Party to Greens - we never ask about each other's political allegiances." (seeing as it's coming from me, thought I'd let you know it's NOT a loony left group. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> )<br>
Please take the time to send an email......
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Aussiemum! I was hoping you'd post. I'm not very good with words, so your post was most appreciated.<br><br>
There's one thing I don't understand. Why are so many Australians in favor of detention? Do they think that the camps are like the Holiday Inn? Or do they just not care?
 

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That's a tough one, dingo girl. I'm going to bail out on the MDC boards for a while, but I'll try & answer your question first.<br><br>
Australia has a history of apartheid & racial discrimination. They won't call it apartheid, but that's what it was. For many years the immigration policy was one of 'White Australia'- only whites (ie: northern Europeans) were allowed to immigrate. I believe this went on into the 1970's, altho exceptions were made for southern Europeans (Greeks, Italians) after WWII. Prior to this it was fighting & discrimination between Protestants & Catholics- very little intermingling between the two groups. My MIL has some crazy stories of growing up Catholic in the 1950's- mostly subtle, yucky discrimination stuff, nothing like being denied access to education or anything like that...... Prior to this there was conflict between the convicts, freed convicts, & their captors. Deportation to Australia as a criminal punishment only stopped in the late 19th century ('The Fatal Shore' by Robert Hughes is an excellent book about Aus convict history- pretty bloody & brutal & that's without even mentioning what happened to the indigenous people). IMO Australia had a sort of 'colonial hangover' from the early years, a sort of inferiority complex perpetuated (IMO) by the British Empire. That is changing, & the whole thing is way too complicated for a single post. In the 1980's increasing numbers of southeast Asians migrated to Australia (after the end of the White Australia policy), which jump-started the whole global multicultural society that Aus is evolving into today. Today, 1/3 of all Australians have at least one parent born overseas.<br><br>
Fast forward to the 1990's, & a certain fish & chip shop owner named Pauline Hanson. Hanson was/is anti-immigration, anti-Asian, anti-multiculturalism, anti-indigenous land rights, anti-mixed marriage- you name it. (She also is a social agrarian, but that another story...). She founded the One Nation political party, & in 1998 i believe, they recieved about 8 % of the total vote. She pandered to people's fears about 'others', & was somewhat famous for claiming that Australia would be over-run by the 'Asian hordes from the North' (paraphrasing somewhat). That 8% of the vote came from the more conservative voters, which took votes away from both the Liberal & National party (the coalition gov't we have today). So, the Libs & Nats (but more the Libs) adapted & adopted some of Hanson's policies, thereby dropping One Nation's percentage of the vote to around 0.5 % today. ANd one of the policies they adapted with great gusto was the anti-boat people legislation. We have now excised most of our islands from our migration zone, making it very difficult to arrive at the mainland & claim assylum. ANother thing we do is drag fishing boats overcrowded with refugees back to Indonesia. Sometimes the boats sink, & sometimes you get disasters like the SIEV X tragedy. If they do manage to get picked up by another boat, that's when the 'Pacific Solution' comes in. We pay Nauru & PNG to hold people in, well, detention camps in horrid conditions, so that they can't even set one foot on this fatal shore..... And then we declare Afghanistan 'safe' & give them the option of either remaining in a detention camp for the rest of their natural life & charging them for it, or sending them 'home'. This is done in the name of protecting us from terrorists, but in reality it's just playing on people's fears.....<br><br>
This history I think in part explains why Australians have been willing to go along with the detention. I should also add that detention for non-traditional immigrants was put in place by a Labor gov't (liberal/lefty). It's just that the Coalition has taken it to new extremes. Most people are still in favour of refugees being held temporarily for health checks & disease control, but more & more are coming around to the idea that after that initial health assessment refugees should be released into the community. This changing attitude can be seen in groups like Rural Australians for Refugees- compassion for refugees is crossing over into the more right-y sector of the population, & this is what gives me hope that the Coalition will be pressured into making changes before the next election (sometime in October or November).<br><br>
I don't think that your average Aussie sees the camps as a Holiday Inn <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> , but you know, a lot of people live here in some pretty harsh, remote conditions in semi-desert, & they don't see how living in air-conditioning with TV & food is so bad...... The urban folks (the bulk of the population)... well, I don't really know what their justification is. The nearest big city to me is Brisbane (approx. 1 million people), & it takes two days driving to get there. Me, I live in a town of 150,000, with plenty of Aboriginals & Asians & Pacific Islanders & Italians & Greeks & a surprising number of Yanks, & quite frankly I don't always get what the big cities are on about. My town's not perfect, & it's beyond ridiculously hot in summer, but we mix up here in the North & that's got to be a good thing..... It can be red-necky, but in some of my personal friends I have seen a complete turn-around in their attitude towards refugees. Before they were just scared (by One Nation & the current gov't), but when you actually sit down & talk with people, sometimes their attitude changes. They see that you are not scared of the 'unknown people', the 'Asian hordes', or whatever box you want to put people in & they think maybe I don't need to be scared either.......<br><br>
Bringing this novella to a close now...... I think Australians DO care, but in a certain sense they are tough, tough people..... so used to hardship (historically) that they don't see how bad it is for people to be locked away. As for the children in detention.... I've never actually heard any real person suggest that the kiddies should remain locked up (I'm sure they're out there tho). Mostly that rubbish comes from the pollies.... which is why I think the current gov'ts policy can be changed, & why I think letters from concerned mums & dads in America will help.<br><br>
I won't be holding my breath though...... Au revoir.....
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/privateeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="private eyes"><br><br>
I'm shocked. Appalled. Nay, dare I say ... disappointed.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/privateeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="private eyes"><br><br>
You mean Australia isn't a liberal-bordering-on-socialist utopia? Where all those despairing of the right-wing nutcases in the United States of Imperialist Aggression America can seek refuge from all those spacious skies and amber waves of grain?<br><br>
I'm shocked and appalled.<br><br>
And I know, being a total wise-acre.<br><br>
Will bolt before getting in trouble ...<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wave.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wave"><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Bolt.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bolt">
 

