First of all – TAB admin do NOT in any way condone the actions of the few detainees that set fire to buildings within the Villawood Detention Centre. Let that be perfectly clear. Violence doesn’t get anyone anywhere, and as Prime Minister Gillard stated, it will probably lessen their chances of obtaining Visas in our country now. And we agree.
For the purpose of this exercise, place yourselves in the shoes of an asylum seeker. You’ve had to flee your country because your country is under attack from militant forces, or it’s being bombed by Western forces attacking ‘terrorism’. The ones that are lucky enough to escape being killed in their own countries come here and land in detention centres. And it is there that they stay, under suspicion of being terrorists themselves for years at a time. The detainees that rioted at Villawood have been there for two years. And rather than oppose their actions, we’ve got so-called decent Australians calling for them to be murdered, shot, burned, put on leaky boats and sunk. Their assumption is that these people had it made. That these people had wonderful lives at Villawood where they had everything they wanted and needed. And that these people were all Muslims and all terrorists. So therefore, it’s only logical, rational and reasonable that we kill these people as though it’s sport. And although there are born-and-raised-here Aussies burning houses and killing people and raping women and children and stealing and bashing elderly citizens, they don’t deserve an ounce of our attention.
There are over 400 detainees at Villawood. According to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, the handful of refugees that started it all had already had their applications rejected. Note that this is unconfirmed at this stage. Brami Jegan from the Refugee Action Centre believes that the night of rioting was an act of desperation – a cry out for help. When you’ve been locked up in a foreign country for two years, it has obvious psychological effects. We cannot simply assume that refugees are terrorists or criminals. They are escaping atrocities, and while it is of the utmost importance to apply character tests and necessary background and health checks, locking them in detention centres for years at a time is simply inhumane. And while they’re stuck in there, they’re constantly being threatened with being sent back to almost certain death. “They’ve got to the point now where they’re like, what are we even doing here, we’re just in prison, in indefinite prison in your country.” said Brami Jegan.
So where is the compassion and the understanding? Are these failures to be blamed on a handful of out-of-control stir-crazy detainees, or on a broader problem of endless mandatory detention and institutionalised racism?
Who cares, right? Just murder/shoot/drown the ‘scum’. They don’t have real lives, or real families, or real stories. Kill them.