Thursday, 24 September 2020
Friday, 4 September 2020
Peter Dutton’s Bill, which would give the authorities the power to confiscate the mobile phones of refugees in detention, is now in the Senate, where a vote on it is expected very soon.
Senator Lambie has a key vote and – believe it or not - she wants your advice (not even just Tasmanians) on this important vote.
When you complete the poll, make sure you select “No, you shouldn't vote to make the bill law.” Then, you’ll be asked to explain why - please keep it respectful and polite when offering your opinion. We need Senator Lambie onside.
This is a call from the National Justice Project to “Help Senator Lambie decide”.
Thursday, 3 September 2020
You may have seen a lot on the media recently with regards to the protesters at Kangaroo Point hotel. I want to reassure you all that these young protesters are incredibly responsible and doing all they can to include as many of the refugees as possible in their decision making. I have been to their meetings, they are very efficient in the way they communicate, organise and action their work. They know their rights and are focussed on peaceful protest. However, "when the people leading the nation break the law civil disobedience" is an element of their philosophy but it is always peaceful. They are adjusting and reorganising on a daily basis to meet the needs of the men inside. They are always reminding each other that this is about the men getting freedom and not about them and or any other agenda. I am totally impressed with what they have achieved and even though we know the government are adamant about the policy, public opinion is changing and that is growing.The men are all really struggling now. There are guys who are not leaving their rooms and they are communicating less and less. One of the men who was messaging me everyday with a lovely god bless you etc message. He told me approx. 5 days ago he just couldn't speak and doesn't know what to do with himself. He really is in state of despair.We must also remember that there are men in BITA, MITA, Villawood, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin and of course the Tamil family on Christmas Island. It's shocking to see so many locked up in such an arbitrary manner. Detention is bad enough but it was supposed to be administrative....high security and punitive punishment should have never been a part of this.😥
MantraIt is really difficult for the guys in the Mantra to they are stuck in their rooms and can't even go outside. I have spoken with a couple of guys there and I am really concerned about one of them. He was totally gutted when he got rejected by the US in December, he told me that he cried for the first time in 6 years, he also told me in all his 6 years on Manus this is the worst he has ever experienced. We have to remember that they are checked on a couple of times a day by the guards and that is usually early in the morning and late at night. The guards just walk in and shine a torch in their face. They are served food in plastic containers and have to eat with plastic cutlery. Shujaat only has contact with 2 people in Australia and the other contact is with his family. He is thin, gaunt and looks like he is in a concentration camp. I knew him as a fun, bubbly and forward thinking person, always focused on the future.😧Please write to your local member again and tell them about this disgusting situation. 🙏
Port MoresbyAttack:A Sudanese man was attacked and beaten by 5 local security men. He was asking one of the guards at the gate of the Shady Rest hotel (funded by Australia) if one of the shops was open. The guard was just angry and rude (apparently they later found that he is rude to all the refugees). He told the refugee to go away and that he wasn't wanted there and to go back home, the refugee told him to have more respect for himself and not be so rude. The guard called over 4 of his friends and they beat him really badly. He was taken to hospital and the owner of the hotel reported it to the police. The owner is actually quite a nice guy, he is not a local, but from Europe, and has run the hotel for a while. He has made a very nice income keeping refugees there for years now 🙄. He also was one of the partners that built the PIH hospital that Australia contracted to treat sick refugees and make a shit load of money. It turned out to be a shop front because they didn't have the facilities to do half of the operations and treatments that were required. I met him when I was at the Shady Rest just before we got deported.
S (from Iran)You may remember me telling you about S, we have been supporting him with phone credit for just over a year now. He was working and doing the best he could but recently he has gone downhill rapidly. He was supposed to be medivaced here but the day before the flight he couldn't go through with it. He has severe anxiety and stomach problems and the thought of going behind locked high fences again was too much. So he stayed in Port Moresby hoping that the UNHCR would help him or the Canada process but of course it's an incredibly long and slow process and nothing has happened to date. He has lost all hope, is very thin and incredibly ill. He said he doesn't have an inclination to do anything and even talking to friends is hard. He is still in contact with his family though.
Please also tell your local member about S. He's from Iran and he's an electrician and a good one at that. He once had a place to live and a car in Port Moresby and was doing the best he could even though he knew he had no future there.
US departures11 fly from Port Moresby on 25 Aug. This is great news for these men. I received 3 messages from men that I know telling me that they are going so I am very happy for them.
A CanadaA is in Port Moresby and he is another man that we support with phone credit and we recently sent him money to get a phone. He is a very quiet incredibly humble man and we have a little message from time to time. You may remember me telling you about his wife and son who he hasn't seen for 7 years, they are still waiting for him. Well yesterday I found out that his case is in the next 25 to be submitted to the Canadian government. He was so happy and so grateful. It's a long process but he will hopefully be there by this time next year if all goes ok with his application.🙏
Thank youI want to thank all of you that have donated recently, it has been a godsend. Thank you to the consistent handful of people who have been donating $5 per week, or $10, or $20 per month for such a long time, it has been such a blessing. 🙏🙏 I would also like to thank Ballina for Refugees for their very generous donations over the past 5 months, I have been able to get so much for the guys at Kangaroo point, BITA, Mantra and MITA it's been fantastic and they are all so grateful. Also thank you for all those people who make random donations of different amounts...it's the most lovely surprise to see it when it arrives. I always do my best to email you straight away with a thank you to let you know that it has arrived but sometimes money comes from someone not on the mail out list😍. Thank you to those who share this message with their friends and groups.
Items boughtI have now started up an excel spreadsheet because I felt it was important to do a more formal documentation of where the money was going. I have hidden the full name of the guys because many are not comfortable with people knowing. As I have said before there is a lot of shame attached to not being able to support themselves.I now have 3 guys in need of phones, 1 in Perth and 1 in the Mantra and 1 in MITA. 1 of the guys at Kangaroo Point needs clothes and a small group of 3 asked for Playstation 4 games. If you do have playstation 4 games please let me know and I will give you the name and address to post them too. Here is the fundraiser account number for anyone who would like to donate:
BSB 062 692
Acct: 3322 7603