Refugees, Covid-19 & The Politics Of The Pandemic

Online Forum: Monday July 27 6.30pm

Speakers:

  • Professor Jaya Dantas – Public Health Association of Australia
  • Moz from Manus – refugee held at the Mantra detention hotel in Preston
  • Ian Rintoul – RAC NSW
  • Dr Nick Martin – Whistleblower & ex Senior Medical officer on Nauru

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYqf-GpqTopGNQmuZXSUP8YnrBiOCChDPvB

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

An MSS subcontracted security guard who worked on the 3rd floor of the Mantra Hotel in Preston has tested positive to Covid-19. 30 Serco guards have been stood down from Villawood detention centre to self isolate for two weeks, because they have been exposed to Covid-19. Yet neither refugees at the Mantra or Villawood have had mass testing.

This positive COVID case confirms all the warnings from refugee advocates about the risk of Covid-19 to refugees held in detention who are unable to physically distance or protect themselves from the virus.

Come and hear from refugees, advocates, and health professionals, about the threat of Covid-19 in detention and the need for immediate release of refugees from detention.

Call Chris for more info on 0403 013 183

Defend the Right to Protest – Free the Refugees: Online Rally

Thursday August 6, 8.30am-9.30am.

Speakers:

  • George Newhouse – Lawyer from th National Justice Project
  • Aran Mylvaganam – Tamil Refugee Council & one of the refugee supporters fined $1652 at the refugee car convoy
  • Chris Breen – RAC, and person charged with ‘incitement’ for refugee car convoy
  • more TBA

When: Aug 6, 2020 08:30 AM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZElcOmhrjIuG927CdmmpqfaSdbqQuE7n5UY

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Chris Breen, a member of RAC, a high school teacher and union activist (elected to AEU statecouncil), faces court for the charge of “incitement” under the 1958 Crimes Act for helping to organise a safe car convoy protest calling to free refugees because of the risk of COVID-19.

Thirty refugee supporters have received fines of $1652 each for participating in this protest as well (making almost $50,000 in total).

The protest itself was fantastic – it created a strong connection of solidarity with the refugees in detention in the Mantra Bell City hotel in Preston. The health risks to refugees in detention made every news channel.

But the charge of incitement sets a very worrying precedent for unions, climate activists and all social movements, including ours. Even after the health laws are long gone, if Chris is convicted, the same law could be used against unions or activist groups for organising picket lines or industrial action if deemed not to be legal.

Join the protest calling to defend the right to protest and free the refugees who have been held in detention for 7 years.

Petition here
https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/cavalcade-protest-is-safe-detention-centres-are-not-free-the-refugees

More info
https://rac-vic.org/defend-the-right-to-protest-free-the-refugees/

The protest will start from 8.30am, the court case (a mention at the Melbourne Magistrrates Court) is scheduled for 9.30am