Background info: Hunger strike at the Broadmeadows gulag
So I just spent a weekend camped outside a detention centre.sports74.ru
On more than one occasion during the weekend a supporter asked if those of us outside had any message we wanted to pass on to the hunger strikers. I was lost for words. “Stay strong”, “We’re with you” and other such sentiments all seemed grossly inadequate.
The refugee movement is a shadow of it’s former self.
As one person put it to me over the weekend, the outrage of 2001, “How could this happen here?!” has been replaced with resignation, “oh well, this happens here”.
We must clearly, unequivocally and without hesitation support every act of resistance that comes from within the camps.
The most significant, effective and important resistance to Australia’s barbaric treatment of refugees has always come from refugees, within the detention centres.
Riots, hunger strikes, burning buildings, and sewn lips demand a response, not just from the state but also from anyone with an ounce of compassion. Resistance inside the detention centres is what spurs and demands a response from supporters outside, and in turn solidarity from the outside gives confidence for stronger and repeated acts of defiance inside.
If the refugee movement in Australia is to be rebuilt, active and visible support for resistance from within detention centres must be maintained.
Perhaps there is one thing I’d liked to have passed on to the hunger strikers, “Thank you”.