Refugees have unfinished business with Labor
On 29 November more than 1000 refugees rallied on the lawns of Canberra’s Parliament House to once again demand Labor make good on its pre-election promise to grant permanent visas to refugees on temporary visas.
It’s not complicated—Permanent visas for refugees now
It’s now almost six months since Labor was elected, and the anger is growing.
Eyewitness report: Australia’s other offshore hell—lift the ban on refugees in Indonesia
Ian Rintoul recently returned from a refugee movement fact-finding trip to Indonesia. He reports on the plight of refugees trapped there by Australian government policy
More torture as Labor threatens Medevac refugees brought from offshore detention
Late last month, refugees brought to Australia from PNG and Nauru received a threatening letter from the government telling them they had to leave the country.
Labor’s delays leave refugees in limbo
More than 1500 refugees and asylum-seekers rallied from across the country in Canberra on 8 September to demand permanent visas for all refugees and asylum-seekers.
Biloela family gets visas but Labor still leaving thousands of refugees in limbo
Labor will pay dearly if the visas for the Biloela family is a one-off attempt to grab some positive media and earn some brownie points from the refugee movement.
Brutal border policies spread as UK moves to offshore refugees
The UK government has adopted brutal Australian-style measures against refugees, planning to exile the majority of asylum-seeker boat arrivals in the UK to Rwanda.
Refugees are still alive, still fighting a horror system
The NSW’s Premier’s Literary Awards 2022 Book of the Year, Still Alive: Notes from Australia’s Immigration Detention System, illustrates the horrors and depravity of Australia’s refugee detention system.
Tamil family home to Bilo but thousands still waiting for Labor
While Labor was trying to take the credit for the Bilo family, on asylum boat turnbacks and offshore detention, Labor is singing from Morrison’s songsheet.
Australian resettlement ban imposes torture on refugees in Indonesia
Labor says it will lift the ban on accepting refugees in Indonesia. But action is needed urgently to resettle thousands left for a decade in impossible conditions.
Still unfinished business for the refugee movement after we turn back Morrison
It wasn’t long before Scott Morrison found a chance to boast about being the architect of Operation Sovereign Borders and turning back asylum boats.
Protest that helped refugees escape from detention—the Woomera breakout 20 years on
The Woomera breakout saw protesters help refugees escape detention, advancing a movement that won freedom for many others too, writes James Supple
‘We’re treated like animals in this place’: bashed detainee speaks out
“I’ve never been hit so many times on my head for nothing.” That’s what one detainee in the Christmas Island detention centre told Solidarity after guards went on a violent rampage last week.
Morrison’s hypocrisy over Ukraine refugees
For the second time in nine months the world has been confronted by horrific scenes of refugees fleeing war. The first was Afghanistan in August 2021, the second in Ukraine, this year, with over three million people fleeing across the Ukrainian border following Russia’s invasion.
Afghan refugees demand permanent visas
More than 3000 Afghan refugees from across the country converged on Parliament House in Canberra on 8 February to press their demands for permanent visas and demand an immediate humanitarian intake of at least 20,000 from Afghanistan.
Djokovic deportation reveals more of Morrison’s immigration crimes
The cancellation of Novak Djokovic’s visa was a calculated political stunt.
COVID outbreak scandal sees calls to free Medevac refugees grow
At the height of the COVID-19 outbreak among refugees in the Park Hotel prison in Melbourne, 22 of the 46 refugees were infected, an infection rate rivalled only by the worst of the outbreaks in aged care homes.
Australia dumps PNG refugees—keep up the fight to bring them here
Abandoning the refugees left there is the latest move by the Australian government to use PNG as a dumping ground for those it first sent to the horror of Manus Island detention centre in 2013.
More protests needed to open the border to Afghan refugees, end temporary visas
A month since the fall of Kabul, the Morrison government still shows no sign of responding to the demands to grant permanent visas to Afghan refugees already in Australia on temporary protection visas.
How the Tampa crisis cemented Australia’s brutal border policies
The Tampa affair, 20 years ago this month, made the demonisation of refugees central to Australian politics
Pressure grows for urgent intake as Morrison abandons Afghan refugees
The Afghan crisis has exposed everything that is rotten about Morrison and the government’s anti-refugee policies.
Eight years is enough—refugee detention onshore and offshore must end
This year 19 July marks the beginning of the ninth year of Offshore Detention Mark II.
Labor backs Coalition’s indefinite detention powers
The government has rammed through legislation that dramatically entrenches its powers to indefinitely detain refugees.
‘We are not cattle’—refugees moved again from hotel prison but more protest can free them
The Kangaroo Point hotel prison was closed when the last 19 Medevac refugees there were hastily moved. “We are treated like cattle,” Mo, a Sudanese refugee, told Solidarity.
Refugee activist found not guilty on incitement charge
Refugee Action Collective Victoria member Chris Breen has been found not guilty on the charge of incitement.
Medevac refugees stuck in detention Catch-22—free them all
Even as the hotel-detention of Medevac refugees seems to be ending, the government is waging a bitter battle to keep the legal facade of offshore detention intact.
As more Medevac refugees released, protests continue to demand: Free them all on permanent visas
As protests gather momentum, up to 70 Medevac refugees, and others transferred from Nauru, were expected to be freed in the first two days of March.
Medevac refugees freed—now free the rest
The Coalition government has been forced onto the back foot by the refugee movement. After almost eight years in detention, including two years in hotel prisons, 48 Medevac refugees have now been released.
Holding the line against Dutton—protest can free the refugees
Throughout the COVID crisis, with determined protests by refugees inside the hotel-prisons, the refugee movement has doggedly fought to free them.
US refugee deal winds up with hundreds still in limbo
Marc Ablong from Home Affairs told October’s Senate Estimates hearing that the deal with the US to resettle refugees from Nauru and PNG would finish in March or April 2021.
Refugees need permanent protection not fruit picking
Requiring refugees to work in rural areas before granting residency only helps to legitimise the government’s anti-refugee policies
Close Kangaroo Point: refugee protest defies ban
Around 400 protesters defied the strenuous efforts of Queensland’s Labor government to ban a pro-refugee demonstration outside the Kangaroo Point hotel, which is holding around 105 refugees transferred from Manus and Nauru for medical treatment.
Seven years is enough: protest builds to free the refugees
The 19 July marked seven years since the Rudd Labor government infamously declared that no asylum seeker who arrived by boat and was sent to offshore detention in Manus...
Refugee supporters blockade Kangaroo Point Hotel
After weeks of protests inside and outside the hotel-prisons and detention centres, the Kangaroo Point hotel in Brisbane has emerged as the immediate focal point for the campaign to free the refugees in Australia.
Mental health crisis but solidarity protests can free the refugees
Just as surely as it happened on Manus and Nauru, the attempted suicides and self-harm incidents are escalating in the hotels and detention centres here.
Refugees step up detention protests for freedom from infection risk
Refugees in detention centres across the country are continuing their resistance, calling for their immediate release amid the threat of COVID-19 infection.
Detention is a coronavirus danger—free the refugees now
As the coronavirus spreads, calls are growing louder to free immigration detainees from the detention centres and hotels.
From offshore prison to onshore motels: Free the refugees
Hundreds of refugees brought to Australia for medical attention before the Medevac legislation was repealed are still being held in closed detention.
Manus and Nauru refugees brought to Australia still rotting in detention
The first people transferred under Medevac have now been in detention almost a year. The initial hopes for freedom have turned into despair.
Australia’s Medevac catch-22 means no medical help for refugees
Since February, just 160 people have been transferred from Manus and Nauru for medical treatment. The government is deliberately delaying medical treatment to those being transferred.
Defend Medevac, but fight to open the borders
The battlelines over Medevac are already drawn. Eleven peak medical colleges, as well as the AMA, have publicly called on the government not to repeal the Medevac legislation.
