Tear gas used on detainees on Christmas Island

In yet another disturbing incident within Australian detention centres, tear gas and possibly even rubber bullets have been used by the Australian Federal Police on Christmas Island against protesting detainees. With over 6000 people being held in detention and an increasing cycle of protests, escapes, hunger strikes, self-harm and repression within centres it is clear that the ALP has delivered a detention regime every bit as soul destroying as Howard.

The protesting detainees on Christmas Island are largely Iraqi and Iranian men frustrated at the length of their detention. According to Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition "The idea that tear gas and that kind of force could be used against detainees inside the detention centre is an absolute disgrace." A series of solidarity protests are occuring around Australia in the next month to call for end once and for all to the evil of mandatory detention.

Related: Easter Convergence on Curtin Detention Centre -- April 2nd Rally at Broadmeadows Detention Centre -- Sydney Palm Sunday Refugee rally
Background: Asylum seekers break out of Christmas Island detention centre | Crack down begins on Christmas Island

Crack down begins on Christmas Island – refugee supporters say open the gates

Refugee Action Coalition Media release March 14, 2011 There are disturbing reports from Christmas Island asylum seekers that a number, perhaps 20, of the people who escaped from the detention centre on Friday night have been handcuffed and taken to the high security management unit, Red Compound, last night (ie Sunday night).

Some reports indicate that up to 20 people may have been taken to the Red Compound. At least two Afghans, one a teacher, inside the detention centre, were handcuffed and taken away last night.

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Asylum seekers break out of Christmas Island detention centre

Sydney Refugee Action Collective Media release, 12 March 2011 Reports from asylum seekers on Christmas Island indicate that at least 150 asylum seekers, believed to be mostly Iranian, have broken out of Christmas Island detention centre.
All Serco guards have withdrawn from the detention compound and are believed to be searching for the escaped detainees.

The trouble began around 11.30 Christmas Island time and seems to have been concentrated on the main compounds of the detention centre. All compounds have been locked down, leaving remaining asylum seekers unattended.

WGAR News: Aboriginal women of Lake Tyers are staging a blockade

Newsletter date: 12 March 2011

* Petition to Support the Northern Territory Elders' Statement
* Aboriginal women of Lake Tyers are staging a blockade
* More on 'racist' Alice Springs TV advertisement
* More on the UWS Anti-Racism Research Project
* More on the Reconciliation Barometer
* More on the ACTU’s Indigenous Conference
* Northern Territory (NT) Intervention articles
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention


Friends of Australia’s First Peoples petition:

43 million refugees, a billion in abject poverty, the facts on asylum seekers & refugees and Australia's shameful record.

by Gerry Georgatos
At least 43 million people displaced. At least 16 million refugees. Only 800,000 Asylum Seeker applications per year. Millions have not been counted. Millions are trapped. If you are a Hazara in Quetta, Pakistan there is are no holding camps, no UNHCR, no queues. My sister-in-law is of refugee-origin, Vietnamese, having arrived as a baby on a 'boat' in 1980. Afghanis, Tamils, Iraqis, Iranians are fleeing civil strife, persecution, war. Let us not forget anyone. Let us embrace the ideal of helping out one another.

VIictims of war - Iraqi children and families - Depleted uranium and trauma

Riyadh describes, "The years of sanctions have deeply affected Iraqi society and people have learned to survive individually and have lost the sense of community and caring for others."

"As a result of the 1991 Gulf War the province of Al Muthanna is littered with thousands of unexploded landmines and missiles." "There are many heartbreaking of disabled children in Iraq."

Live Below the Line (Aus)

Date and Time: 
Mon, 16/05/2011 - 12:00am - Fri, 20/05/2011 - 11:30pm

The week of Live Below the Line is a week like no other. From May 16th - 20th, thousands of Australians will spend just $2 each on food, and use their daily experiences to bring extreme poverty to the centre of conversation in homes, businesses and schools around Australia.

We'll do this because while we struggle to Live Below the Line for a week, there are 1.4 billion people who live below it every day: forced to make choices between basic necessities like food, medicine and education.

You can sign up for this life-changing challenge at

WGAR News: Complaint against ‘racist’ Alice Springs TV advertisements

Newsletter date: 10 March 2011

* Complaint against ‘racist’ Alice Springs TV advertisements
* Northern Territory (NT) Intervention articles
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Jude Kelly invites Kevin Rudd to Aboriginal Tent Embassy
* Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra speaks about Aboriginal Customary Law
* “The biggest failure in our health system”


- Statement / Report

Rollback the Intervention - Statements/Reports:
Intervention Rollback Action Group Response to ‘Action for Alice’

Science and a bi-polar climate

By Kristy Henderson: Leading climate scientists declared last Tuesday night that the recent Australian floods are not necessarily attributable to climate change. According to Professor David Karoly, Professor Neville Nicolls, and Dr Karl Braganza from the Bureau of Meteorology, the scientific basis for human induced climate change is overwhelmingly compelling, yet more research will need to be done to quantify its impacts with regard recent extreme weather events.

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