When our quest for freedom and safety has been sabotaged and questioned,
When our lives are crushed and disabled permanently in Australian-run detention centres,
When we are systematically discriminated against outside detention centres as well;
Eating refugee-cooked “exotic” foods, and “listening and watching” movies about us during “World Refugee Week/Refugee Day” is not going to end Australia’s racist mandatory detention policy or end world forced displacement or the military-industrial complex that forces us to flee.
This event led by UNHCR (The United Nations High Commission for Refugees) happens once a year across the globe and is set up and managed at the top by mostly non-refugee saviours. Stop the mockery of lives, stop the exploitation of our lives, stop expecting us to school you and hold your hands. At present, there are 84 million forcibly displaced people and over 26 million Refugees across the world. Do you expect us to entertain you with our trauma and help you feel pleasure and satisfaction with yourself for “helping” Refugees? It is cruel to participate in this “celebration” initiated by the UNHCR when the UN itself is doing little to stop the global escalation of forced displacement due to war and persecution and millions of our people, mostly people of colour, are being killed, tortured, abused and stuck in interim camps for decades, with no end in sight.
If you are expecting refugee survivors of rape, persecution and torture to entertain or dance around you after being forcibly disconnected from our families, identity and the lands we belong to, you need to have a hard look at yourself. SHAME.
In so-called Australia, Detainees and eX-detainees are disposable. Our community has been subjected to the misery of over 30 years of torture and abuse to serve the interests of politicians and profiteers of the refugee detention industry. From non-profit sectors to profit-making industries such as Australia’s tourist industry – they have all received income from the Australian Immigration department’s abusive and murderous “humanitarian” system designed for refugees who came by boats. For the last 30 years, we have been politicians’ election pawns as well as a major source of income flow to Australia’s non-profit sector.
In front of our eyes, on “World refugee day” or “refugee week”, politicians who support mandatory detention policies and the nonprofit sector that helps feed the detention supply chains, join hands together to “celebrate” and be entertained by us in Australia.
What you can do instead
- Rather than listening to happy and sad stories or attending refugee “panel discussions” or expect us to cook “exotic” foods for you to savour, why don’t you protest in front of the Australian PM Anthony Albanese’s office, the office of the current Australian Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil or the office of Immigration minister Andrew Giles.
- Centre and Amplify eX-detainee Voices-not just to hear their stories but be directed by eX-detainees
- Defund and Divest from the refugee detention industry https://www.detentiondivestment.org
- Get involved in the eX-detainee led campaign to end the Australian Government’s white supremacist refugee policy for torturing and abusing refugees in detention centres, #SanctionAustralia Campaign http://riserefugee.org/topic/sanction-australia
- Share RISE eX-detainees’ 10 demands http://riserefugee.org/topic/ex-detainees-demands
- Defund and divest from the military-industrial complex
- How many people have supported eX-detainees’ Day on the 14th of September a day that is not run by the UN or UNHCR, a privileged organisation headed mostly by non-eX-detainees http://riserefugee.org/topic/ex-detainees-day
- Support self-determined organisations, run by and for Refugees like RISE who don’t use our members’ photos as poverty porn and don’t take funding from or take selfies with government or UN officials: Direct deposit :Account Name: RISE : BSB: 013128: Account Number: 220584925 or online donation here https://www.givenow.com.au/riserefugee
- Help eX-detainees to establish, manage and run a farm https://www.givenow.com.au/ex-detaineesfarm
‘Nothing About Us Without Us’