I who may well be...

Musings from the perspective of a human being who may well be not locatable completely within the usual categories of male or female or gay or straight or transsexual or intersexed or exploiter or exploited or supplier or consumer or performer or spectator.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

WHY THEY COME HERE, & WHY WE LOCK THEM UP

If your home is being bombed, you flee for safety.

If you’re gay or transsexual and you live somewhere where this is horrifically punished, you flee for safety.

If your family is starving and you can feed them if you go to another country, you go to another country.

If you speak out against tyranny and injustice, and the state then tries to kill you, you flee for your life.

The people who come to Australia outside the normal immigration channels come here because they had little choice. They are not so much seeking a better life as simply seeking a continued life.

If I have a million dollars, I can do just about anything I want with it anywhere in the world I want, with the protection of trade agreements stopping any local govermental or environmental concerns.

If all I have is my labour, well, the sex industry may be the most rewarding, but I am subject to incarceration if I am caught without state approval. And states never approve immigration for sex workers.

Incarcerated at the concentration camps in Australia are gay men fleeing death or other persecution aimed at sexual diversity. And sex workers who came to Australia just to feed their children. And children who no longer have parents, who fled bombs raining down on their villages. And people facing death sentences in their country of origin because they dared speak out against the tyrannical regimes there.

We consider ourselves to have a fair and just system of government, where people are free to pursue their own interests, and are not persecuted for not being "normal". We haven’t been invaded or bombed in the last fifty years. It’s not surprising that many people fleeing their countries for the sorts of reasons outlined above will flee to Australia.

Why then do we lock up asylum seekers and "illegal immigrants"? It’s more than a bit hypocritical, considering the dodgy legality of our own government’s claim to rule Australia in place of the indigenous people who previously had sovereignty and who never relinquished that sovereignty. It’s to make us feel superior and "safe" from "foreigners", we who for the most part can’t speak one word of the languages native to this country. It’s to make money for the international corporation that profits based on how many people are locked up and how many costs if can cut.

We may consider ourselves to be fair and just, but as long as we lock up people for nothing other than seeking shelter in our country, we are not fair or just. If we want to have a fair and just society, we must close down the immigration detention regime. And if we want to have a fair and just society, people with labour to offer must be as free as people with capital to invest.
Globalise labour, not just capital! Close the concentration camps and free the refugees. The greatest evil in this country since the extermination of aboriginals by the early white invaders is being perpetrated now. You and I will probably live another twenty years at least. What do you want to say to the young people in twenty years time when they ask you what you did to stop the concentration camps?

"When they came for the communists I didn’t speak out: I wasn’t a communist. When they imprisoned the social democrats I didn’t speak out: I wasn’t a social democrat. When they came for the unionists I didn’t speak out: I wasn’t a unionist. When they came for the Jews I didn’t speak out: I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for me there was no one left who could have spoken out."

Links:
http://http://www.indymedia.org/
http://racnsw.org
http://www.ajustaustralia.com

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