Monday, March 14, 2011

In Australia we have a Labor government that uses tear gas and rubber bullets on asylum seekers

So we have a Labor Government in Australia that uses tear gas and rubber bullets on vulnerable people who protest.

And then that government turns around and blames those same people for provoking such brutality and also blames them for causing the long delays in processing refugee claims that were one of the protesters grievances.

And we are a people that stands by and allows this to happen.

As John Passaant rightly points out:
" A government that gasses protesters is unworthy of support"

 The report below is from ABC News online:
"A refugee support group says the overnight riot by 300 asylum seekers on Christmas Island, which left one man in hospital with a suspected broken leg, was sparked by security staff at the facility.

Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition, says security officers entered the compound at about 10:00pm (AWST) looking for 20 people they said led the mass break-out of 170 people last week.
"It was only when they captured some of those people and put them in handcuffs that provoked the response inside the detention centre. It was completely calm, completely peaceful before that," he said.

Mr Rintoul says the officers took the people to the high security management unit known as the red compound, staffed by officers from Serco, the facility management company.

"One-hundred-and-fifty to 200 people surrounded the red compound, actually got into the red compound and the tear gas was used when the Serco guards that were in there couldn't secure their little office," he said.
"We're told it might even be a rubber bullet that broke the leg of that protester.
"The idea that tear gas and that kind of force could be used against detainees inside the detention centre is an absolute disgrace."

Earlier, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the demonstration was over complaints by detainees that their visa applications were being processed too slowly.

He conceded "a level of frustration" was involved in the fracas which he said involved 300 asylum seekers.
Mr Bowen says the demonstration only serves to slow the application process.

"It does not change visa outcomes," he said.

"This protest action has meant that independent merits reviewers who were meant to arrive at the island today to progress people's assessment of their claims have not been able to enter the island.

"People who protest to try and change their visa outcome or get their place of detention changed do not achieve anything. They simply slow the process.

"I understand people's frustrations inside detention, but protest actions like this does not achieve the desired result."

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