Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

Free the refugees! Let them land, let them stay!

Solidarity with the Brisbane/Meanjin protests

1 July 2020

The Refugee Action Collective (Vic) has been inspired by the resistance shown by the refugees held in the hotel at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane and the solidarity rallies by their supporters in the streets outside.

We join the Refugee Action Collective (Qld) and Refugee Solidarity Meanjin in calling for the men to be released into the community where they will be welcomed by so many people.

We are appalled by the mass arrests of refugee supporters who were doing no more than peacefully calling attention to this incarceration, this breach of human rights.

Here in Melbourne, we continue the same fight. There are some 65 refugees in the Mantra Bell City Hotel in Preston, like Kangaroo Point an “alternative place of detention”, and more in MITA, in Broadmeadows. They, too, have been protesting daily.

Those in the Mantra do not have access to fresh air and all of them are trapped in close proximity to Serco guards who could all too easily bring the COVID-19 virus in from outside, with cases spiking in the city’s north. Broadmeadows is one of many suburbs going into lockdown as a COVID-19 hotspot.

We, too, have faced police action for safely drawing attention to this situation, with one RAC member charged with incitement and 30 facing $1652 fines for taking part in a socially distanced convoy of solidarity.

So we send our solidarity to you all in Meanin/Brisbane from Naarm/Melbourne. And the best solidarity is for all of us to keep up the fight for freedom for refugees and asylum-seekers against this racist Morrison/Dutton government.