Not ended, relocated: Manus detention transferred to Port Moresby
In the last few weeks, all but five of the people detained on Manus have been transferred to Port Moresby. But the relocation does not signal the end of offshore detention in PNG, and the refugees are no closer to freedom.
Immigration dirty tricks open Bomana
In the early hours of 12 August, 52 asylum seekers were rounded up and taken to the new detention centre annexed to the Bomana Prison in Port Moresby.
‘Six years is too long without my family’: Refugees protest visa limbo
Frustrated and desperate after six years in Australia, refugees on temporary visas have gathered to protest the denial of rights due to the government’s removal of permanent protection visas.
No Medevac repeal: Break Morrison’s blockade, Bring them here
As expected, in the first sitting of the new Parliament, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton moved to repeal the Medevac Bill.
Don’t let Dutton repeal Medevac Bill
Since the election of the Morrison government, Manus Island and Port Moresby have become a pit of despair.
Mental health crisis but offshore detention can still be fought
Although the Liberal government made a big show of re-opening the Christmas Island detention centre in the lead-up to the election, refugees were hardly mentioned during the campaign.
Fight over Manus and Nauru far from finished
The last six years of the Coalition has taken refugee scapegoating to new levels. But voting Green or Labor is not going to end offshore detention, nor end mandatory detention.
Desperate Morrison plays Christmas Island card
The passing of the Medivac Bill has driven the government into a frenzy of desperation and hate-mongering. Scott Morrison declared himself to be “a brick wall”. But he knows that the Bill has punched a hole in the wall of offshore detention.
How the last security scare over refugees came to nothing
We have heard the same scaremongering about refugees being a risk to “national security” many times before.
Liberals humiliated over refugee medical transfers
The vote for the Medivac amendments won’t end offshore detention, but it was a fantastic blow against the Morrison government. It is one of the very few occasions that Labor has voted against a Coalition government on refugee policy.
Medical Transfer Bill can be another blow against offshore detention
The prospect of the Coalition government being defeated when the Medical Transfer Bill is returned to the House of Representatives on 12 February has been thrown into doubt by the dithering of independent MP Cathy McGowan.
Hunger strikes across domestic detention
Detainees in detention centres across Australia are staging a hunger strike protest over detention conditions and powers that allow the Minister effectively to keep people in detention indefinitely.
Morrison narrowly avoids defeat in parliament, but cracks in offshore detention widen
Kerryn Phelps’ attempt to pass the Urgent Medical Treatment Bill amendments has stalled in the Senate.
Teachers step up the pressure as hundreds walk off work for refugee rights
A fantastic 200 hundred teachers from more than 50 schools across Victoria, and 150 teachers from 20 schools in Brisbane, walked out to protest against the offshore detention of refugees, yesterday.
Kids off victory: Now get everyone off Nauru and Manus
There are now less than 20 children left on Nauru. Only six months ago, it took desperately fought legal battles in the Federal Court to get orders forcing the government to bring life-threateningly sick children off Nauru to Australia.
Nauru in meltdown—step up the fight to free them
Australia’s detention regime on Nauru is spiralling out of control. The mental health crisis is accelerating among all age groups. And Nauruan elites and Australian officials are locked into a war of attrition against refugees.
Mental health crisis engulfs Nauru
Nauru is in meltdown with an epidemic of mental illness and medical problems among children.
Hamid was killed by Australia: Coroner damns offshore detention
It has taken four years, but the Coronial findings on the death of Hamid Khazaei have delivered a scathing indictment of offshore detention.
Boat turnbacks condemn refugees to poverty and despair in Indonesia
The government’s boat turnback policy is leaving thousands of refugees to rot in Indonesia. They are struggling to survive and have no hope of a future, as next to none will get the chance of resettlement.
Dutton pledges no compassion, but Ali gets to Australia
On the same day that Peter Dutton was on the front page of The Australian warning against a “single act of compassion to refugees”, Ali was transferred from Nauru to a Gold Coast hospital.
Labor, the unions and the fight to close Manus and Nauru
The move by the Industrial Left group of unions to join with the right-wing AWU to prevent a slew of resolutions (including one on refugees) being debated at the Victorian ALP conference has left many refugee supporters angry and dismayed.
US deal farce as refugees blocked from resettlement
Large-scale rejections on Nauru have revealed the US resettlement deal to be a complete farce. Trump is blocking refugees with nationalities that make up around half of all the refugees on Manus and Nauru from resettlement.
White South African farmers—racists on the march
If you want an example of how the respectable racism at the top of society shapes racism more broadly and encourages the far right, look no further than the campaign for white South African farmers being waged by the likes of Peter Dutton, Alan Tudge and WA Liberal MP Andrew Hastie.
Resettlement farce on Manus: set the deadline, bring them here
The PNG Immigration Minister’s declaration that the Australian government must get the asylum seekers and refugees out of PNG has made the “Bring Them Here” demand of the refugee movement even more important.
Fraser wanted to stop the boats
A new book on the origins of Australia’s refugee policies idealises the approach of the Fraser government. But it has plenty of evidence on why it’s no model argues Ian Rintoul
March to end the misery on Manus and Nauru
The conditions on Nauru and Manus continue to deteriorate. It is more important than ever that thousands march to demand the closure of Manus and Nauru, an end offshore detention and that all the asylum seekers and refugees are brought to Australia.
More refugees get to US but problems mount in new Manus compounds
More refugees from Manus have been flown for resettlement in the United States this month. But this will bring the total to just 230 people resettled in 14 months. What is certain is that there are hundreds more refugees than the US has agreed to resettle.
Manus resettlement: Why NZ and PNG aren’t game to defy Australia
Malcolm Turnbull has flatly turned down New Zealand’s offer to take 150 refugees from Manus Island. But why it is Australia that has the power to control everything that happens on Manus?
Freedom now! Thousands protest brutal end to Manus siege
After three weeks of refugees’ fearless defiance, the 23-day government siege on Manus Island was brutally ended on Friday 24 November.
Student bulletin: The movement we need to free the refugees
Young people are flooding into the refugee movement in response to the Manus crisis, bringing passion and energy to end the abject cruelty of Australia’s government. But many questions are also being thrown up.
Against the odds, Manus fights for freedom—Bring them here
A desperate siege is unfolding in the Manus detention centre. The 600 men inside the centre are standing up to what seem to be insurmountable odds.
Dutton scorns as Manus mourns
The Daily Telegraph headline screamed, “From Manus to Manhattan” as if, after four years of hell on Manus, refugees were about to live in luxury apartments next to Central Park.
Dutton’s callous cuts for ‘Let Them Stay’ refugees
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s announcement that he was going to cut the income and housing support from around 100 refugees brought to Australia from Manus and Nauru for medical treatment has created outrage.
Another Manus death—Turnbull is worse than Trump
The death of Hamed Shamshiripour has rocked the Manus detention centre. Hamed, a 31 year-old Iranian refugee, was found hanging from a tree on 7 August behind the school, near the East Lorengau Transit Centre.
Turning the screws on Manus refugees
PNG Immigration and Australia’s Border Force are relentlessly turning the screws on Manus refugees and asylum seekers to try to force them out of the detention centre.
Dutton’s deadline threat to asylum seekers
Peter Dutton has threatened to deport or cut off income support to thousands of refugees living in the community. In a disgraceful piece of dishonesty he branded 7500 of them “fake refugees” for not yet lodging their refugee claims.
Refugees are not a terrorism risk
In the wake of the Brighton siege, the right-wing media is again scaremongering about refugees and terrorism.
New unions join Victorian teachers in workplace refugee actions
Unionists across Victoria joined a week of action in support of refugees in early May. Inspired by the success of the Teachers for Refugees t-shirt actions in December, nurses, librarians, health workers and university staff all staged their own actions.
