refugees

Hamid was killed by Australia: Coroner damns offshore detention

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 11/08/2018 - 3:16pm in

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refugees

It has taken four years, but the Coronial findings on the death of Hamid Khazaei have delivered a scathing indictment of offshore detention.

No one was held liable for Hamid’s death. But the inquiry reveals a truly appalling list of medical mistakes (consistently labelling Hamid’s medical care on Manus as “inadequate”) misjudgements, incompetence, and worst of all bureaucratic delays that prevented Hamid getting the treatment that could have saved his life.

Hamid was first treated at the Manus IHMS clinic on the afternoon of 23 August 2014. Doctors’ recommendations to get him off Manus were first made on 24 August: “This client has exhausted all antibiotic treatment that is available on Manus Island. This client is already displaying symptoms of deterioration, despite treatment with available antibiotics”. Yet he wasn’t even transferred to Port Moresby until 26 August.

And about Port Moresby, the Coroner writes, “It is clear on the evidence that the clinicians working at the PIH [Pacific International Hospital] on 26 August 2014 when Mr Khazaei arrived did not have the necessary clinical skills to deal with Mr Khazaie.” When he was finally transferred to Brisbane on 27 August, he was already brain dead.

It is sickening to read about the delays and buck-passing between bureaucrats and medical companies that killed Hamid.

Doctor Dennett was the doctor in Queensland in the International SOS office contacted by the Manus doctors requesting Hamid’s transfer to Australia. He told the inquiry, “we knew that if we—if we recommend transferring to Australia, it would not be approved.”

The expert doctor assisting the coroner said, “I’m a doctor. I’m not a politician or a bureaucrat, and I must admit I don’t understand why you had to get permission to transfer a patient for clinical reasons.”

There are many recommendations about the standard of medical care that should be available in offshore detention centres—like having clinics accredited by recognised Australian medical associations to Australian standards.

But one of the stronger recommendations, and one that could have an immediate effect, is that Border Force bureaucrats get out of medical decisions that affect people’s lives. As the coroner put it, “clinical considerations should prevail over all other factors when a recommendation for urgent medical movement is made.”

Even since the coronial finding, Border Force is routinely vetoing doctors’ recommendations for transfers off Manus and Nauru. Almost every week now, the Federal Court is overriding Border Force to order the government to bring families from Nauru to Australia because of the physical and mental damage that has been inflicted on them offshore.

Death sentence

The responsibility for Hamid’s death lies with the Australian government. He was handed a death sentence when he was forcibly transferred to Manus Island.

The coroner put it succinctly, that it would, “be possible to prevent similar deaths by relocating asylum seekers to other places, such as Australia or New Zealand, where better health care would be provided.”

The government has said it will review the coroner’s finding—but that is code for ignoring it. As far as the government is concerned, offshore detention is playing the role planned for it. And Labor, which restarted this version of the Pacific Solution on 19 July 2013, has been deafeningly silent about the offshore deaths.

For months now, Labor has declared that when it takes office, it will get all asylum seekers and refugees off Nauru and Manus. As pressure mounted with rallies marking the five year anniversary of offshore detention, Bill Shorten went so far as to name Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada and New Zealand as target resettlement countries. But this only exposes how vacuous Labor’s plan really is.

New Zealand has said that it will take 150 refugees a year. But there is no reason to think that the other countries named will agree to cooperate with Australia’s offshore prison regime. South Korea has taken a grand total of 79 people between 2015 and 2017, and they were recognised UNHCR refugees.

The movement’s demand to “Bring Them Here” will need to grow even louder over the coming months.

As this article was being written, the inquest into the death of Fazel Chegeni is just winding up. Suppression orders have so far prevented some of the stark revelations of Fazel’s mistreatment in onshore detention being publicly revealed. (Some dispatches from the inquest can be read at www.bit.ly/fazeldeathscapes) But Fazel was just as surely killed by mandatory detention.

By Ian Rintoul

The post Hamid was killed by Australia: Coroner damns offshore detention appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Boat turnbacks condemn refugees to poverty and despair in Indonesia

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 11/08/2018 - 3:13pm in

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The government’s boat turnback policy is leaving thousands of refugees to rot in Indonesia. They are struggling to survive and have no hope of a future, as next to none will get the chance of resettlement.

Refugees from across Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma and even Somalia travel through Indonesia looking for a safe country. Neither Indonesia nor the countries they travel through to get there, like Malaysia and Pakistan, are signatories to the Refugee Convention and do not permanently resettle refugees.

The government’s “Operation Sovereign Borders” has blocked the way for refugees to travel by boat from Indonesia to Australia. Their only other option is to wait for a country to offer them a place through their official government-sponsored resettlement program.

Before 2013, Australia was also the country that resettled the most refugees from Indonesia through its official program. Under this official humanitarian program it will accept 18,750 refugees this year from refugee camps offshore.

However, who makes up that number, and which countries they come from, is at the whim of the Immigration Department—and ultimately the Minister Peter Dutton.

If the government was serious about assisting refugees, and saving lives at sea, it would boost resettlement from Indonesia so there was another pathway to safety for refugees stranded there.

But in recent years, both Australia and the US have dramatically reduced how many refugees they take from Indonesia.

The Australian government announced in November 2014 that it would no longer accept any refugees who applied for resettlement through the UN in Indonesia after 1 July 2014.

At the time that meant that nearly 2000 asylum seekers registered with the UNHCR in Indonesia between 1 July and the announcement in November would never be resettled in Australia.

Not only has the Coalition banned any refugee from settling in Australia who comes by boat. But under these changes those registered with the UN refugee agency in Indonesia, who would be flown to Australia, are also banned.

In limbo

When the ban was announced, then Immigration Minister Scott Morrison stated, “We’re taking the sugar off the table, that’s what we’re doing. We’re trying to stop people thinking that it’s okay to come into Indonesia and use that as a waiting ground to get to Australia”.

But what that means for the thousands of refugee and asylum seekers is that the Australian government has taken hope for a secure, safe and happy life off the table.

So as the number of refugees and asylum seekers stranded in Indonesia grows, their chances of being resettled are slim. But for a lot of them it is too dangerous to return to the home from which they initially fled.

Consequently, around 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers are currently left stranded. Last year the UN refugee agency began telling them that, with so few countries offering places, “most refugees in Indonesia will not be able to benefit from resettlement”—ever.

