Here is an account of the first day of the convergence from the protests Convergence 2011 website
We were greeted with legalistic warnings and numerous lies from the mounts of Serco guards imposing a road-block outside the centre. More significantly, we have heard from detainees inside the centre that Serco guards have lied to them as well. Detainees had been told that the convergence bus has turned around and that activists no longer planned to visit. In response a hunger strike by 130
detainees has commenced with demands including that visits by refugee activists be allowed.
A couple of days before, a letter was signed by 700 detainees demanding that a delegation of convergence activists be allowed to meet a delegation of detainees.
It is a matter of record that the first words out of the mouths of Serco staff were a technical lie. Activists asked if there was a toilet at the road block and were told the answer "no". Minutes later, two children from the convergence bus were allowed to use a toilet at the road block.
While activists were read less than welcoming legalistic warnings, one person asked if Serco manager Michael Puglisi was among the Serco staff at the roadblock.
This was denied, but later found to be the truth.
These small lies were simply in keeping with the range of excuses used to prevent activists visiting detainees. Despite having put in official forms for around 100 visits with detainees, excuses were given including the initial (and outrageous) claim that not a single visiting form had been put in requesting a visit today, that names on forms were spelled incorrectly, that detainees could not be located in the centre and that the centre did not have capacity to receive visits at that time. (Later we learned that refugee advocates from NSW were inside visiting detainees at that very moment.)
These lies show that the policy being implemented by Serco - mandatory detention of refugees - is an indefensible policy. It is a policy defended by razer wire and lies.
Tomorrow we will be back at the Curtin gates demanding our rights to visit detainees, demanding the refugees' rights to meet supporters from around the country and demanding the closure of all detention centres and the welcoming of refugees into the Australian community.
Photo's from the first day of the Convergence