Manus chaos: no safety, no future for refugees
Confusion and increased tension surrounds the abrupt announcement of the closure of sections of the Manus detention centre.
Responding to RISE: Class power not identity politics needed to fight racism
The thousands willing to march in the pouring rain at Melbourne’s Palm Sunday rally was a sign of the solid commitment of the refugee campaign. But for a month in the run up, two organisations, RISE and Democracy in Colour, tried to sabotage the rally.
Navy shooting rampage fuels calls to close Manus Island
The Good Friday attack on the Manus detention centre has brought renewed calls for its closure. Both the Refugee Council and the Australian Churches Refugee Task Force issued statements;...
Open the borders—Bring them here
Testimony to a Senate committee from Australia’s People Smuggling Ambassador, Andrew Goledzinowski, has confirmed the scale of uncertainty that surrounds the US resettlement deal.
As US deal disintegrates, time to #BringThemHere
Although Trump hung up on Turnbull 25 minutes into their famous phone call and tweeted doubts about the deal, Prime Minister Turnbull still says there is a deal to resettle refugees in the US. It's hard to believe him.
Teachers defy threats to take a stand for refugees
Hundreds of teachers across NSW and Victoria wore t-shirts carrying the slogans “Teachers for Refugees; Close the Camps, Bring them Here” during Human Rights week in December. Despite threats from federal and state governments, we wore them to class, at lunch time, or before school, and found ways to make sure the school community could see our message.
No end to the horror: death, violence and uncertainty stalks Manus Island
On Christmas Eve, Faysal Ishak Ahmed, a 27-year-old Sudanese refugee, died in Brisbane a day after being medivacced from Manus Island.
Despite the US deal, we still need to Bring Them Here
For two days at the end of November, pro-refugee protests disrupted the final parliamentary sitting.
Tamil asylum seekers targeted under ‘fast track’ laws
In early November activists rallied in Brisbane to highlight the plight of Tamil asylum seekers and the threat to return them to danger in Sri Lanka.
Bring them all here—Kill Turnbull’s refugee ban bill
Just when you thought that the Coalition could not be any more grubby, Malcolm Turnbull has announced that he intends to ban any refugee or asylum seeker sent to an offshore processing centre after 19 July 2013 from ever coming to Australia.
Word games won’t work to shift opinion on refugees
In 2015, the Melbourne-based Asylum Seeker Resource Centre commissioned a major research project, “To find a better way to talk about people seeking asylum". However, we cannot duck the difficult questions like deaths at sea or the talk of people smuggling networks.
Grassroots campaign wins Mojgan’s freedom
A two-year long “Free Mojgan” campaign won the release of 22-year-old Iranian asylum seeker, Mojgan Shamsalipoor, from immigration detention on 21 September.
Manus detention in turmoil—again
The Manus Island detention centre has been thrown into turmoil yet again, as PNG and Australian immigration reshuffle and tighten detention arrangements inside the centre. Immigration is trying to force all so-called “double negatives” to be separated and kept in Mike Compound.
Courts and international law won’t end offshore detention
The scale of the abuse revealed in the Nauru files has led many to ask whether there is some way to use the courts, or international law, to end offshore detention.
Anti-refugee backlash fuels German far right
The far right Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) won 14.2 per cent of the vote in September’s elections to enter Berlin’s state parliament for the first time.
Bring them here: No third countries, no turnbacks
In September, Independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie became the latest politician to be denied a visa to visit Nauru. Wilkie says it shows that the government has something to hide. That’s certainly true.
After the Nauru shame files: Open the borders, Bring them all here
The calls to close Manus and Nauru are growing louder. Despite Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s attempts to dismiss the leaked Nauru files, the government has not been able to ignore the outcry.
Keep up the pressure to shut Manus and Nauru
A joint report from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch has damned Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru. More than 20 of the 58 people interviewed had been attacked by locals. Refugees are preyed upon, attacked and robbed with impunity.
Turnbull hanging by a thread—where now for the refugee campaign?
In the last weeks of the federal election, Turnbull, increasingly desperate for votes, played the refugee card. But it didn’t work. Rather than secure the election, the Liberals lost seats by the bucketload.
Dutton’s racism backfires, but refugees are an election issue
In true Liberal fashion, as the election gets closer and Turnbull sags in the opinion polls, they have reached for the refugee card.
New protests on Manus as Australia stalls on closing the centre
Hundreds of asylum seekers and refugees have joined together for the biggest protest inside the Manus detention centre since the mass hunger strike of 2015, following the PNG Supreme Court ruling that it was unlawful and must close.
Must see insight into the reality of offshore detention
Chasing Asylum provides a powerful and emotional look at the human impact of Australia’s cruelty to refugees.
Manus will close: Offshore detention in tatters
The decision by the PNG Supreme Court means that one half of the government’s offshore processing regime is finished, writes Ian Rintoul.
Alternatives to detention and deterrence of refugees
Both major parties remain firmly committed to the offshore detention and deterrence of refugees coming here. So what is the alternative?
Defiance and protest can close Nauru
Every afternoon since 20 March, asylum seekers at the family camp on Nauru, women, men, teenagers, and children, have staged a protest at the main gate to the camp.
Refugee politics at work—how did teachers say ‘Let them Stay?’
When hundreds of photos of “Teachers say Let them Stay” actions at schools poured through social media in February, everyone fighting for justice for refugees stood taller and felt bolder.
Let Them Stay, Bring Them Here: people power vs the government
Almost two months ago, the High Court ruled that offshore detention on Nauru and Manus Island was lawful. The 267 people who had been brought to the mainland, and who had been part of that case, were liable to be sent back.
No pride in detention: gays face prison and danger on Nauru
More than 100 people marched with the “No Pride in Detention” float at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The float highlighted the plight of Nima and Ashkan (not their real names), two gay Iranian refugees on Nauru.
Fortress Europe: open the borders
Governments across Europe are shutting the door to refugees. James Supple argues they can welcome the boats and open the borders
Fight to let them all stay—fight to close the camps
The High Court decision that offshore processing is lawful has triggered a massive wave of defiance and protest, from the churches to the Labor Party.
Lady Cilento Hospital workers show the way to win
“If you move on baby Asha, you move on 15,000 Maritime Union members.” That’s what Bob Carnegie, Queensland State Secretary of the MUA, told a wildly enthusiastic crowd outside Lady Cilento Hospital on Monday 15 February.
Teacher solidarity with refugees spreads through schools
Teachers, educators, aides, translators and administrative staff in over 70 schools across Australia have come together to say refugees should be studying in our schools and educational institutions instead of languishing in offshore camps.
Let them stay, close the camps: How can the refugee campaign win?
The High Court decision that offshore processing is lawful has triggered a wave of protest, from the churches to the Labor Party. If we can harness the opposition, we...
Close Nauru and Manus—Australia the only place to resettle refugees
The Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, made headlines in mid-January threatening to send 72 children back to Nauru. The children are among the 260 asylum seekers and refugees who have been brought from Nauru and Manus for medical reasons.
Racists use Cologne attacks to demonise Muslims and refugees
Racist politicians are trying to use horrific New Year’s Eve attacks on women in German cities to undermine solidarity with refugees. These attempts are also boosting racist groups. They hope...
Turned back: Jewish refugees and WWII
As Europe faces its greatest refugee crisis since 1945, Solidarity looks at the mistakes made then in turning back Jewish refugees, and how they are being repeated
Kids out, all out—end detention
In early November, the Free the Children Nauru Facebook page, set up by teenagers on Nauru, got a whopping 23,000 followers within 24 hours. In late November, The Greens...
Yeronga teachers strike to support asylum seeker Mojgan Shamsalipoor
In a wonderful show of solidarity, staff at Brisbane's Yeronga State High School walked off the job yesterday in support of asylum seeker and student Mojgan Shamsalipoor, currently detained in the Darwin Immigration Detention centre.