In Indonesia they have no rights to work or to study. For many this is the end of the line—their money has run out. Homelessness is high. And people are relying on small NGOs for their basic needs.

Unable to work and with nothing to do to pass their days, refugees have literally nothing to do but wait for resettlement, if and when it will ever come.

“Indonesia doesn’t give any rights to refugees,” Iranian refugee Mozhgan Moarefizadeh, co-founder of the Refugees and Asylum-seekers Information Center in Jakarta, told Reuters. “The challenge is to survive on a day-to-day basis. But most lose hope.”

Mozhgan herself has been in Indonesia for over five years.

Indonesia also runs 13 detention centres, with capacity for 1300 asylum seekers. Some have been expanded with money from the Australian government. Refugees in the Balikpapan prison in Kalimantan have been protesting for over 200 days against their conditions and demanding to be released into open social housing.

This situation of refugees in Indonesia shows the hollowness of governments’ claims that ‘stopping the boats’ is for the safety of the refugees. There is nothing safe about forcing people to choose between remaining in limbo or returning to the dangers they’ve fled.

Refugees cannot survive in Indonesia. Stopping the boats doesn’t save lives—it just forces refugees to die somewhere else. We should open the borders and bring them here.

By Jordi Pardoel and James Supple

The post Boat turnbacks condemn refugees to poverty and despair in Indonesia appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Dutton pledges no compassion, but Ali gets to Australia

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 15/07/2018 - 4:06pm in

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refugees, refugees

Trump’s “zero tolerance” refugee policy brought a storm of protest across the United States, ultimately forcing Trump to back down from his child separation policy. As the protests gathered momentum, the demand to abolish ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), the agency that captures and deports so-called aliens and asylum seekers, began to be raised.

For months on this side of the Pacific, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton had refused to bring a dying Afghan refugee to Australia for palliative care. When the issue became public, outrage grew. Over 2000 doctors, and 25,000 others, signed petitions to bring “Ali” to Australia

Then, on the same day that Peter Dutton was on the front page of The Australian warning against a “single act of compassion to refugees”, Ali was transferred from Nauru to a Gold Coast hospital.

Right to the last minute, Dutton had insisted that Ali would not be brought here, but the protests and petitions finally won his transfer from Nauru to Australia.

The lesson from both sides of the Pacific—that protest works—is going to be needed by the refugee movement in the weeks and months ahead.

Albanese falls into line

For months now, Labor leader Bill Shorten has spelled out Labor’s position on offshore detention. At the Victorian State Labor conference Shorten said, “A Labor government will stop the boats.” He has also said repeatedly, perhaps most publicly on Q&A in June, that a future Labor government would not place a time limit on offshore detention.

Now Anthony Albanese, the parliamentary leader of the Labor left, has fallen into line. Speaking to Sky News in July, he agreed that the Coalition’s policies “have stopped the boats”. He also rejected calls to put a time limit on offshore detention, and repeated that asylum seekers who came by boat would not be allowed to settle in Australia.

At the national conference in 2015, Albanese had opposed turning back boats, “because he himself could not turn back an asylum seeker boat at sea.” Now, it seems that is no longer a problem for Albanese.

While turnbacks separated Labor’s left and right at the last conference, Albanese at least is now singing from the same song sheet.

Albanese’s re-positioning has shocked some of the Labor left, but the differences were always minor. (Even in 2015 Albanese said that, “Everyone in Labor wants to make sure there aren’t turn-backs because there aren’t boats.”). It seems to be designed to be a pre-emptive strike against moves to debate offshore detention at December’s Labor national conference.

But it also opens a bigger gap between the Labor leaders and the majority of the rank-and-file that oppose existing Labor policy.

There will still be a debate at Labor’s national conference. But it is very clear that Labor’s leadership is determined to maintain offshore detention on Nauru. The 2016 PNG Supreme Court ruling means that asylum seekers can’t be sent to Manus Island under existing laws.

But both Shorten and Albanese also say that Labor will find third countries for the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru.

Albanese said he believed Australia could end “long-term indefinite detention”. Shorten told Q&A, “I believe a Labor government can actually make sure that we don’t have to have people on Manus and Nauru, because we will prioritise resettling people.”

Labor will accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 a year. But there is no “third country” that will accept the hundreds of people that are excluded from the US deal.

Labor’s inability to resettle refugees from Manus and Nauru will further expose the tensions between a Labor government and the expectations of Labor supporters.

Protests around the country will mark 19 July, the shameful fifth anniversary of Labor establishing the Pacific Solution II, that the Liberals now so viciously impose.

The same Victorian branch of the CFMEU that moved to prevent a resolution to end offshore detention being debated at the state Labor conference in May, has now endorsed the Melbourne rally, at odds with federal Labor policy, to end turnbacks and close Manus and Nauru.

To “bring them here”, this is kind of grassroots opposition we will need to keep building over the coming months. Labor can no more resolve Manus and Nauru than the Liberals. But the protests and campaigning to get Ali to Australia shows the possibility of the campaign that can both take the fight to Turnbull, and to a future Labor government—and win.

By Ian Rintoul

The post Dutton pledges no compassion, but Ali gets to Australia appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Not in our name

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 21/06/2018 - 1:57am in

For as long as I can remember, the philosopher’s stock example of a proposition that is morally uncontroversial has been “torturing babies is wrong”. Yet it turns out that torturing babies, or at least toddlers, is US government policy, where that policy involves separating them from their parents, leaving them in acute distress and certainly consigning many of them to a lifetime of mental health problems. And all so that Donald Trump can play at symbolic politics with his base. The justification given to the policy by people like Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to be that the government is simply enforcing the law.

This discourse, that the law has to be enforced and that unauthorized immigrants are lawbreakers who must be punished, is pretty questionable in itself. But in this case it flies in the face of the US government’s commitments under the Refugee Convention, incorporated into US domestic law, according to which refugees are not liable to criminal sanction for unlawful entry. There’s also the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the US has signed up to but not ratified. So, even if you think that laws must be followed and enforced, the question of who the lawbreakers are here is one that does not admit of a clear answer. Not that one should have confidence that the Supreme Court of the United States would interpret the United States’ legal obligation under the Convention in a way that that does not reflect partisan political judgement. Government of laws not of men? Not really.

