[ 19. Apr 2006 ]

Villawood 2006 - protests against immigration detention

Protesters at Holsworthy Army Barracks

From 14th to 17th April 2006, hundreds of activists from across Australia have converged in Sydney for protests against immigration detention.


Villawood Protest Day 1

On Friday, 14th of April 2006 a weekend of protests against Immigration Detention near the biggest Australian detention center in Villawood started. A diverse mix of people converged to protest the tyrannical regime that keeps refugees locked up.

The protest started when people :: marched on the Holsworthy Army Barracks where 160 Villawood detainees had been moved. The uncanny timing of an asbestos scare at Villawood detention center was the governments excuse for the relocation.

People then converged at Campbell Hill Reserve, where a camp site was organised just opposite. The march then setoff to the detention center, loud with chants. Support came from passing motorists beeping their horns and people looking on from their houses.

The back gate to the detention center was the target point. It was well barricaded with plenty of police on guard. This was no deterrent though. There were many speeches from people of all ages. There was lots of singing led by people on the loudspeaker, and also a rap where the crowd chanted as a beat and chorus while the rapper spoke of refugee and and aboriginal stories of oppression and survival.

Villawood Protest Day 2

Day two of protest at Villawood detention center saw about 200 people show up to voice dissent against the governments policy of imprisoning asylum seekers and people who have overstayed on visas.

People converged at the back gate of the facility. A loud speaker was setup where many people voiced their concerns about refugee policy and told stories from refugees. It was revealed that a detainee that was refused medical treatment :: tried to commit suicide.

It was also revealed that the NSW police had told local shop owners to close their shops during the protest as there may be violence against them. Defiantly they stayed open. It was also confirmed that at the convergence on friday at Campbell Hill Reserve, police had told families enjoying themselves in the park that they should be wary of the protesters because they might kidnap their children. Seriously corrupt police.

The protest then marched around the facility to the visitors entrance for a festive time with dancing, kite flying and music.

Refugee Rights Protest Hits Kirribilli House

On Easter Sunday around 250 people showed up at Kirribilli to continue the protest against the government. Refugee rights was the issue of protest but there were contingents for anti-war, Industrial Relations and anti-homophobia. The stuggle to protect refugees was made harder with new government policy that will see :: all refugees that land in australia to be processed offshore.

With heavy police presence the march went from Milsons Point train station, through Kirribilli to Kirribilli House. There was much support from people at shops and looking from their houses.

Upon arrival at Kirribilli house the police used force to push everyone off the street onto the footpath. With the few hundred people protesting it made it cramped and uncomfortable. Loud and passionate speeches took place from various people from activist groups, religous leaders and media personalities. The action ended with some [urlext]street theatre[/urelxt] from Perth activists.

The protest then left with plans to march back the way they came. Police once again used force to stop this from happening, even though permission for it had been granted before the protest. An alternate route back to Milsons Point was taken.

Source: Features from :: :: Refugee Rights Protest Hits Kirribilli House :: Villawood Protest Day 2 :: Villawood Protest Day 1 ::