People power for Abyan shows how to stop refugee cruelty
It was not until Abyan’s plight became public and tens of thousands signed a petition and thousands of others sent emails and contacted MPs offices that the government moved to bring Abyan off Nauru.
Dutton’s offshore resettlement crisis: Cambodia, Philippines…Kyrgyzstan?
The latest pitch for a resettlement arrangement with the ex-Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan came after the Philippines firmly rejected any idea that it would be part of a refugee resettlement deal with Australia.
Nauru’s horrific war on refugee women
Two days before the High Court case looking at the legality of maintaining offshore detention facilities, Nauru dramatically announced that detention will end on the island. The reality is the announcement means little for those incarcerated on Nauru.
No choice for Syrians but to risk dangerous voyage
Syrian refugees face hellish conditions in neighbouring countries, and aid money is running out, forcing larger numbers to use people smugglers to escape writes Solidarity
Wave of refugees challenges Fortress Europe
Europe is being confronted with its greatest refugee crisis since World War Two. The scale of the crisis is immense. Germany alone expects to receive 800,000 asylum seekers this year.
Abbott’s Syria refugee announcement: Too little, too discriminatory and too hypocritical
As the refugee crisis unfolded in Europe and the photo of the lifeless body of a three year-old on a Turkish beach galvanised calls for action, an outpouring of public pressure has forced the Abbott government to take 12,000 Syrian refugees.
Labor votes to turn asylum seekers away
The Federal Labor Party lurched further to the right, after leader Bill Shorten won majority support for the turn-back of asylum boats at the Labor National Conference in July.
Queensland teachers oppose transfer of asylum seeker student
Outrage is growing in Queensland over the transfer of a re-detained Iranian asylum seeker from the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA) to Wickham Point in Darwin.
Turn back Labor’s slide to the right on refugees
In the run-up to the ALP national conference, the question of whether there will be a push for Labor to support the turnback of asylum boats looms large.
Workers stand up to bipartisan Border Force disgrace
On a cold July Saturday morning, almost 300 medical professionals (doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists) gathered on the steps of Sydney’s Town Hall to demonstrate their defiance of the Border Force Act.
Boundless Plains—but not for sharing
Ian Rintoul looks at Across the Seas, a new book on the history of Australia’s response to asylum seekers and finds a disturbing continuity with the racism of today
ACTU opposes turnbacks, detention on Manus and Nauru
A high point of the recent ACTU Congress was the adoption of a strong asylum seeker and refugee policy.
Will they or won’t they? Labor and asylum boat turnbacks
Labor had been vigorously pursuing Abbott and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton over paying the crew of asylum boats to return to Indonesia. But they suddenly went quiet when the spotlight turned on secret payments made when they were in government.
People smuggler payment scandal: Turnbacks are the real crime
The reports that the Coalition government paid six asylum boat crew over $6000 each to return asylum seekers to Indonesia has made dramatic news headlines around Australia and the world.
‘Saving lives at sea’? Let them drown says Abbott
More than 200 Rohingyan asylum seekers are dead, and thousands more are at risk, as asylum boats are turned back to sea between Indonesia and Malaysia.
Border policing kills: saving lives starts with welcoming the boats
The more lives lost at sea, the shriller become the hypocritical cries of “stop the boats”. At the time of writing 6000 asylum seekers remain stranded in the Malacca...
Ahwazis face persecution in Iran, detention in Australia
Over 100 people from the Australian Ahwazi community, the majority travelling from interstate, gathered outside the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Canberra on Monday 21 April to protest the Government’s proposal to transfer failed asylum-seekers back to Iran.
Detention protest stops Nauru transfers
While three single men were returned to Nauru from the Darwin’s Wickham Point detention centre on 16 April, protests inside the centre stopped the planned transfers of any asylum...
Open the borders or regional resettlement?
The death of Malcolm Fraser in March has brought renewed attention to the policies of his government regarding asylum seekers.
Mass arrests and defiance as Nauru refugees fight for freedom
In January, it was the mass hunger strikes on Manus Island that challenged the offshore processing regime. Now Nauru has become the latest flashpoint of resistance writes Ian Rintoul.
PNG court challenge to Manus Island detention
A major constitutional challenge to the Manus Island detention centre, and the violation of the human rights of asylum seekers detained there, is underway in the PNG Supreme Court.
UN Committee Against Torture finds Australia guilty
It was hardly news, but when the UN Committee Against Torture tabled its report, finding Australia guilty of torture in its detention centres, Tony Abbott spat the dummy, declaring, “Australia is sick of being lectured to by the UN”.
Manus hunger strike largest in detention regime history
By 23 January a hunger strike protest had swept the detention centre on Manus with hundreds of asylum seekers in every compound joining in. The biggest sustained protest against Australia’s offshore detention regime had begun.
Shooting the messenger on kids in detention
For weeks, in the run up to the publication of the Human Rights Commission report into children in detention, The Australian has been running a witch-hunt against its President, Gillian Triggs.
Refugee deportations: ‘If people stand up they can make a change’
Refugee rights activists have stepped up anti-deportation actions as the government tries to send back a growing number of asylum seekers to countries like Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and China. In December, for the first time, action by passengers on an Air China Flight from Sydney successfully prevented the deportation of an asylum seeker.
Back the hunger strikers: Manus must be closed
The hunger strike on Manus Island is now in its tenth day. For ten days, over 700 asylum seekers have maintained the most desperate protest against the brutality of Australia’s offshore detention regime, writes Ian Rintoul.
Nauru vigilantes attack refugees: A sign of things to come?
At an institutional level, the government policies of offshore processing and mandatory detention are coming under sustained attack both domestically and internationally.
‘The people who help asylum seekers the most are people smugglers’
Confessions of a People-Smuggler is a confronting, and revealing book. Dawood Amiri, a Hazara, tells his story of fleeing from the Taliban’s targeted killings in Quetta in Pakistan, to getting involved in people smuggling in Indonesia to fund his own trip to Australia by boat.
No TPVs—refugees need permanent protection
On 25 September, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced a deal with Clive Palmer to re-introduce Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs).
Two deaths too many: Close Manus Island
The death of 24 year-old Iranian asylum seeker, Hamid Kehazaei in Brisbane on 5 September has again brought home the horror of offshore processing.
Morrison holds asylum seekers hostage to TPVs
The cracks in Morrison’s offshore processing regime are growing wider, as the Immigration Minister pushes harder for the re-introduction of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs). In mid-August, on the eve...
Exposing the phoney ‘deaths at sea’ argument
There is a strong sense of déjà vu for refugee rights activists. Many of the battles waged against the Howard government, like opposing long-term detention and Temporary Protection Visas,...
Campaign builds against Morrison’s refugee cruelty
The arrival of a boat of 157 Tamil asylum seekers on the mainland, the first this year, punched a hole in Operation Sovereign Borders.
Five months after Reza’s killing—danger signs on Manus Island
On Manus Island, there are ominous signs that Transfield and the Immigration Department are actively preparing to re-introduce local PNG staff into the detention centre.
Peace in Sri Lanka—another Abbott lie
Tony Abbott has declared Sri Lanka “a society at peace”. But the truth is very different.
Morrison’s refugee bashing is all at sea
As Solidarity goes to press, the whereabouts of 153 Tamil asylum seekers is still unknown—except that they are on a Customs ship in the custody of the Australian government, probably still on the high seas in the Indian Ocean.
Covering up for Manus murder: Lies, damned lies and the Cornall inquiry
The Cornall inquiry, commissioned by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, into “the events of 16-18 February on Manus Island” has now been released. But we are none the wiser for it.
