Enough is Enough! eX-detainees urge anyone who is organising detention protests and rallies to STOP inviting politicians or detention workers. It is Triggering, Unacceptable and commodifies our experiences.

RISE highly condemns those who are continuously organising anti-detention rallies that give a platform to politicians who are the creators of mandatory detention policies in Australia or supporters of mandatory detention policies. This includes all major parties including Labor, Liberal, Nationals, the Greens or any other groups or individuals that do the same.

“You can’t support or operate a torture and murder system and go to victims’ funerals and cry about it. That’s what the Labor party and former detention workers do at refugee detention protests in Australia, organised by non eX-detainees. We are survivors of detention torture, abuse and rape and should not have to educate others and spell it out. These practices are part of the very basic foundational principles of Rights movements but in Australia, everything seems to be a thousand miles behind.” eX-detainee

It is racist, xenophobic and dismissive of the horrors we experienced in Australian run detention centres. Our bodies are triggered when we see politicians or detention “whistleblowers” giving speeches at these rallies.  These are unsafe zones for eX-detainees.  RISE eX-detainees have been advocating on this matter for a very long time but we are always disregarded and silenced within “refugee spaces”. In Australia, it is evident that refugee spaces are predominantly led by non-eX-detainees or those who never sought protection by boat in Australia.

Talking to a few refugee detainees in offshore or onshore camps or #OzHotelPrisons or being friends with eX-detainees does not give anyone superpowers to go invite politicians to refugee rallies erasing our voices and lived experiences. Also, those who have been talking to refugee detainees to do this type of foolish rallies are creating division between our eX-detainee community and refugee detainees. STOP it right now, it is not about you or your saviour complex. Further, for almost ten years we eX-detainees at RISE have been heavily critical of those working in detention centres in any capacity.

“You can’t replace our detention experience and our voices with politicians, lawyers and humanitarian refugees who arrived by planes or any other non eX-detainee person at detention rallies. There are eX-detainees in Australia for over 30 years now, if you can’t still connect to us it is you who are the problem NOT us” eX-detainee 

Current issues around mandatory detention policies or white supremacist refugee policies should not only be measured by what is happening NOW.  It is not NEW and has been impacting on our community over the last 30 odd years. What you are witnessing NOW in offshore camps, onshore camps or #OzHotelPrisons is a repeat of thousands of other instances that occurred in notorious torture camps such as Woomera, Curtin and Baxter, which our community still suffers from. It is very triggering for us to continuously witness this debacle.

“Our tortured and abused bodies aren’t your disposable political platforms or vehicles to centre your personal feelings or develop your social connections” eX-detainee 

If anyone understands how triggering it is for survivors of detention rape and torture to witness their oppressor or preparator in spaces that claim to be supportive of our community they wouldn’t blindly invite any of them. Further, there is a big conflict of interest that has been clearly apparent in “pro-refugee” movements in Australia for the last 20 years or so.

“Centre eX-detainee and detainee voices. We don’t want to be the subject of what matters to our lives. We know what is better for our lives.” eX-detainee

‘Nothing About Us Without Us’

eX-detainee Team