The Refugee Action Collective is heartened by the important stance of the NSW Young Labor Left to withdraw support for campaigns of ALP parliamentary candidates who do not publically oppose mandatory detention and offshore processing. Their media release is below:
Media Release May 26 2014
NSW Young Labor Left
On Sunday NSW Young Labor Left held a caucus meeting where it was resolved that the organisation would “collectively and openly withdraws its support” from the campaigns of any Labor parliamentary candidate that does not publicly declare their opposition to the mandatory detention and offshore processing of asylum seekers.
For too long the support of the Youth wing of the Labour movement has been seen as unconditional to those that represent us in the Parliamentary caucus. NSW Young Labor Left will not doorknock, letterbox or make calls on behalf of any candidate that does not support an end to the indefinite imprisonment of asylum seekers in detention centres, and encourages rank and file activists from Young Labor all around the country to move similar motions in their respective branches, with a view to putting pressure on the leadership from the ground up.
“The motivation behind this motion is making the Senior Party realise that there is significant Rank and File dissent over this issue. Our party currently supports the incarceration of over 1100 children in offshore detention centres.” said mover of the motion and Young Labor Left member Peter Landi. “Processing asylum seekers within the community, rather than in places where they are simultaneously at risk of being assaulted by G4s security guards, subject to dengue fever outbreaks, and in proximity to unexploded mines, should be a policy priority”
Australia’s current refugee policies constitute a gross abuse of human rights, and are in violation of International Law. NSW Young Labor Left recognises that the ALP has blood on its hand on this issue, and supports the motion moved by Melissa Parke and seconded by Anna Burke that will be discussed in the Federal Parliamentary Caucus tomorrow that would make the closure of offshore detention centres ALP policy.
NSW Young Labor Left recognise that MP’s are bound to vote by the party on the floor of parliament, but from this point on candidates that do not make public their opposition to Australia’s shameful policies will not enjoy the logistical support of the youth movement that they rely on so much for their campaigns.
“The ALP, through the adoption of inhumane policy for political expediency, allowed the Liberal Party to push public discourse further to the right and away from Australia’s moral obligations to some of the most desperate and helpless people in the world.” said Pedram Mohseni, Young Labor member.
It is time that our party’s leaders started moving this debate forward rather than pandering to misinformed debate, slogans, and xenophobia. When they start leading us forward, we will follow, until then we are on strike.
Media Contact: Peter Landi 0449 022 775