Labor caucus backs offshore processing but there’s cracks in the ranks
Shamefully but not surprisingly, on 17 June, a motion proposing that parliamentary Labor oppose the offshore processing of asylum seekers lost “on the voices”.
High Court rejects challenge to offshore detention
The High Court struck down a constitutional challenge to Manus Island and Nauru on 18 June.
Cambodia isn’t safe for refugees
Reports claim that a deal between Australia and Cambodia to resettle refugees from Nauru in Cambodia could soon be signed.
Justice for Reza Barati: the minister for murder has to go
One hundred days after Iranian asylum seeker, Reza Barati, was killed inside the Manus Island detention centre no one has been held to account. The killers, former G4S workers...
Unionists organising for refugees: ‘They’re no threat to us’
One of the many highlights of Sydney’s Palm Sunday rally in April was the 100-strong Unions for Refugees contingent. The group formed after last year’s federal election and managed to get representation from 13 unions at the rally.
Witness to the torture on Nauru
Mark Isaacs spent almost a year as a Salvation Army worker on Nauru. The Undesirables is his compelling firsthand account of the horror, injustice and disaster of offshore detention.
Morrison’s refugee brutality unravels
While Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott try to portray Operation Sovereign Borders as the Coalition's stand out success, the contradictions of offshore processing are growing sharper by the day writes Ian Rintoul
Stopping Operation Sovereign Murders
One day after the calculated murder and bloody retribution at the Manus detention camp, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison stood in front of news cameras and told a concocted, now completely discredited, story.
Transfield boycott wins a victory for refugee rights
Artists who boycotted the Sydney Biennale over its links to Transfield have won an important victory for refugee rights.
Letter from Manus Island: ‘G4S attacked us—they killed Reza’
This letter was written by one of the injured Manus asylum seekers and smuggled out of a Port Moresby hospital where he was sent for treatment. It gives an eyewitness account of the attack on 17 February. It has been slightly edited to protect identities.
Close the hell-hole: Manus blood on Morrison’s hands
The events on Manus Island have been nothing short of horrific. A 24-year-old Faili Kurd is dead; and other asylum seekers are critically ill, one with a fractured skull, another with a cut throat.
Nauru: Australian colonial control never really ended
Today, Nauru is as a pliant micro-state ready to warehouse and imprison asylum seekers. Its willingness to do Australia’s bidding is the result of a history of colonial exploitation.
Nauru—not fit for pregnant women, not fit for anyone
Another mother-to-be brought from Nauru to Brisbane at the end of January has won a reprieve from being sent back to Nauru.
Mary and Mohammad both in the same boat
Heather Kirkpatrick's documentary, Mary Meets Mohammad, captures two worlds colliding in “Australia’s least multicultural town” of Pontville, where Tasmania’s first refugee detention centre was opened in mid-2011.
Turn back Abbott – not the boats
In its desperation to “stop the boats” the Abbott government has secretly resorted to intercepting and towing boats back to Indonesian waters. After Indonesia denied entry to two Australian navy ships carrying asylum seekers in November last year, it seems that there have been at least five asylum boats turned back by the Australian navy since Abbott was elected.
Christmas Island protests rock Morrison
The protest that has erupted inside the Christmas Island detention centres is the largest to confront the government since the protest and fire that destroyed the Nauru detention camp on 19 July 2013.
Outpouring of protest after visa denied to gay Pakistani man Ali Choudry
A petition campaign to support the visa application of Ali Choudry generated huge support in a matter of hours in January.
Detention racism and refugee politics: A Solidarity pamphlet
Solidarity looks at the issues behind the war on refugees, from people smuggling to open borders, as well as the lessons of the successful effort by the movement to...
Punching a hole in Operation Sovereign Borders
The grin has come off Scott Morrison’s face. Journalists openly jeered and Morrison squirmed as his lies about a pregnant Rohingyan woman on Nauru were exposed at his 8 November press briefing.
Tensions mount: Morrison tries to stop the media but he hasn’t stopped the boats
Abbott and Morrison have wasted no time putting the boot into asylum seekers. The day after being sworn into office, Abbott directed the Immigration Department to only issue temporary protection...
West Papuan asylum seekers returned to PNG
Seven West Papuans who requested asylum when they arrived in the Torres Strait have been denied the chance to make a protection application in Australia. Two days after arriving,...
Cruel new government, cruel new refugee policies
Tony Abbott has made asylum seekers a touchstone for the success or failure of his Coalition government. One of Abbott’s first declarations was that within three years, he would...
TPV refugee speaks: ‘it was a psychological battle’
Tony Abbott is planning on reintroducing Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs), a Howard government policy initially proposed by Pauline Hanson. TPVs mean that those granted refugee status will be denied...
Why refugee activists should support open borders
Thousands of people have rallied in recent months to welcome refugees arriving in Australia by boat. Yet there remains a common sense idea that we need to set some...
Rudd’s PNG deal is already unravelling
One month after the PNG solution was announced, almost 3000 asylum seekers had arrived in Australia. Only around 300 of them have been sent to Manus Island. At best...
Labor member speaks out: PNG is no solution
Kevin Rudd's PNG deal has produced revulsion at the Labor party. There is now a debate inside the refugee campaign about how to relate to Labor party members and...
Fight Rudd, Fight Abbott—Building the refugee movement after the election
Since Kevin Rudd’s announcement of Labor’s PNG plan to expel all asylum seekers to PNG (and now also Nauru), thousands of people have turned out across the country in...
‘Stopping the boats’ doesn’t save lives at sea
Labor has attempted to defend its PNG policy and its efforts to stop refugee boats by saying it wants to prevent asylum seeker deaths at sea. Labor Left MPs...
Australia: Imperial master of PNG
The PNG “solution” is the latest episode in Australia’s history of imperialist domination of PNG, writes Tom Orsag Kevin Rudd’s deal to send refugees to PNG shows Australia’s neo-colonial attitude...
Fighting Rudd’s PNG plan: building the protests, building the campaign
At less than a day’s notice, thousands of people turned out to rally and march across the country following Kevin Rudd’s announcement of the disgraceful PNG solution. The protests...
Rudd: Labor’s saviour already turning sour
Kevin Rudd has decisively dashed any illusions that he might end Labor’s race to the right with Tony Abbott. His deal with PNG is a drastic and ruthless move...
Fortress Australia: Stop Rudd’s horror plan
Labor’s plan to shut out asylum seekers completely and finally fulfils the project started by John Howard and the Immigration department in 2001—to create a Fortress Australia that denies...
Report shows refugee numbers part of global trend
The UN refugee agency’s new Global Trends 2012 report puts refugee arrivals to Australia into context. It also shows that Australia’s recent increase in refugee arrivals has been a...
Australian imperialism, aid and the PNG solution
One of the appalling aspects of the PNG solution—and the entire Pacific Solution—is the way the Labor government has coerced poor, small Pacific countries to be complicit with Australia’s...
Refugee crisis a chance for Greens to build
Greens leader Christine Milne was a clear voice of opposition to Kevin Rudd’s appalling new refugee plan. Her angry press conference soon after Rudd’s announcement struck a chord and...
Kevin Rudd: rhetoric versus reality
For refugee supporters, any illusion that Kevin Rudd was more progressive than Julia Gillard came crashing down after he announced his new PNG “solution”. But Rudd’s primary vote is...
Former Nauru refugee: “We can’t let this happen again”
On 26 August 2001, the MV Tampa rescued Palapa 1, with 438 asylum seekers on board (369 men, 26 women and 43 children). In September 2001, the Howard government...
Bridging visas mean life in limbo for asylum seekers
Since the Labor government announced the re-opening of offshore detention on Nauru and Manus Island on 13 August last year over 19,000 asylum seekers have arrived by boat. The...
Budget billions keep asylum seekers in detention
The Gillard government has locked in spending of $7.5 billion over the next four years to detain asylum seekers in Australia and offshore on Nauru and Manus Island. That...