As a European it is tempting simply to point the finger at Trump, but our own well is just as poisoned. Hungary now intends to criminalize those who give assistance to migrants and refugees, including merely informing them of their legal rights. Salvini, the new Italian interior minister, having refused to allow migrants to dock at Italian ports, now contemplates a purge of people of Roma ethnicity from Italian territory and regrets that he cannot deport the ones who have Italian nationality. And then there are Europe’s 34,361 dead migrants. Terrible times, and all the more terrible because electorates, or at best substantial minorities of them, are willing this stuff. We who disagree have to say: not in our name. And we have to do what we can to push back.

Cartoon: Americans separated from their decency

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/06/2018 - 9:50pm in

This is one of those issues that's so sad, it's hard to write jokes about it. To make matters worse, the administration is making great efforts to confuse people, saying the forced child separations are the fault of "Congress" or Democrats, so many Americans may not even understand who is really responsible. The disinformation is as significant as the policy.

Under normal circumstances, at least, you'd think there would be a great national revulsion. Back in 2005, the country reached a turning point after Hurricane Katrina, which revealed the Bush administration to be the incompetent buffoons that they were. Granted, it shouldn't have taken so long for that particular epiphany to occur, but it did. In today's media environment, such a political turning point seems almost impossible. I was shocked to learn that Trump's Gallup poll numbers have actually gone up since the Canada/North Korea debacle, and have been trending upward for several months.

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Follow me on Twitter at @JenSorensen

Dutton’s Priority Refugees, by Jeremy Baskin

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/06/2018 - 5:41pm in

Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s call to prioritise a refugee intake of white South African farmers because they need ‘special attention’ and ‘help from a civilised country like ours’ has received a great deal of ongoing press coverage in both Australia and South Africa. It has garnered support from a number of leading Liberal Party figures, mostly MPs with right-wing leanings. Dutton’s most vocal supporters on the Liberal Party/One Nation Right have gone even further, accusing South Africa of white ‘genocide’, of expropriating ‘their’ land without compensation, and arguing that white farmers would be ‘great settlers’ with shared Christian values and would be unlikely to claim welfare. There has been repeated talk of widespread and brutal killings of white South African farmers. Former prime minister Tony Abbott claimed, inaccurately, that ‘something like 400 white farmers have been murdered, brutally murdered, over the last 12 months’. In public discourse and media coverage there has been heavy emphasis on the ‘barbarity’ of the killings. Indeed the binaries of civilisation/barbarism, white/black, Right/Left have been present throughout. The empathy shown for the plight of white South African ‘kith and kin’ stands in sharp contrast to the distinct lack of empathy for the many darker-skinned refugees arriving on Australian shores, or indeed for Aboriginal Australians.

Here I want to look at what this white-farmer call says about the state of domestic electoral politics and race in Australia—but only briefly, as this has been the focus of Australian commentary to date. In order to understand the issue more comprehensively, I will also examine how it is seen in South Africa, in relation to both the historically significant land question and the troubled state of the post-apartheid nation. I will look particularly at the way in which the emergence of the white-farmer issue in Australia is a by-product of a larger initiative in South Africa aimed at re-mobilising white Afrikaners post apartheid and winning allies for this internationally. In this instance Australian racism meets South African dysfunction and non-transformation. Both are linked to the emergence and internationalisation of alt-right politics, the resurgence of racially defined nationalism globally, the need for white victims in alt-right internationalism, and amnesia about history generally. Finally, I want to reflect on what it means to be a South African Australian today, to make clear that not all South African Australians support Dutton’s call (perhaps most do not) and to suggest what the appropriate ethical response to the Dutton call should be.

Australia

At one level Dutton’s call is aimed at sandbagging a few marginal parliamentary constituencies, including his own, which contain a cluster of white South African neighbourhoods. Former South Africans make up a small but significant minority in key seats in Western Australia and Queensland. Dutton’s call is also aimed at building the profile and populist appeal of the Liberal Party’s right-wing faction, and of Dutton himself—he aspires to be a future Liberal Party leader. So far, so normal. More troublingly, Dutton’s call to favour white, Christian farmers should be seen alongside his recent polemics against ‘African gang violence’ in Melbourne and against a backdrop of a drive by him to cut back on migration generally. All are part of a single strategy, as is the Trumpian response of accusing opponents of this obvious racialisation of political discourse and policy of being ‘politically correct’. In short, the signs are that the Liberal Party, and its right-wing faction in particular, has decided to use the racist dog whistle for electoral advantage. Electoral opportunism has combined with the ideological proclivities of parts of the Liberal Party and resulted in pressure within the party to take an alt-right turn. In doing this these party members are pushing back against a wider societal consensus in favour of multiculturalism—a consensus that has been in place since the 1980s, though, admittedly, one that has been fraying in recent years. They are also drawing on older traditions and practices of white racism in Australia, as well as newer anti-elite discourses.

All this was extensively commented upon in the mainstream media. There was a spate of articles and opinion pieces, especially in the Murdoch press, alleging genocide of whites in South Africa and supporting the Duttonites. Other articles have called out this racism, or tested the reliability of statistics on farm murders in South Africa, or questioned claims that land is being expropriated in South Africa. Demonstrations in support of Dutton by white South African Australians have been widely reported on television, and there has also been coverage of at least one counter-demonstration, although not by South African Australians, in Perth.

A vocal group of South African Australians have rallied in support of this campaign. Indeed, their lobbying partly prompted it. A thousand-strong demonstration in Brisbane took place in March involving white, predominantly Afrikaner, migrants. Many called for the offer to be extended to family members of theirs who were not farmers: the white-farmer call has drawn in many white South Africans who experience the common Australian migrant problem of struggling to get approval for relatives, especially elderly ones, to join them.

