A group of diverse people named ‘WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS’, mainly men from Iraq, refugees who are being really ill-treated by the Department of Immigration have been demonstrating outside David Coleman MP’s electoral office in Revesby. He is the Immigration Minister.
Apparently he has health problems, and there is an ‘acting minister’, Alan Tudge MP, in Queensland. Neither of them have answered our letters. Coleman has refused to see us.
We meet at 11 am every Wednesday outside Coleman’s office. We have plans for further peaceful protests. Much of our focus is on the Biloela family, trapped on Christmas Island.
Priya and Nades and their two Australian-born daughters are being threatened with deportation to Sri Lanka. They are Tamils. They have been locked up for three years, the better part of one year in Christmas Island camp… ‘Like a graveyard’, says one of the Iraqis who was there for a few days.
Priya has health problems and is in Perth at the time of writing. Dutton and Coleman are spending huge amounts of our money to persecute and hound this family that should clearly be given asylum and citizenship here. You are welcome to join us.
On Thursday 18 July, I was arrested for simply sticking a piece of paper on Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s statue in Sydney’s Hyde Park. I stuck (with water soluble glue) a notice on the statue, quoting his 1816 order to kill Aboriginal people, in the lead up to the 1816 Appin Massacre, south of Sydney.
It was ruthless, and hardly a surprise, because this land was stolen by violence and of course without consent of the indigenous people of this country.
Incredibly, my bail was refused after I was arrested, and I was locked up overnight in the Surry Hills police station lockup. This is an appalling place… the penal colony under our feet.
There are no clocks, no natural light, no communication with the authorities. People are strip searched when they are sent there. Handcuffs are put on you when you leave the cell. The toilet is in the middle of each cell.
Thank goodness for Chen and Boo I shared the cell with. They could have stayed a week there. I was there for only one night. A terrible, brutal, punitive place. This is the Australia reserved for marginalised people; ‘wogs’ and the poor and Indigenous people.
I am charged with damaging and defacing a protected monument. I did neither. I have a wonderful lawyer who was formerly one of the best journalists on SBS, Mark Davis. I admired so much, his honest reporting on East Timor when it was under occupation of the Indonesian military (supported by the US, UK and Australia).
We will be having a demonstration outside the Downing Centre courts on the day of the hearing at Monday 17 August at 9 am. Please join us, if you believe in free speech, and people learning an honest history of Australia, not propaganda,
You are welcome to phone me for details on 0451 509 232.