Hunger strike exposes detention injustice
Twenty seven refugees with adverse ASIO security assessments exposed the detention regime with a ten day hunger strike at Broadmeadows detention centre in Melbourne. The refugees have won a...
Hazaras facing death in Pakistan, Australia puts out ‘not welcome’ sign
The wave of killings of Hazaras in Pakistan has escalated this year, with over 200 killed in just two horrific bombings. Yet our government wants to stop Hazaras trying...
The unchallenged rise of anti-Tamil racism in Sri Lanka
Mark Gillespie explains how Sri Lankan socialists capitulated to the vicious racism and pogroms against Tamils that led to the ethnic cleansing of today For more than 25 years...
Stop the deportations—Afghanistan is not safe
There is a determined effort under way by the Immigration department to forcibly deport a Hazara asylum seeker for the first time. In the last three weeks, the Immigration department has...
Born into detention: the plight of Paari and ASIO negative refugees
Paari was only three days old when he spent his first night behind the steel fences at Villawood detention center in January. Paari’s mother, Ranjini, his two older brothers,...
Legal hurdle for Manus Island as disgraceful conditions revealed
A constitutional challenge in Papua New Guinea’s (PNG’s) National Court of Justice over the Manus Island detention camp has just begun. The challenge, brought by PNG Opposition leader Belden...
Pacific Solution: Manus Island in a state of chaos
Almost since it opened in November last year, the Manus Island detention camp has been in a state of chaos, with hunger strikes and letters of protest. On Saturday...
Nauru asylum seekers fight for freedom
The Labor government have done everything they can to construct hell on earth on Nauru. But they did not count on the brave and determined resistance by asylum seekers...
Bowen raises the refugee deportation stakes
On October 31, a Tamil asylum seeker, Anjan, came very close to being deported from Melbourne to Sri Lanka. Despite a picket of refugee supporters at the entrance of...
And turns back boats from Sri Lanka
In early September, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen condemned the Opposition’s demands for asylum boat arrivals from Sri Lanka to be sent back. But two months later, that is exactly...
A High Court win but ASIO refugees still in limbo
In a dramatic judgement on October 5, the High Court declared that it was unlawful for the government to deny a protection visa to any asylum seeker on the...
Exiled Sri Lankan journalist on the war on Tamils: Military terror and disappearances are rife
Solidarity spoke to Bashana Abeywardane a journalist forced to flee Sri Lanka in 2006 who now lives in Europe and features in a new documentary Silenced Voices—Tales of Sri...
Safar Ali: refugee they want to deport to danger
“My name is Safar Ali Fahimi. I am an Hazara asylum seeker from Ghazni province in Afghanistan... I fled Afghanistan because I was on a Taliban death list.” Safar...
Labor’s horror story begins: no to Nauru, no to Manus Island
Detention on Nauru is already generating misery for the refugees sent there since September 14. Housed in tents with inadequate medical care and with no access to lawyers, the...
Cuts, union rights, refugees: fighting the drive to the right
As Solidarity goes to press, the dispute in Melbourne between the CFMEU and Grocon boss, Daniel Grollo, lies at a turning point. The threat of court action against the...
Labor’s ruthless rush to re-open Howard’s hell holes
Since their abject capitulation to the Pacific Solution, Labor has pulled out all stops to demonstrate just how committed they are to punishing refugees. Pallets of batons and shields...
Interview: Eyewitness to the horrors of detention on Nauru
The Howard government’s Pacific Solution began in 2001 in the wake of the Tampa crisis. A total of 1637 asylum seekers were dumped on Manus Island in Papua New...
Where to now for the refugee campaign?
There are enormous challenges ahead for the refugee campaign. In the next few weeks, the government will likely move the first group of asylum seekers (probably single men from Darwin)...
Northam convergence says no to offshore processing and detention
Outrage at Gillard’s announcement of the Pacific Solution 2.0 was a feature of rallies in both Perth and Brisbane held on August 26 to mark the 10th anniversary of...
Why is Labor attacking refugees?
Labor’s has now turned about-face on the Pacific Solution, after it closed Nauru and Manus Island detention centres on coming to power in 2007. This shift is the final outcome...
Latest refugee deaths at sea show Labor’s regard for saving lives
Any idea that the new Pacific Solution is really about saving lives at sea has been exposed as the shameless lie that it is by the latest tragedy at...
Go Back shows (again) that we can challenge ideas
Go Back To Where You Came From season two was filmed in early 2012, but the timing of its showing, two weeks after federal parliament endorsed the Pacific Solution,...
Labor wants to deport more to danger
The forced deportation of Tamil asylum seeker Dayan Anthony to Sri Lanka in late July is a taste of things to come. Nearly 200 people are attached to a...
Stop the refugee bashing, no offshore processing
The Gillard-appointed expert panel on asylum seekers panel is set to bring down its report. The Labor Cabinet will consider the report on Monday August 13. Sydney Morning Herald...
Sri Lanka’s repression brings boats of Tamil refugees to Australia
More than three years since the Sri Lankan government declared “victory” in the 33 year-long civil war against the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), there has been a spike in the...
Malcolm Fraser’s refugee policy: no model for today
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser’s policy of processing the wave of Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s has drawn much praise recently, but it is nothing to aspire to, explains...
Deaths at sea: government policy is killing refugees
Following two asylum boat sinkings in June, the Government has used asylum seeker deaths at sea to justify its anti-refugee policies. The only way to stop refugees dying is...
Shameless: parliament’s offshore processing ‘debate’
In the last two weeks of June, over 90 lives were lost at sea when two asylum boats capsized on their way to Australia. The first tragedy was entirely...
Anger grows over ASIO’s detention for life
The outcry over ASIO negative refugees, condemned to detention for the rest of their lives, continues to grow. Almost 200 people attended a vigil called by GetUp outside Attorney...
Twenty years too long: the history of mandatory detention
Australia’s first waves of refugees were processed in the community, and a Labor government introduced the punitive regime we know today, explains James Supple Mandatory detention of “unauthorised” asylum seekers...
Detention a ‘psychiatric hospital’, but report ignores alternatives
The joint parliamentary inquiry into detention brought down its report on March 30—but it was remarkable only for its timidity. Its recommendations leave mandatory detention in place. In many ways,...
ASIO can’t be trusted with refugee assessments
The long-hidden issue of the indefinite detention of refugees with adverse ASIO security assessments is finally getting some attention. The sudden detention of Tamil refugee Ranjini and her two sons...
Afghan Hazaras’ Canberra rally exposes violence in Quetta
On May 10, over 1000 Hazara-Australians converged on Canberra from across the country to protest the recent wave of killing of Hazaras in Quetta, Pakistan and the Australian government’s...
Jasmine Ali argues the left should defend multiculturalism against racist attacks from the right In February 2011, Julia Gillard and Immigration Minister Chris Bowen turned 180 degrees to reaffirm Labor’s...
ASIO assessments: ‘Refugees are being held in detention for the rest of their lives’
Refugees denied visas because of adverse assessments by ASIO are sitting in limbo in detention centres. Stephen Blanks, Secretary of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, spoke at Politics...
Refugee activists converge on detention capital
The Easter convergence on Darwin’s detention centres has set the scene for actions this year against mandatory detention. Darwin’s detention centres now hold up to 1000 asylum seekers, making...
The changing face of racism
Racism based on crude biological arguments may be increasingly unacceptable, argues James Supple, but racism based on notions of "culture" has become an insidious feature of mainstream politics in...
Villawood fire trials—still waiting for justice
There was a myth perpetuated by the official inquiry into the Christmas Island protests in March and April last year—that the protests were a result of disgruntled failed refugees...