An even larger march, a couple of thousand strong, took place on 7 April in Perth, where many South African Australians and former ‘Rhodesians’ (as many still like to call themselves) reside. It comprised South African citizens living in Australia and South Africans with Australian citizenship, largely the middle-class migrants who regularly populate the daily Perth-to-Johannesburg flight. Judging by video of the event, the South African attendees were all white, even though a significant minority of South African Australians are not. Speakers made many superficial references to Nelson Mandela, generally lamenting that the ideals he espoused were not evident in South Africa. I would be surprised if any of those attending ever voted for him. The Nelson Mandela referenced was the one that inhabits the imagination of One Nation’s leader, Pauline Hanson. In the midst of the white-farmer controversy she suggested that Mandela’s major quality was his ability to ‘forgive and forget’. Not for her the Mandela committed to fighting for justice and against racial discrimination by all means necessary, or the Mandela who stressed the importance of ‘returning land…back to the dispossessed majority [as] one way of addressing the injustices of apartheid’. The imagined Mandela, in Hanson’s account and in the marches, is one who aids historical amnesia and historical revisionism, one oblivious to Hanson’s own long history of racialised attacks on Aboriginal Australians, Asian migrants and, most recently, Muslims.

Professionally produced banners predominated in both pro-Dutton demonstrations. ‘Let the Right Ones In’ read one, playing to the trope that the ‘wrong’ refugees (code for brown, Muslim, non-European ones) are being admitted into Australia, and also suggesting that the political leanings of white farmers would match those of their Australian supporters. Care seems to have been taken to avoid anyone carrying the apartheid-era South African flag. SA Events, a commercial organisation specialising in bringing Afrikaans performers to Australia, played a significant role in mobilising for these marches and has actively used its Facebook page to do so. A march held in Adelaide in late May attracted about 100 participants. Doubtless other shows of support will follow; in Sydney, where the largest cluster of South African Australians live, including the wealthier migrants, a march is planned for June.

South Africa

Events in Australia were widely reported in South Africa, although with less prominence than in Australia. The South African government expressed its displeasure and called on the Australian government to clarify whether Dutton’s call reflected official government policy. It claimed to have been reassured that it did not, although in truth the issue was fudged by the Australian government using a choice of words that allowed both wings of the Liberal Party to claim vindication. The South African government also made it clear that crime levels were a problem, that there was no policy to target white farmers or encourage their killing, and that the number of deaths being claimed was exaggerated. When it comes to members of the South African public, the response is varied. Certainly some have a positive vision of Australia and the Dutton intervention and, mainly because of crime and despair at state dysfunction under President (now ex-President) Zuma, wish they were here rather than in South Africa. A widespread, perhaps majority, perception is ‘what can you expect from Australians when you see how they’ve treated Aboriginal people and refugees’? In short, official disapproval stands alongside public awareness of the racialised structure of global power and generalised frustration about government. ‘Let them go’ is another common response from black South Africans, including from Julius Malema, the charismatic leader of nominally left-wing populist opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). However, encouraging emigration is not South African government policy (if anything it is the reverse), and neither is it policy to prevent anyone from emigrating if they can get a country to accept them.

Australia’s self-perception as the land of the ‘fair go’ is not routinely shared in South Africa. It is widely argued that white South Africans are most attracted to Australia because it is both English-speaking and whiter than other destinations, and also closest to the physical environment of South Africa and the lifestyles whites enjoyed under apartheid. White South Africans moving to Australia are a regular butt of jokes in South African comedy routines.

The Dutton call also coincided with a re-emergent debate in South Africa over the land-distribution question and with efforts that have gained momentum recently to mobilise whites (Afrikaners especially) to resist aspects of the government’s transformation agenda such as affirmative action and land reform. The land question has been a recurrent issue post apartheid. At the risk of simplifying, under colonial rule land was seized from the Indigenous inhabitants, and black people were forced off the land, out of farming, and into unskilled labour, including farm labour. Most land was reserved for white occupation. This process intensified under apartheid. Evictions and forced removals of black people continued into the early 1990s. Longer history and living memory are both in play. To compound the injustice—and this is relevant in understanding the rural crime rate—as apartheid drew to an end hundreds of thousands of farm labourers and tenants were forced off the white-owned farms on which they lived; often they had lived there for generations. Most of those displaced ended up unemployed in small rural towns. No wonder tensions in rural areas are high. Indeed some have tried to explain the undeniably brutal nature of some farm attacks in almost Fanonesque terms, where pent-up anger escalates violence and violence enacts retribution. The legacy of dispossession and unequal ownership of farmland persists.

The injustice of the land situation was recognised in the transitional constitution that ushered in the post-apartheid order. While it included some provisions for land expropriation to achieve redress, it placed the emphasis on a ‘willing seller, willing buyer’ approach. In practice complex issues of land restitution (to those forcibly removed under apartheid), land redistribution and tenure reform are involved. However, more than twenty years after the end of apartheid farmland remains overwhelmingly in white hands. Only 9 per cent of commercial farmland has been redistributed or restored to its original owners, and tenure reform has been minimal. These are facts that the ANC government’s domestic critics have not been slow to point out. Not surprisingly, the racial distribution of land is an emotionally charged one, even for those not directly affected. In February 2018 a motion calling for the constitution to be amended to allow land expropriation without compensation was overwhelmingly supported by the parliament. The governing ANC felt unable to resist the opposition EFF’s motion even as it asserted that any expropriations would be done responsibly and without disrupting food production. The modalities of this constitutional change are currently being considered and no forced expropriations have occurred.

Another relevant dynamic is the political remobilisation of white Afrikaans-speaking South Africans, primarily through a cash-rich NGO called AfriForum and associated trade unions, farmers organisations and political parties. Support for the de facto political wing of AfriForum is limited (it has only four out of 400 seats in a strictly proportional-representation parliament) and it is still a fringe movement among white Afrikaners despite outsize press coverage in South Africa. But AfriForum is trying to mobilise more broadly and it is having some success. AfriForum’s core constituency is the same one that sustained the apartheid regime, and their accumulated wealth means AfriForum is well resourced. It has been adept in its use of social media and at linking itself to a range of allies internationally. ‘Minority rights’ is its universalist framing. While this might lead it to sympathise with the self-determination struggles of the Kurds or the Karen, in practice it has found its closest international allies in the white-nationalist alt-Right. Within a political narrative of its being a defender of minority rights internationally, AfriForum focuses specifically on ‘the rights of Afrikaners as a community…[so that] Afrikaners—who have no other home—are able to lead a meaningful and sustainable existence, in peace with other communities [i.e. separately from them], here on the southernmost tip of Africa’. It has effectively developed a narrative of victimhood while simultaneously displaying amnesia about the role of the same Afrikaner identity in the oppressive practices of apartheid. Its leader refers to ‘so-called historical injustices’ when reflecting on apartheid. In demanding that we treat the killing of white farmers separately from rural violence and crime more generally, Afriforum engages in a form of ‘self-othering’. This self-othering is necessary, as one observer has put it, ‘for its brand of identitarian organising’.

