Take a Breath Australia – Can You Smell the Brimstone?


ourlivesbegintoendIt doesn’t feel like it’s enough anymore to simply sign a petition or wave a sign to protest this governments illegal detention and torture of asylum seekers.  Nor is it appropriate to close our eyes to the reality of the situation simply because it frightens us.

Do you really think that you are only judged for what you do in this life, often it’s what you don’t do that counts against you most. [I should know]  Just because you didn’t raise a hand to someone doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility to try to stop it once you know it’s occurring.

That time is passed and I don’t really care how upsetting you find the situation we’re in here in Australia we can no longer afford for the majority of us to simply sit back, hands in a flutter saying It’s so overwhelming.

Image courtesy of SMH - Sri Lankan refugees sent back by Australia enter court in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy of SMH – Sri Lankan refugees sent back by Australia enter court in Sri Lanka

People have died when there was no need, children are being abused along with reports of sexual and physical abuse to all detainees and our own government is fine with that.  So enough with the smelling salts it’s time to find a spine and stand up Australia.

Our government is feeling just dandy about sending back 37 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka without hearing their claims.  Those 37 have arrived back in Sri Lanka and as anyone could have predicted were immediately arrested by the government they were fleeing.

The UN, the Australia High Court, The Australian Human Rights Association and the Hague have all found that the indefinite detention of asylum seekers, the towing back of boats and the deals to send them to PNG and Naru are illegal not to mention immoral.  They have determined that the Australian government is participating in the torture of individuals and it’s policies contravene the Human Rights Convention, the UN code and international law.

Exporting our 'problem'

Exporting our ‘problem’ to Manus Island

So how does our government respond to this?  Well so far ignoring it seems to be the plan of action by politicians other than an outspoken few from the Greens and Labor.  When actually put on the spot and questioned by the UN in regards to the violence against female detainees the Australian government issued a statement saying that the violence in the Nauru detention centres were not it’s problem.  Further more it was not the business of government to deal with issues such as violence against women.  This made Australia the first country in the UN in 25 years to claim that the torture of other people was not it’s responsibility or problem simply by exporting the asylum seekers elsewhere.

Our government is so out of step with the reality of the situation that our PM boasted of ‘stopping the boats’ in his speech at the recent G20 in front Italy’s leader whose government just rescued 1500 refugees from the Mediterranean. There were other countries present whose policies on asylum seekers leave Australians hanging their heads in shame and when China [not known for it warm and fuzzy people friendly attitude] condemns your policies then you know something is amiss.

Image courtesy of We're Better Than This Australia

Image courtesy of We’re Better Than This Australia

Since few politicians have spoken up and it is obvious that our government is quite happy to ignore the situation for as long as possible groups of prominent Australians, actors, doctors, leaders and those who campaign for the rights of all people have put together a promotional program including a music clip starring a number of people you may be surprised to see.

It is designed to increase community awareness and chip away at the deliberately placed blinkers that many Australians have when it comes to this issue.  Its title We’re Better Than This is a direct hit at the anti-humanitarian policies of this current government and the lassitude of the previous one.

One of the things I most enjoy about it is the lack of pretense and polish in the clip – it’s just people saying this is wrong, so very wrong and it needs to end.

asrc

There is also another group who is doing amazing work here in Australia, The Asylum Seekers Resource Centre [ASRC] who provide a range of services to those in detention and those seeking to settle in the community.

Visit their website where you can sign up to be a volunteer or if you don’t have the time you can find out how to donate to their organisation.

It’s important that we don’t bury our heads in the sand and our hearts in concrete because you know they’re right, We Are Better Than This Australia:

 

 

15 thoughts on “Take a Breath Australia – Can You Smell the Brimstone?

  1. About exporting torture … I think the U.S. beat Australia to that abomination. Thank goodness for people like you who care enough to be heard, and for the groups you mention. I hope wherever these horrors are going on, including in the U.S., that we will reach a tipping point where people will realize their responsibility in the immorality and want to do something about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Keep stirring the pot Jenn…maybe enough sh*** will float to the top to be skimmed off by those who have the power to rise up to the occasion before a shovel is needed. Then again, if enough of us grab a spoon on election day we will be able to effect a change. You certainly inspire me, and plenty of your readers, I’m sure, to do so!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well the Victorian elections were last weekend and the LNP got the tossed out. Next elections are in my state Qld and after that it’s Federal. I just hope the momentum keeps going. Cross fingers and keep shouting is about the best I can do at the moment.

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      • I don’t think Labor will handle the problem as it should be. I wrote to PM Gillard when she insisted that she couldn’t do any more to stop the drownings. I asked her to send a Qantas plane and pick them up. I never received an answer. The reopened Manus Island and Nauru because they were afraid of the electorate.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sadly I have to agree – however I do think that public outcry may just outweigh their fears of doing anything should they be returned to office. They’ve seen first hand just how much the populace can be turned using social media and alternate news sources. I would like to think they would do the right thing regardless but I feel that most of them would be doing so as to maintain public approval. The LNP or at least this LNP government can’t seem to grasp how much times have changed and that their alliance with Murdoch etc is no longer enough to sway the masses since information is so easy to disseminate today. They can’t or won’t change but I think Labor backed by the senate could or at least I hope so.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant Jenni. Edmund Burke would be applauding ‘All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent’ and ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’. We should all applaud. Let’ hope some momentum builds for reason to triumph

    Liked by 1 person

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