Power of protest: Refugees and resistance in detention
Throughout mandatory detention’s sorry history, protests inside detention have been central to forcing the issue into the media and winning changes for the asylum seekers themselves. Darwin's detention centres will be...
Desperation in detention fuels need for Easter convergence
From April 6-9, refugee rights activists will again focus attention on the reality behind the detention wire. This Easter activists will converge on Darwin, which is quickly becoming the...
Challenging Labor’s plans for forced deporations of refugees
On February 8-9, an important case went before the High Court. The outcome—which won’t be known until at least March—will determine whether the Federal government can push ahead with...
Labor takes aim at people smugglers, but their detention policy is the real crime
At Labor's national conference in December, Julia Gillard and Immigration Minister Chris Bowen managed to drag Labor’s refugee policy even further to the right. While a Labor for Refugees’...
Australia shares responsibility for asylum seekers’ deaths at sea: Refugee Action Coalition
Australia cannot evade its share of the responsibility for the tragic sinking of another asylum boat off Java, according to advocates from the Refugee Action Coalition. The boat is...
As Gillard sinks the boot in: Stop the deportations
Julia Gillard has always been willing to go that extra mile when it comes to putting the boot into refugees. In spite of being nominally in the Left, she...
Hazara killings show deportation will cost lives
Scores of Hazara refugee applications are being rejected because of Australian government claims that one or other part of Afghanistan is safe. One Hazara asylum seeker was recently deported...
War crimes evidence shows Tamils not safe in Sri Lanka
Evidence of Sri Lankan government war crimes during the civil war in 2009 continues to grow. An initial UN report in April held that there were credible reports that...
Malaysia agreement stalled, now end mandatory detention and free the refugees
Not with a bang but a whimper. Rather than have the legislation defeated on the floor of parliament, Julia Gillard withdrew the Migration Act amendments that would have allowed...
Discriminatory offshore processing continues at Christmas Island
The demise of third country offshore processing, and the government’s efforts to send refugees to Malaysia or the Pacific, does not mean the end of all offshore processing. The...
After Malaysia: smash Labor’s pro-business model
Labor has hit rock bottom. Julia Gillard has thrown human rights overboard in her bid to outflank Abbott from the right over refugees. Incredibly, her efforts have allowed Tony Abbott...
People smugglers: refugees’ ticket to freedom
“Breaking the people smugglers’ business model” is the tired refrain Julia Gillard and Chris Bowen use to justify every inhumane aspect of their policy on asylum seekers—from their...
Malaysia solution scuttled, now let’s end mandatory detention
The last month has been one of the most dramatic in the history of the refugee movement. There was euphoria at the High Court decision that found the Malaysia...
Why the refugee movement must relate to Labor
HOW THE refugee movement relates to members of the Labor Party is again assuming strategic importance for the campaign. The question will become even more crucial in the lead...
Telling glimpse into Tamil Tigers’ doomed route to national liberation
Tamil Tigress By Niromi de Soyza Allen & Unwin, $32.99 Tamil Tigress is the memoir of Niromi de Soyza, who in 1987, at the age of 17, left her middle-class family to...
Gillard reinvents the Pacific solution
As Solidarity goes to press, the High Court has announced it will hand down a decision on the challenge to the Malaysia refugee deal on Wednesday August 31. Whether...
Go Back: the series that set people talking
SBS TV’s Go Back To Where You Came From has generated a huge amount of public debate about refugees. It was the highest-rating program for SBS so far this...
Say no to Labor’s shameful Malaysia deal
Asylum seekers who arrive by boat after midnight July 25 will be deported to Malaysia, under the deal signed by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and Malaysian Home Minister Hishamuddin...
How the refugee movement changed public opinion last time
John Howard’s election in 1996 brought with it Pauline Hanson and a steep rise in efforts to whip up racism—first against Aborigines and Asians but then quickly at Muslim...
Racism, immigration and border controls
Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott promote the myth that we must ‘secure our borders’ against refugees. James Supple makes the case for open borders—for everyone Behind the Gillard government’s slide...
Refugees and Capitalism
ONE OF the charges laid at refugee campaigners is that they represent only a minority of the population. Anti-racists are right to say that they will fight for what...
Nauru a ‘hare-brained idea’
Liberal Immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison has made his career out of bashing asylum seekers and stoking Islamophobia in Australia. It was therefore revolting to see him use his trip...
No need for any refugee detention at all
Ending mandatory detention has long been a demand of the refugee movement. The recent Refugee Day rallies all had “End Mandatory Detention” as their central slogan. But the question...
Stop Gillard ‘people trading’ with Malaysia
Julia Gillard’s asylum seeker swap with Malaysia is facing mounting opposition. Both houses of parliament have condemned it, a High Court challenge is underway, and dissent has emerged within...
Labor’s useless policies feed Abbott’s rise
Just when you think Julia Gillard could not get any worse, she gets worse. Labor is lurching from crisis to crisis as it tries to sell an unsaleable carbon tax...
Gillard’s Malaysia Solution—worse than Howard
Julia Gillard’s announcement of the Malaysia Solution has horrified refugee supporters in Australia, and in Malaysia. Under the deal 800 asylum seekers intercepted by Australia will be returned to Malaysia...
Howard’s Pacific Solution didn’t stop the boats
Throughout the 2010 federal election, Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison proclaimed that, “We stopped the boats before, we can stop the boats again.” But a closer look at...
Refugees punished with return of temporary visas
In a disgraceful political stunt, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has announced new laws to strip asylum seekers of visa rights. This is a further effort to blame asylum seekers...
Refugees speak: ‘There’s no explanation why I got accepted and Majid was rejected’
Solidarity’s Mark Goudkamp spoke to two Iranian refugees who maintained a 24-hour vigil outside Villawood detention centre during the recent rooftop protests. Hadi Parhizkar is the brother of Majid,...
Message from Curtin hunger striker as protests spread
This message was conveyed to the Refugee Action Coalition by a hunger strike inside Curtin detention centre. 1500 mostly Afghan refugees are detaineed in Curtin detention centre. 300 of...
Detention crisis: federal police run riot at Christmas Island
A fantastic breakout on Christmas Island, and dramatic scenes of fires and tear gas rounds as the Immigration Department, Serco and the Federal Police restored “order”, have pushed asylum...
Bowen releases Seena—now free them all
A groundswell of community concern has forced Immigration Minister Chris Bowen to back down and announce that Seena, the nine-year old Iranian orphaned in the Christmas Island disaster, will...
Gillard’s ‘solution’ to dump refugees on Timor
Leakd plans have exposed the unfair burden Julia Gillard’s “East Timor solution” would put on the tiny impoverished nation. They have confirmed that the proposal is all about Australia...
Opposition to Afghan deportation agreement grows
On January 17, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announced that a Memorandum of Understanding allowing the Australian government to forcibly return asylum seekers had been signed by Afghanistan, Australia and...
Government to blame for Christmas Island tragedy
Refugee Action Coalition media release 15 December 2010: “Government anti-refugee policy is responsible for the tragedy on Christmas Island,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “Our heart goes...
Offshore processing unfair and discriminatory, says High court
On November 11, the High Court found the government’s offshore processing arrangements invalid, ruling that they must give asylum seekers “procedural fairness” and take account of relevant Australian law. The...
Detention despair—Villawood suicide sparks protests
For a week or two in mid-November, it seemed Australia’s detention regime was coming apart at the seams. In the aftermath of the second asylum seeker’s suicide in two...
The Pacific Solution: never again!
Review: The Pacific Solution By Susan Metcalfe, Australian Scholarly Publishing, $24.95 The recent decision by the High Court in favour of two Tamil asylum seekers (see article here) has again focused...
Labor’s more detention policy: they’re not getting children out of detention
Despite it being a blatant lie, since 2007, successive Labor Immigration ministers have publicly declared that no children were in detention. They hid behind the technicality that detention facilities were not...