AfriForum has been a litigious and effective campaigner against post-apartheid government corruption and nepotism and has won a degree of sympathy in the wider public for this. It also campaigns against affirmative action in the workplace aimed at redressing racial imbalances in managerial roles, the erosion of Afrikaans-language use in the official sphere, and de-racialisation of previously Afrikaans universities. A symptom of its ‘modernity’ can be seen in the ways its environmental desk campaigns against such things as fracking on farmland and the decline in municipal water quality in rural towns.

The AfriForum network’s international strategy currently emphasises the murder of white farmers and potential changes to land rights. It encourages claims of ‘white genocide’, without explicitly making the claim itself. It is campaigning on these issues globally. The white-farmer campaign in Australia is part of this. Similar campaigns can be expected in New Zealand and Canada. Most recently, AfriForum’s leadership embarked on a high-profile tour of the United States in May. It has met with the Trump administration, been given substantial airtime on Fox News, and has generally found a sympathetic hearing in the constituencies that have supported Trump. In one interview in mid-May AfriForum’s CEO argued that apartheid could not be considered a crime against humanity because not enough people were killed during apartheid to justify using this term. Denial, amnesia, anger, victimhood and misplaced nostalgia come together in a toxic mix.

AfriForum’s US trip, its global campaign and its general upping of old-style rhetoric will appeal to some. But it may backfire in South Africa and on its core constituencies there. AfriForum does not actually want white farmers to emigrate, as its strategy depends on consolidating the Afrikaner community, not dispersing it around the world. Winning global allies on the alt-Right will undoubtedly reduce the hearing it receives from the current South African government, although it may lead to some increase in diplomatic pressure. It is also likely to increase levels of violence, including violence by its supporters. As one black scholar, Oscar van Heerden, has put it: ‘Spreading hate speech, racist rhetoric and fascist drivel will ultimately lead to tension between white and black South Africans and unfortunately will find expression through physical violence, with devastating consequences’.

Being a South African Australian

Today there are around 200,000 people of South African origin living in Australia, about 0.8 per cent of the population.[1] Most, but by no means all, are white South Africans. They arrived at different times and for different reasons. Some came in the 1960s, fleeing apartheid. Some came in the 1980s to evade compulsory (for whites) military service. From the early 1980s Australia accepted a number of black political refugees and many have stayed post apartheid. Significant numbers of (mainly white) migrants started arriving from the late 1980s, seeking a brighter future for themselves and their children, or fearful of crime at home, or seeing no future for themselves in South Africa. This includes the generally well-off ‘Sailing for Sydney’ migrants. Others ‘Packed for Perth’, as it is termed in South Africa, and came to avoid majority rule and a post-apartheid democratic future: indeed over half have arrived since 2000. Yet others came for work or to join their Australian-born partners (full disclosure—I am one of these). In common with migrants generally, most left some immediate or extended family behind.

What does it mean to be South African Australian today, and must the differences and racial classifications that solidified under apartheid persist even after migration and after the apartheid era? When I ask other South Africans I get different answers. ‘I think of myself as Australian now’ or ‘I don’t think of myself as a white South African’ is one line of response. Or they might express relief at living in a place where crime rates are low and racial difference is not present every day as it still is in South Africa. Others (you guessed it: black South Africans) will relate their extensive experiences of racist treatment in Australia, although this is not generally specific to their being South African but rather because they are black. Yet others, South Africans of Indian origin, will often express annoyance at being assumed to be part of the Indian immigrant community.

Migrants everywhere struggle to adapt to their new homes. Their past achievements are often undervalued, their previous networks count for little, and they may struggle to fit in, all of which can be dispiriting or, conversely, energising. But the extent of these struggles will be heavily affected by their difference from the dominant culture: visible difference, audible difference, cultural difference. Despite the official Australian embrace of multiculturalism, the dominant culture is still a white Anglo one. Most observers would be surprised to know that there are not many more Vietnamese-born Australians than South African–born ones. The former are visible. Most of the latter are not.

It is especially easy for white English-speaking South Africans to be largely invisible, and to fit into their new home. They walk the streets unnoticed, largely understand the cultural markers, and with little effort can even sound the same. They can disperse and integrate more easily and there is less need to find comfort by living in the same suburb as each other. For white Afrikaners, invisibility is a little more difficult, but not much. Black South African Australians do not have this luxury. In these ways the divisions of apartheid persist among South African Australians. I was struck, at a recent 200-strong dinner in April held to celebrate South Africa’s Freedom Day and the end of apartheid, by how few white South Africans attended, even though the overwhelming majority of South African Australians are white. The crowd is more diverse when someone like comedian Trevor Noah visits, and it is almost entirely white when visiting Afrikaner musicians, under the auspices of the AfriForum-linked SA Events, visit. In general, it seems to be the case that the social divides of South Africa are largely replicated here. These divides become even more entrenched when the end of apartheid is lamented rather than celebrated, when South African Australians as a category are assumed to be white, and when the most publicised intervention into politics by South African Australians is to call for special treatment for whites and align themselves with racist politicians.

How widespread is support by South African Australians for the initiative to privilege white South African farmers? Has the Afriforum vision of South Africa become the hegemonic one among South African migrants in Australia? I suspect a great many (most?) South African Australians do not support Dutton’s call. It is certainly not being made in my name. But I concede that apartheid nostalgia, especially among white South African Australians, and among the post-2000 migrants in particular, is widespread. For many, not supporting Dutton’s call takes the form of silence rather than opposition. In this regard the tradition of silence in the face of apartheid persists.

South African Australians, of all backgrounds, have a particular duty to call this campaign out, and not collaborate with it. Having experienced apartheid, we need to speak out against racism in all its forms and resist attempts to rewrite the past or encourage historical amnesia. We need to oppose any efforts to re-racialise Australia’s immigration policy, especially when it is being done in our name. We need to call out apartheid nostalgia and be especially exercised when it is suggested that some are better than others on account of their race or their supposed Christian values. We also need to speak up for, and with, the Australia and the many Australians that resisted apartheid in the 1980s, and for a vision of an Australia of today that encourages many cultures and languages to co-exist and flourish.