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Australia does many things very well. This is not one of them.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">You mean Australia isn't a liberal-bordering-on-socialist utopia? Where all those despairing of the right-wing nutcases in the United States of Imperialist Aggression America can seek refuge from all those spacious skies and amber waves of grain?</td>
</tr></table></div>
Not quite sure where you're going with this one, merpk?? Is this directed at me??? And if so...???? I do appreciate a bit of cheeky humour <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> , but I believe the only American I've even come close to calling a nutcase is myself .... & I sure ain't right wing. (okay, okay, & Dubya & Co.... possibly, but I'd have to have a look back thru my posts to be sure).<br>
Perhaps you meant to say where all the left-wing nutcases seek refuge? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i><b>... by me</b><br>
... You mean Australia isn't a liberal-bordering-on-socialist utopia? Where all those despairing of the right-wing nutcases in the United States of Imperialist Aggression America can seek refuge from all those spacious skies and amber waves of grain?</i><br><br><i><b>... and you replied</b><br><br>
... Not quite sure where you're going with this one, merpk?? Is this directed at me??? And if so...???? I do appreciate a bit of cheeky humour , but I believe the only American I've even come close to calling a nutcase is myself .... & I sure ain't right wing. (okay, okay, & Dubya & Co.... possibly, but I'd have to have a look back thru my posts to be sure).<br>
Perhaps you meant to say where all the left-wing nutcases seek refuge? ...</i></td>
</tr></table></div>
<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
That's precisely what I said.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
You are, from what I've read of your post, one of those for whom despair over the right-wing nutcases has sent you into to exile in Australia. Reread my post with the pauses in the wording slightly adjusted ... guessing that you must be too used to those funny accents down there to read the sentence with the proper emphasis ... don't sweat it. Open a Fosters, put your feet up & neveryoumind ... :LOL
 

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Okay. I re-read your words. In a different tone. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Perhaps I am guilty of overselling my dear adopted home. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blush.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blush"> (Who? ME??) And I came here as a spouse, not as a refugee, which is lucky for me as we all know from the previous posts on this thread. I did have a think back- pretty sure I've been upfront about the refugee thing when the topic comes up tho.... or maybe..... maybe, just maybe I can't write what I really think in a public forum.... too far out there in a strange sort of utopian way.... If we were sitting down having a chat & a beer, I'd tell you, & we could share our opinions in a more civilised way than cyberland allows. Such is life.....<br><br>
...............<br><br><br>
Oh, and just for the record, I'm more of a Toohey's Old girl, myself. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Far, far superior to Fosters. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I can't even summon up the words to reply.<br><br>
That's just disgusting. There is so much going on in the word today that I have problems keeping track of what atrocity is committed where.
 

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I agree UmmIlyas, it is a disgusting way to treat people. Many folks here don't agree with long-term mandatory detention, & I do believe there will be a change. Soon, I hope.<br><br>
I know what you mean about having trouble keeping up with all the crimes that humans perpetrate against each other..... I'm overwhelmed by it sometimes. Some days I just stare blankly & think, my God, what next?? And I'm sitting here in my comfy little world..... grateful... trying not to become complacent.<br><br>
To be fair (& realistic) this sort of stuff happens to many refugees in the world. Sometimes it's worse in other countries. Australia just is in the spotlight right now- correctly so, but this gov't is not the only one abusing human rights........
 

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Just an update. All but one child (a newborn baby) have now been released from detention centres on the mainland. It is my understanding that the children's parents, or at least the mother, have also been released. There are still some children left in detention centres in Nauru & Christmas Island.<br><br><a href="http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,10054149%255E2702,00.html" target="_blank">news story here</a><br><br>
finally, some good news. Still, so far to go......
 
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