Labor gears up to deport refugees
As Solidarity goes to press The West Australian carried a report that Chris Bowen hopes to have an agreement with the Afghan government to accept deportations "within months". Hundreds of...
Refugee policy: The fight to shift Labor
Labor supporters have been horrified by Julia Gillard’s efforts to drag the Labor Party further to the right. But the Labor leadership’s anti-refugee policies are meeting resistance in the...
Villawood explodes in protest as detention crisis grows
The suicide death of Fijian asylum seeker Josefa Raulini on September 20 triggered a wave of protest inside Villawood detention centre.It pushed the horrible consequences of mandatory detention and...
Lessons from success of refugee movement under Howard
AFTER AN election characterised by both Labor and the Liberals using asylum seekers as political footballs, the refugee movement is faced with both opportunities and challenges. The bi-partisan refugee bashing...
‘Welcome to the Leonara Family Rejection Centre’
On August 13, 22 people set out on a 1600 kilometre return trip from Perth—the Compassion Caravan to Leonora Alternative Place of Detention (Leonora APOD). This is an excerpt...
Afghans languish while High Court hears challenge to offshore processing
BOTH JULIA Gillard and Tony Abbot went to the election with proposals to extend offshore processing—to East Timor (Gillard) or Nauru (Abbott). Tony Abbott even met Nauru’s Prime Minister. Shadow...
Sustainable population debate is a dogwhistle
THE ISSUE of population took centre stage in the federal election. Gillard and Abbott blamed immigrants for everything from traffic congestion to climate change. Julia Gillard moved quickly to junk...
‘Stop the boats!’—Labor singing Abbott’s song
That Tony Abbott is actually running an election campaign with a pledge to stop the refugee boats is a clear sign of just how low Abbott and mainstream politics...
Gillard hides the crisis inside detention
While most commentary has focused on Gillard’s East Timor solution, it has diverted attention from the ongoing abuses in Australian detention centres. The other elements of Gillard’s Lowy Institute...
We can’t let Gillard and Abbott Tampa with the election
Tony Abbott, who once plotted against Pauline Hanson, has turned the Liberals into the One Nation of Australian politics. Abbott says a Coalition government would re-introduce temporary protection visas,...
Time to fight the new refugee hysteria
Tony Abbott's hysteria about refugee boats is set to be a key issue in the lead up to this year's election, but Kevin Rudd's capitulation to it through freezing...
Former detainees speak: ‘Stop the Visa freeze’
AROUND 250 people attended a Sydney rally in April calling on the government to “unfreeze the visas and close Christmas Island", called by the Refugee Action Coalition. Here we...
Stop Abbott’s fear mongering, close Christmas Island
Anti-refugee hysteria reached new heights in early April as Christmas Island reached capacity. After the arrival of the 100th refugee boat since Rudd’s election, newspaper headlines boosted comments from opposition...
Labor keeps refugee rights excised
Despite a pre-election promise to return excised territory to the Migration Act, the Rudd government has kept Christmas Island and Ashmore Reef excised. Asylum seekers processed offshore have fewer rights...
Refugee policy is the real crime
Review: Border Crimes By Michael Grewcock, The Federation Press, $49.95 With the defeat of the Howard Government in 2007 many assumed the dark days of the mandatory detention of asylum seekers...
Liberals revert to refugee bashing—but Rudd’s adding to the chorus
Tony Abbott is taking the Liberals back to the refugee bashing policies of the Howard era, saying he will re-impose temporary protection visas and turn boats around at sea....
Rudd leads race to the bottom on refugees
Professor Pat McGorry shocked the establishment within minutes of being declared Australian of the Year when he used the award ceremony to label detention centres as “factories for producing...
Refugees are not a security risk
All the Oceanic Viking refugees have now been re-settled. Only 21 of the 78 have come to Australia (41 are still in Romania in transit to Canada and the...
Let all the refugees land
After winning a guarantee of re-settlement in Australia, the 78 Tamils on the Oceanic Viking left the ship. All of them, including women and children, are now being held in...
Rudd races to the bottom on refugees
The Rudd government is involved in a disgraceful bidding war with the Liberals about which party is toughest on refugees. As Christmas Island detention fills up, Rudd has been spooked by...
Tamil refugees running from genocide
In the clamor to prove himself tough on refugee boats, Kevin Rudd has failed to even mention the persecution faced by the Tamil people currently fleeing Sri Lanka by...
Twelve more drown: Rudd’s Indonesian Solution hypocrisy
As Solidarity goes to press, the Rudd government and the Opposition continue to play political football with refugees, and the lives of Tamil asylum seekers in particular. Kevin Rudd...
Refugee Action Coalition – media release
GOVERNMENT STANCE ON ASYLUM SEEKERS IS UNSUSTAINABLE JULIA GILLARD BRINGS SHAMEFUL REMINDER OF TAMPA “Julia Gillard’s claim that the Sri Lankan Tamils taken to Indonesia are Indonesia’s responsibility is a shameful...
Rudd’s anti-people smuggling hysteria is risking asylum seekers’ lives
The dramatic events surrounding a boat of Afghan asylum seekers at risk of sinking off the Indonesian island of Sumbawa has revealed how Rudd’s demonisation of people smugglers is...
Some distressed boat people make it to land, but not all may be safe
Refugee Action Coalition MEDIA RELEASE Some of the 74 Afghan asylum seekers feared lost at sea Indonesian waters fours days ago have made it to land. Fifteen of them are presently...
Rudd’s anti-people smuggling crusade is threatening asylum seekers lives
Refugee Action Coalition MEDIA RELEASE In the aftermath of the rescue of a 74 asylum seekers’ boat yesterday, the refugee advocate who alerted Australian border protection authorities to the distressed...
Labor for Refugees: how campaigners shifted policy
As boatloads of asylum seekers began to arrive in Australian waters in 1999, John Howard cranked up the repression and the anti-refugee rhetoric. Tragically, but perhaps predictably given their...
Let them land, let them stay
The arrival of a few asylum seekers’ boats has produced the kind of shocking anti-refugee hysteria that marked the Howard years. It was “children overboard” all over again when...
Close Christmas Island detention centre, demand refugee groups
Refugee groups today called for the permanent closure of the high security immigration detention facility on Christmas Island. “Christmas Island detention centre should never have been built and should not...
Hunger strike at Villawood detention centre suspended
Immigration detainees at Villawood detention centre in Sydney have suspended their hunger strike after three days. The Refugee Action Coalition has been releasing daily updates on the hunger strike,...
It is not the end of mandatory detention
AT THE end of July, the Immigration Minister Chris Evans announced changes to the administration of immigration detention. He described the changes as fundamentally overturning the current model...
Refugee Action Coalition: Immigration changes don’t go far enough, summit to address outstanding issues needed
“We are puzzled that the Minister seems to have pre-empted his Parliamentary Enquiry, but the changes to immigration detention announced today by the Minister for Immigration are a welcome...
Let them in, but never mind the neo-liberalism
Review of Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders Jason L. Riley, Penguin USA ON May 1, there were mass protests in cities across the United States for the...
Deported to danger
Review of A Well Founded Fear Directed by Bentley Dean and Anne Delaney Screened as part of the Sydney Film Festival, A Well Founded Fear investigates the fate of a number...
Howard legacy hangs over Villawood
AT THE end of May, Immigration minister Chris Evans announced a long awaited review of the cases of long term detainees. But the results fell far short of what...
Time for an end to 'wage restraint' Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard talk a lot about working families. But when Qantas workers, university workers or teachers ask for wage...
Fundamental policy change needed to ditch Howard’s refugee legacy
ON 12 March, Labor's immigration minister Chris Evans announced he would personally review the cases of 61 detainees who've been incarcerated for two or more years: "Long-term detainees who...