2011 was an incredible year for the Refugee Action Collective, with the continuation of mandatory detention, the arrival of policies such as the Malaysian so-called “solution” and the possibility of deportations, refugee activists in Melbourne held protests, actions, vigils and speak outs outside detention centres, on the streets, outside immigration departments, the Labor party’s office in Melbourne, and finally in December, outside the ALP National Conference where the party in government shamefully voted to endorse offshore processing and to pursue the Malaysian so-called “solution.”
Below is a few videos summing up all of the inspring, moving and important actions the Refugee Action Collective did to keep the issue of refugees in the public eye and more importantly, to signal to the refugees and other people in Australian society, that there are people who support refugee rights and don’t agree with the way our government treats innocent people fleeing war and persecution.
But there is still so much to be done. In May of this year, 2012, it will be 20 years since the government, under Labor, introduced mandatory detention, which is 20 years too long, 20 years of lives being destroyed to use a small minority of innocent people as a political football. Mandatory detention still remains, and the government, sickly using the death of refugees at sea, are pursuing offshore processing and offshore dumping, which will result in more deaths and people being unable to exercise their right to asylum.
The Refugee Action Collective have a lot planned for 2012 including actions to mark ’20 Years too long’ and we need others to help us. Refugee Action Collective meetings happen each Monday, except for the first Monday or the month, from 6.30pm at the Australian Nurses Federation on Elizabeth Street just north of the Victoria Markets. We love to see new faces. Our first meeting is on the 16th of January. We hope to see you there.