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[ 19. Apr 2006 ]

Vigil at Perth Immigration Detention Centre

Imprisoned Without a Charge

In solidarity with actions around the world for the Global Days of Action on refugee rights during April 2006, a small group of refugee rights activists held a two and a half day vigil outside the Detention Centre at Perth Airport.


Eight activists spent at least some time at the vigil and there were two or three people there almost all the time. Five of us were Baxter 05ers, two of whom were planning to go to Villawood but circumstances intervened.

On Friday afternoon we made the banner drawing attention to the Refugee Detention Centre, simply because hardly anyone knows it is there. On Saturday morning we made the 'Imprisoned without charge' banner. No one from the airport attempted to interfere with the banners. We got more friendly toots and waves after the second banner went up.

At 8 o'clock on Saturday morning a shiny white car pulled up with two young guys in shiny black suits and 'Look, Mummy, I'm a secret agent' haircuts. They had an air of 'We're being very friendly right now, but that could change at any minute.' They were from the State Security Squad.

We talked briefly to a nun who had been visiting one of the three refugees in PIDC, a man from Ivory Coast. She gave us his name and we decided to go back soon with a gift of some fresh fruit etc. for him and the other refugees. The food is terrble in PIDC and the nun had taken in fruit that day.

There was lots of long stress-free conversation. And there were no megaphones, no speeches, no slogans..."

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