Refuge means shelter

I really have enough of what is going on right now in Australia.
You know that I come from Germany and that in Germany we are very well aware, or this is how my generation was brought up, about what Human Rights and Democracy both mean. Maybe, on this occasion, I just display here a message that I have sent to Bill Shorten 2 days ago:

Dear Mr Shorten,
I am writing to you with serious concern about the way the Australian politics is evolving at the moment.
I am proud of having become recently Australian citizen, in a country that bears huge potential for the future in this world of the 21st century. Please, don't jeopardise this chance. I have lived long time in Germany, have learned about its modern culture and its awful past. Awful is not only what it did, but how it became able to do so.
Mr Shorten, you, and all the politicians in the western world, have to understand what a huge treasure human rights and democratic believes are, and how important it is to protect both with all our might.
It might sound like a strong opinion I am expressing here, but what the government is doing right now, and the way it gets its support from other parties, has to stop. This is wrong and dangerous for the future of Australia.
To be clear, I am talking about the dealing with refugees, the undemocratic behaviour of passing laws without the consent of the High Court and the way patriotism is used for political interests.
I am asking you to address this to the parliament and to work out with your party how to get us out of this path.
Thank you

The events in the last months are indeed not funny any more. I refer to the fact that we might have made our little jokes about the behaviour of our politicians, but no joke will restore the damage, no smile soften the rudeness and ruthlessness of laws and discrimination and avoidance of democratic rules.

Actually, there is a nice joke, the fact that people think Refugees would cost us money and take our jobs away, and that they are just after an easy way into a rich country. We have to stop following this ridiculous urban myth.
About the money: yes, haha, they cost us money, but only because the government is paying enormous amounts to keep them away from us. All our tax money is flowing into the military system set up to “keep boats away” (which is not even possible, because you cannot keep people fleeing death away like that), and to keep the detention centers in other countries than Australia (detention centres! For people who have done nothing else than flee from the horrors of war and persecution!). You can have a look at this link. The amount grows every month, if you would like to know where your money goes…
These refugees are intelligent people fleeing from the very terrorists or terrorist states we are condamning too. The difference is, the refugees have met the terror first hand, with family members killed, raped, assaulted in front of them. In many cases, their passports have been removed, they are countryless. So their IS NO legal way of leaving the country. What would you do? Stay there and wait for the terror to start again?
They are people like us. In letting them in, we actually create more jobs, we let knowledge in, mix of culture, new ideas, incentives. Ask any smart entrepreneur. Nowdays companies need exactly this to improve and thrive: new ideas, new influences. Only our government doesn’t understand.

Guys, we stand here in the 21st Century! Are we starting again like all the other centuries before? Or are we going to learn from the past and change?

I went to a forum on Refugees on Saturday. I think the time has come for all of us now to say that it is enough, and to go to rallies, and to talk about that. Because this is exactly what the government doesn’t want, that we talk about it.

I thought I give you some links here, which you should visit as well and get some information about what is actually happening.

  • Bring Back Asha – Rally in Sydney
    The Sydney event will be at 5.30pm, Tuesday 30 June, Sydney Square, beside Town Hall
    (so, I was there. In a town of 5 million, in the center of the CBD, we were only 150 maybe, demonstrating against the torturing and slow killing of innocent people, of innocent babies. Bravo!)
  • Donation to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
    This can be taken seriously. Another trick from government is to cut fundings to legal assistance.
  • Amnesty International, Research
    Please take the time to read a bit through these information sheets. I know, it’s disturbing, heavy, uncomfortable. But it is necessary.
  • Unions4Refugees on Facebook.
  • A rally on Saturday the 25th, in Melbourne
    Rally to change Labor’s cruel refugee policy

In all its disturbing and upsetting moments during the forum last Saturday, refreshing — if I may say — was to hear some people from the audience as well as from the podium showing their courage and will to persevere. A girl said that she knows that there are parts of the Labour Party who wish to change and help refugees. One group calls itself even “Labour for Refugees”. And to add after a heated speech: “… and I will be in Melbourne on Saturday the 25th, Damn it! I will be there and shout!”. Because we have to wake them up.

I finish with a few quotes that I have noted during the forum:

Australians don’t understand these conflicts happening in countries with borders to other countries. It doesn’t exist in Australia. (a member from Unions4Refugees about the atrocities in countries with conflicts)

The remedy for everything on Manus Island is Panadol in water (Woman who has been sacked from Manus Island because of whistle blowing)

I am old enough to remember the Nuremberg trials, when people said: “Yes, we knew somehow about these things, but we couldn’t do anything”, and I am not going to be one of them (same woman)

There is a serious risk that Abbott will be voted for another 3 years (Labour Senator present at the forum)

I was a refugee, I have seen a friend being beaten in front of me, and I am asking you, Mistress, please don’t take it personally, I am asking you, Labour is doing nothing, why? (a man that suddenly stood up at question time when it was his turn and got so emotional that he screamed at the senator, but everybody understood)

Thanks for participating.


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