No One Is Illegal Solidarity with Refugee Revolt in Australia

Posted by admin on Apr 27th, 2011

Join us for a solidarity picket and flyering action outside the Australian consulate. Thursday April 28, 2011. 12pm – 1pm. Australian Counslate at 1075 West Georgia (at Thurlow) Downtown Vancouver – Coast Salish Territory

On April 20, 2011 detained asylum seekers climbed to the roof of the Villawood detention centre in protest. The next day riots were started in the detention centre by the rest of the detainees demanding justice. Three people continue to be on the roof of the detention centre. Several asylum seekers are now on a hunger strike at the Curtin detention centre in Western Australia’s north. No One is Illegal – Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories stands in solidarity with all asylum seekers in Australia. We denounce the action of the Australian government – its exclusionary immigration and refugee policies that criminalizes migrants as well as the violence of its police forces to quell migrant resistance. Join us this Thursday outside the Australian consulate in Vancouver to send a message and demand justice and freedom for all refugees. Below is a letter of solidarity from No One is Illegal – Vancouver, Coast Salish territories.

Greetings to our friends, comrades, and migrants in revolt in Australia

We have been closely following the recent situation developing in Australia with refugee revolts at the Villawood and Curtin Detention Centres, the frequent and ongoing hunger strikes, the suicides and attempted self-harms of the forgotten behind prison walls.  We watch the racist corporate media coverage that demonizes the desperate yet defiant actions of those detained.  We write you today to tell you that we stand in solidarity with you. We denounce the action of the Australian government – its exclusionary immigration and refugee policies that criminalizes migrants as well as the violence of its police forces to quell migrant resistance.

We, No One Is Illegal-Vancouver/Coast Salish Territories, are a grassroots anti-colonial migrant justice group within this broader global movement challenging the ideology inherent to immigration controls. We believe that there are no illegal or undeserving human beings, only inhumane and immoral laws.

Like the settler-colonial state of Australia, Canada and its economy are built on the theft of Indigenous lands; exploitation of labour especially slave, migrant, and reproductive labour; and the global appropriation of natural resources. Lack of full status, deportations, detentions, and security certificates all contribute to making migrants vulnerable to exploitation, poverty, insecurity and indignities that no one should suffer. Hundreds of asylum-seekers languish behind bars, while hundreds of thousands of temporary workers and non-status people toil in fields and factories.

Most recently, Canada has attempted to pass Bill C49 which would subject asylum seekers, including children, suspected of using a smuggler to mandatory detention for at least the first year. This Bill was explicitly modeled after Australia’s internationally-condemned policies of mandatory detention. We seek an end to detentions and deportations and the violence of all forms of control. Most migrants are prisoners of passage, criminalized simply for being poor and trying to migrate. Canadian borders are open to trade and capital, while regulating the free movement of people through deportation and the creation of pools of hyper-exploitable labour. People are not simply worth their value in capital or labour. Such ideas of worthiness are based on domination that has justified the dehumanization and genocide of peoples across the world.

We assert that people have the right to remain in their homes in the face of global displacement due to land theft, occupation, environmental degradation, and other capitalist and imperialist forces. In light of the unfettered freedom afforded to capital and armies across otherwise fortified borders, people should be free to move whether due to persecution, poverty, or simply in order to flourish with dignity.  People also have the inherent right to return to the lands of which they have been unjustly dispossessed. We envision and actively strive for a humanity where everyone has the right to sustenance and the ability to provide it, where we are free of oppression, misery, and exploitation, and are able to live meaningfully in relationship to one another and in reverence for Mother Earth that sustains us.

We organize from the basic principle that directly affected communities and individuals lead their own struggles and are deeply inspired by the courage of detained asylum seekers who have revolted in a variety of ways against the repression of the Australian state. We would like to extend our respect and humblest gratitude, as well as our solidarity and rage, in your struggle. We have been circulating updates and information about the repression and resistance of refugees to our members and supporters. To sisters and brothers behind bars – we extend our hands and our hearts. No One Is Illegal!

No One Is Illegal-Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories

For more information check out:

– Guards retreat as detainees set Villawood alight
– Refugee Protest Spreads to Curtin, Refugee Supporter Banned from Visits
– Villawood Burning eye witness account
– Villawood detainees held in solitary confinement at Silverwater prison, lawyers shocked at conditions
– Lies preventing visits at Curtin Detention Centre as hunger strike begins by 300 detainees: Refugees being driven to suicide and mental illness

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