There are five arguments we South African Australians need to make in the current climate. This is because taking a stand against racism is the right thing to do. For some it is also for the self-interested reason of avoiding being tarred with the racist brush by the wider community simply because we are South African.

First, any murders in South Africa are regrettable and even one murder is one too many. This holds for farmers and farm workers, too, black and white. The murder rate in South Africa is unacceptably high. But white farmers are not a special category. The overwhelming majority of murder victims are black. There is absolutely no problem with calling on the South African government to tackle the crime and murder rate and even being angry about its failure to do so effectively.

Second, it is simply not correct to say that the government is targeting white farmers. There is no evidence of such targeting, and much evidence to the contrary. As Sisonke Msimang, a South African resident in Australia, has put it: ‘Anyone with even a passing knowledge of South Africa will understand that white farmers are not an oppressed group’. The minister of police, in a meeting with the Transvaal Agricultural Union in November, agreed on the need for an improved rural safety strategy, that tackling farm killings was a priority, and that police needed ‘to create a conducive environment for farmers to produce and ensure food security for all’. It is legitimate to question the effectiveness of that strategy but totally inaccurate to suggest that government is encouraging killing. It is especially wrong to claim that genocide is under way. This cheapens the term: are we really comparing events in South Africa to the Holocaust or Rwanda or the treatment of the Rohingya? It also seriously mis-describes what is happening in South Africa. Even the most casual visitor to Johannesburg would be hard-pressed to see white South Africans as an oppressed or exploited minority. The daily flights between Australia and South Africa would hardly be oversubscribed if those travelling were returning to genocide.

Third, a more peaceful and prosperous South Africa will be difficult to achieve if the current levels of inequality persist. This includes inequality in access to land. The overwhelming majority of farmland remains in white hands. One may have differing views on who is to blame for this, how best and at what pace to achieve land reform, and what compensation to existing owners is appropriate. But there can be little doubt that land redistribution and restitution are prerequisites for a more stable long-term future in South Africa.

Fourth, many South African Australians are experiencing problems with family visas that would allow relatives or elderly parents to join them. They share this problem with many other migrant communities. Australia has a highly restrictive points-based immigration policy. It is far better to work with other migrant communities to address these issues. Using a race card (‘civilised white farmers’) to campaign for special treatment is ethically wrong. It is also strategically and politically short-sighted—it ties the fate of such family members to the far Right, is likely to inflame racial tensions here and in South Africa, and makes the ongoing integration of South African Australians into their new home more difficult.

Finally, we should unambiguously support the argument that refugee policy in Australia should be grounded in need and not in race, and that migration policy should be colour blind. Nostalgia for a simpler, whiter Australia needs to be opposed, not least by South African Australians. Hopefully, most South African Australians accept this and will find the courage to say so. Standing up for justice and non-racialism—now that would honour the Mandela legacy in this, the centenary year of his birth, and build respect in the Australian community.

[1] The 2016 census showed that 162,448 people living in Australia were born in South Africa, but this doesn’t account for the 35,000 born in Zimbabwe who migrated first to South Africa before re-migrating to Australia, or the many thousands who identify as South African but weren’t born there (for example, English immigrants to apartheid South Africa now living in Australia).

Labor, the unions and the fight to close Manus and Nauru

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 15/06/2018 - 8:45pm in

Tags 

refugees, refugees

The move by the Industrial Left group of unions to join with the right-wing AWU to prevent a slew of resolutions (including one on refugees) being debated at the Victorian ALP conference has left many refugee supporters angry and dismayed.

Disgracefully, Labor leader Bill Shorten’s opening conference speech restated his now well-rehearsed line that, “A Labor government will stop the boats”.

Before the conference started, the hopes of refugee supporters were buoyed when John Setka, the Victorian secretary of the CFMEU, took the Refugee Action Collective’s “Unions Stand with Refugees” sticker and then made sure that all the CFMEU delegates wore the stickers into the conference. But those hopes were dashed when the CFMEU backed the move to refer the motions to Labor’s administrative committee.

The move meant that a resolution to bring refugees and asylum seekers from Nauru and Manus to Australia was not tested on the floor of the Labor conference. For many refugee supporters, it was yet another example of Labor (and the left unions) selling-out refugees.

After the conference, Setka made it clear that the move was designed to defend Bill Shorten from criticism, tweeting, “Why the hell are Labor people prepared to use a STATE Labor conference against the election of a FEDERAL Labor government? Our best chance for a more humane approach and community is a Labor government and that’s what we’re fighting for.”

Setka and other Labor leaders seem to think that taking a stronger pro-refugee stand would damage Labor’s chances at the election. They are wrong. Of course, Dutton and Turnbull would try to make asylum seekers a big election issue, but Dutton only scores political points because Labor concedes the argument to him.

Kevin Rudd won the 2007 election with Labor promising to close the offshore detention centres. Shorten could just as easily win with pro-refugee policies. The latest Essential poll has Labor ahead of the Coalition by 54 to 46 (two-party preferred). That’s a massive lead.

Besides the majority of Labor Party members, consistent polling by the Australia Institute shows large majorities (72 per cent in April 2017) in favour of allowing refugees to settle in Australia (although 35 per cent say their claims should be assessed in offshore detention first). That is a solid level of community support to build on.

The fact is that the refugee issue is not itself a vote changer. At the last election it did not rate in the top ten issues of concern to voters. Electorally, that is the reason that Dutton gets away with his refugee-bashing; but it also shows that being pro-refugee would not harm Labor’s chances. There is no reason to believe that Turnbull would beat Shorten, if Labor was promising to close Manus and Nauru.

What holds Labor back is the triumph of electoral opportunism over principle. Labor panders to Dutton’s xenophobia in the hope this will maximise its vote. Its commitment to running the system means it wants to ride public opinion into office, not challenge it.

Shorten has no solution

Labor’s crisis over refugees has taken another twist with Shorten finally admitting that there are no additional third countries that will resettle those on Nauru and Manus.

As the US resettlement deal flounders, Shorten stumbled over questions on Q&A. Shorten tried to distance Labor from the government saying, “I do not believe we need to have indefinite detention.” But he rejected placing a time limit on offshore detention.

