Action for Refugees  

One Man's Web > Politics and Ethics > Australia and the Refugees > Action for Refugees

We don't have to stand by feeling there is nothing active we can do.  "Tom," a Uniting Church minister is working up a protest cum awareness raising activity for his area.  This message from the Uniting Church's Insights Mailing List is posted here with Tom's permission.  He has already asked for people's ideas and feedback.

For overseas readers: A Ute is a utility truck.



Subject: I'm an Asylum Seeker


Well it seems like it is hotting up for me to do this thing. I haven't

yet got a ute but hopefully somebody will loan one.


This is the plan:


In our town there are a number of people concerned about

the way the Australian Government is dealing with the refugees. So we

are starting up a local RAR (Rural Australians For Refugees) group. To

advertise I plan to sit on the back of a ute which is parked in the main

street (on Wednesday or Thursday). The back of the Ute will, I hope, be

caged, and wrapped with barbed wire. I will be sitting on the back of

the ute, all day, doing nothing. I will wear plain clothes, thongs, and

name/photo badge. The ute will also have a number of signs on it. The

main one will be the time and place for the inaugural meeting of the RAR

group. The other signs (and hoping for you input on appropriateness ...

or more suggestions):


1. Everyone else in Australia is innocent to proven guilty. I am

guilty till proven innocent.

2. I am not a criminal ... I'm just trying to find a better world.

3. I am only wasting one day. Others have had 2 years of their

life wasted!

4. I'm am being charged $190 a day for this!

5. The Ruddock/Howard refugee solution.


I would also like to have a story of who I am and what has happened to

me. This will be displayed on the cage along with the signs. Here is

an example. I am wondering if someone better informed than me can help

with this. I need a name too. I am writing this story based on various

reports I have heard regarding those seeking refugee status.





I am, (name), I am an Afghan. I have been locked in this place for

almost 2 years. I came to Australia on a boat. My whole extended chose

me to flee from Afghanistan to seek a place that is free, without death,

without suffering, that I would be their hope for the future. Not even

all my relatives could raise enough money to pay the people smugglers to

pay for my journey so they have taken my younger sister and will not let

her free until we have paid the full fee. I have a wife and child. I

have not heard of them since leaving Afghanistan. I do not even know if

they are still alive. I cannot stand this much longer. I left

Afghanistan the pride and hope of my people and now I am treated like a

criminal. I think I am going mad. I am being told that I have no hope

of staying in Australia, and that I am being charged $190 a day to be

kept in this prison. The guards taunt me that I will be sent back to my

country, and that I will have to pay this money to Australia. I think I

would rather die than so disappoint my whole family and know that paying

Australia all that money would surely mean I would never see my sister





Okay, would love some help here!




'Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable'.

Many thanks to Tom for allowing me to post this.  I don't know what response Tom will get, but he will be noticed!


One Man's Web > Politics and Ethics