Shorten said, “I believe a Labor government can actually make sure that we don’t have to have people in Manus and Nauru, because we will prioritise resettling people.” But he admitted, “I don’t have the regional resettlement agreements resolved.”

To get the refugees off Manus and Nauru, Shorten would have to promise to “Bring Them Here”.

Setka and others are wrong to believe that once Labor is elected, Shorten will do the right thing. But more than denouncing Labor and Shorten is needed to build a movement that is able to fight Labor. Pickets of Labor Party offices just make it look like the refugee movement is at odds with the tens of thousands of unionists who marched in Melbourne to “Change the Rules.”

A majority of people who vote Labor disagree with Shorten over refugee policy. But they are going to vote Labor to get rid of Turnbull. The task for the refugee movement is to find ways to connect with the thousands of Labor members and voters who support refugees, and draw them into action over the issue; action that will be needed to fight a future Labor government.

Scores of Labor branches have submitted motions to the NSW Labor conference to shift federal Labor policy to “Bring them Here”. We need more Labor branches and more union contingents on the July rallies marking the shameful anniversary of five years of offshore detention, and the movement’s determination to end it.

By Ian Rintoul

The post Labor, the unions and the fight to close Manus and Nauru appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Democratic legitimacy and the ethics of asylum

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 05/06/2018 - 1:44am in

I was invited to participate in a panel at Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre last week on the theme “Democratic legitimacy and the ethics of asylum” alongside David Miller and Mollie Gerver, with Matthew Gibney in the chair. My remarks went something like this:

Our title today is “democratic legitimacy and the ethics of asylum”. There are many things this could mean, but I think that the person who formulated this title probably had it in mind to draw our attention to a supposed conflict between two principles or ideals. The first is our duty as citizens and as the states that we constitute to live up to our responsibilities to refugees (perhaps as understood in relation to the 1951 Convention to which the UK is a party and in subsequent jurisprudence, including its 1967 extension). The second is a requirement that the governments of democratic states be responsive to what their citizens want and should not pursue policies, including in the general area of immigration, that go against those citizens’ wishes. It then looks as if there is a tension or even a contradiction, because the UK’s declared international commitments point to an openness towards those fleeing their countries out of fear of persecution, whereas the general public, often fed a diet of stories alleging that asylum seekers are really economic migrants in disguise, want a generally restricive immigration policy backed up by fairly robust enforcement measures.

But there is much that we can usefully challenge in that brief account of the issue, both in the areas of fact and of principle. Let me deal with some issues of fact first. At least in the case of the UK, the reality is that an extremely hostile and restrictive policy towards refugees corresponds with and is responsive to the putative attitudes of the general public. Despite the propensity of both ministers and the Home Office robotically to utter the stock formula, “The UK has a proud history of providing protection …”, the UK actually hardly takes in any refugees. According to Refugee Action, in mid-2015 there were, 117,234 refugees and 37,829 pending asylum seekers (0.24 per cent of the population). To get a sense of those numbers, if Bristol City’s Ashton Gate stadium (capacity 16,600) were full, that proportion is equivalent to a grand total of 40 spectators. As we know, the UK takes active measures to prevent people likely to claim asylum from arriving on its territory, using methods including visa restrictions and carrier sanctions. The few who slip through the net are made to live in substandard housing, forced to exist on £35 a week, are sometimes detained, are often subjected to harsh reporting regimes that require them to travel long distances, are routinely disbelieved by Home Office staff who often assess their claims incompetently and unfairly (as we know from the high rates of successful appeals), are excluded from the labour market and sometimes from other activities such as study. Failed asylum seekers who cannot return home are forced into destitution; those whose refugee status is recognized often become destitute because of the obstacles in the way of them getting bank accounts, housing etc. I could go on, but there is no need. So it turns out that there is no gap between democratic legitimacy, so narrowly conceived, and the UK goverment’s own miserable conception of its ethical duties to refugees, a conception that it claims to be in line with its international commitments.

We are not obliged, though to construe democratic legitimacy so narrowly. One way in which we might take a more expansive view is to ask whether the global refugee protection regime as constituted by the Convention and by agencies such as UNHCR and then interpreted and applied by particular states and their legal systems has democratic legitimacy in relation to those who are subject to it or who might reasonably hope for a regime that could give them effective protection. We might ask a similar question in relation to the populations of many of the states in which refugees are warehoused in large numbers under the current regime, states which bear a disproportionate burden of refugee protection at present. Developing countries house more than 80 per cent of the world’s refugees, with Turkey having the largest number (£2.9 million), just ahead of Pakistan. It is mere conjecture, of course, but my guess is that neither the population of the vulnerable nor the population who currently host them would give their democratic assent to the current system if they were asked, which of course they won’t be.

Not only does the narrow construal of democratic legitimacy leave those people out of the picture, the exclusionary policies pursued by states such as the UK, the rest of the EU, the United States, and Australia also suffers from another democratic failure. They rely for their operation on co-operation with other states whose democratic credentials range from the non-existent to the questionable. States beyond the external borders of the EU, such as Turkey, Morocco, Libya and even Eritrea are engaged in formal or informal partnerships that aim to stop people from coming. Nobody asked the populations of these countries to approve of these partnerships, and the methods used to carry out these policies are flagrantly in violation of human rights standards and democratic values. In Libya, for example, we have control outsourced to militias which often torture and enslave migrants including refugees, all at the behest of European governments who are occasionally shocked, very much in the manner of Captain Renault in Casablanca, when the facts are drawn to their attention.

Suppose though that we stick with the narrow conception of democratic legitimacy, where does that get us? We shouldn’t treat the decisions of democratic electorates as the final word, determining what states may and may not permissibly do. States have to conform to general human rights standards, which plausibly include duties to refugees, just as they have to conform to other provisions of international law. For example, they have to pay their debts (or live with the consequences if they don’t) and so on.

As a practical matter and to some extent as a moral matter, there are limits to what outsiders can and may do to get states to behave as they should, but the mere fact that a democratic public has decided on something is not sufficient reason for outsiders to refrain from putting pressure to try to get them to shift their position. A state that fails to pay its debts, reneges on international agreements, violates human rights, pumps excessive CO2 into the atmosphere may justifiably face action from others, even where the decision to do those things is unimpeachably democratic in form. To return to the issue of refugees: a state like Hungary which decides to exclude as many refugees as it can, mistreats those within its borders and criminalizes those who assist refugees may reasonably be subject to sanctions of some kind to try to get it to act better. The same might be true of other states, such as Australia which plausibly breaches its non-refoulement obligations under the Convention and its human rights obligations with its warehousing policies in places like Nauru.

One of the claims I make in my new book is that states have duties of justice to work in co-operation with other states towards the establishment of a just global migration regime. Of course we don’t live under such a regime, but I argue that the idea of one and the duty to work towards it, have implications in the here and now for the authority which states claim to control migration and for the attitude individuals should take to that purported authority. The Refugee Convention is a highly imperfect document and states ought to be looking to replace it with a better one. But pending such reform states that try to undermine the present system, to renege on their obligations under it (such as the duty of non-refoulement) and which actively work towards a worse regime lose the authority they currently claim. States are, of course, powerful actors. They are even more powerful when they enjoy the support of democratic publics. Both those seeking asylum and those committed to helping them have to deal with the realities of that power. But I would argue that there is no moral obligation on individuals to comply with laws and measures that subvert refugee protection, even when majorities think differently.

Do States Have the Right to Exclude Immigrants? (published today)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/05/2018 - 11:32pm in

I know you’ve all been waiting expectantly …. My book Do States Have the Right to Exclude Immigrants? is published in the UK today by Polity Press (those of you in North America will have to wait until Wiley publish it in July). The book challenges the assumption that lies behind most debates on immigration, namely that states have a discretion to do pretty much as they like and may set their policy according to the interests of their own citizens.

The book has three chapters. In the first, I look at migration today and in history, say something about patterns of migration, why people move and how recent many of the restrictions on movement that we take for granted are. In the second chapter I look at the question of state exclusion from an ideal perspective and ask whether the currently accepted norm of unilateral state discretion over immigration is defensible. You’ll be unsurprised to learn that I think it isn’t. Rather a global migration regime has to be justifiable (in some sense) to everyone subject to it. This doesn’t mean that states never get the right to exclude, but it means that the reasons they use have to be justifiable from an impartial perspective. I also reply to some arguments defending the right of states to exclude. In the final chapter I address the worry that this ideal theorizing is all very well, but we don’t live in an ideal world. I defend the idea that states can have some provisional rights to exclude in a world where other states are not acting justly but that to exercise them they must actively work towards the creation of a fair global migration order and must not undermine existing elements like the 1951 Refugee Convention. Where states fail to work towards justice they lose their authority over would-be migrants who have, in turn, no obligation to obey their immigration laws. That’s a very brief summary of 135 pages. It is a short book, and it argues for a particular perspective. It can’t and doesn’t cover all the bases in the space available, but I hope it is engaging and readable for those without a prior background in the subject matter.

US deal farce as refugees blocked from resettlement

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 18/05/2018 - 1:55pm in

Tags 

refugees, refugees

Large-scale rejections on Nauru have revealed the US resettlement deal to be a complete farce.

When US assessors returned to Nauru in May all Iranian, Somali, Sudanese and Iraqi refugees, with the exception of one Iranian single woman, were rejected for US resettlement. These nationalities make up around half of all the refugees on Manus and Nauru. This time around 80 of the 150 Nauru refugees given answers were rejected.

Hundreds of refugees from the same countries on Manus Island now know that they will be rejected by the US too.

Despite the assurances given to Iranians and others that there was no ban on refugees from certain countries, the nationalities of the rejected refugees coincide with the countries named by Trump’s travel ban.

It is now clear that hundreds of people found to be refugees by Australia’s own determination process will be denied resettlement places in the US.

The US deal was never acceptable. It was always a way Australia denied providing protection to those who needed it. And, even if the US deal had been met in full, there were not enough places to resettle the hundreds of asylum seekers who have not yet been given a refugee determination, were found not to be refugees, or who refused to cooperate with the process after being forced to Manus five years ago.

After lying for years that the Coalition government was negotiating with “third countries” to resettle the refugees, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton admitted that actually there were no other third countries willing to do so.

Yet the government continues to reject the New Zealand government’s offer to take 150 refugees a year from Manus and Nauru.

The US deal was always a fraud. It was first announced in November 2016. But it was almost a year later before the first small group of refugees went to the US from Manus and Nauru in September 2017. More than 18 months after it was announced only 85 refugees have gone to the US from Manus and 162 from Nauru.

Successive governments have brutalised around 2000 people on Manus and Nauru in the attempt to deny them protection in Australia. After almost five years they still have nowhere to resettle them.

The situation on Manus and Nauru is set to get worse. In the aftermath of the rejections, two despairing Iranian refugees on Nauru attempted suicide.

Election looms

With polls showing that the Coalition faces defeat in the next election, there will be constant attempts by Dutton to play the refugee card over the coming months. When a Sri Lankan boat carrying 130 asylum seekers was intercepted in Malaysia in early May, the media lit up with Dutton warning about people-smuggling, and the “danger” of Labor softening its refugee policies at its conference in July.

While Shorten has said that a Labor government will accept New Zealand’s offer to take 150 refugees, Labor remains completely committed to offshore detention. Shorten has only criticised Turnbull and Dutton for the length of time that refugees have been kept on Nauru and Manus.

He says that Labor is committed to getting all refugees and asylum seekers off the islands, but simply maintains that Labor will find “third countries” to accept them. But Labor won’t find third countries for the same reasons that Dutton can’t find any.

Resettling countries are not going to accept Australia undermining the Refugee Convention and international resettlement agreements with the UNHCR by taking refugees that Australia has turned away in violation of them.

Shorten says that Labor does not accept “indefinite detention”, but also that it would not put a time limit on offshore detention. Every time he says that Labor will get everyone off Nauru and Manus, he raises expectations. But getting everyone off Nauru and Manus is a demand that we will have to fight a Labor government to fulfil.

Labor for Refugees and the Labor Left will move resolutions at Labor’s conference to close Manus and Nauru. But there should be no illusions. Shorten will almost certainly have the numbers to keep boat turnbacks and offshore processing in Labor policy.

That’s why “Bring Them Here,” will remain at the forefront of the refugee movement’s demands. The fight won’t end with the election of a Labor government.

By Ian Rintoul

The post US deal farce as refugees blocked from resettlement appeared first on Solidarity Online.

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