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Close the Camps: The Walk from Adelaide to Canberra

By Chris Mordd Richards - 23 January 2017 12

CloseTheCamps

South Australian resident Adam Richards, and his 13 year old son Ned, are fed up with the grossly inhumane treatment by the Australia Government of refugees in offshore detention centres.

They are marching from Adelaide to Canberra in support of people seeking asylum in Australia. They left Adelaide on December 28th on foot, and will arrive in Canberra on February 4th for the opening of the 2017 Federal Parliament on February the 7th.

Adam and his son Ned
Pictured: Adam and his son Ned

We are walking to Canberra to reclaim our sense of pride in being an Australian.

If need be we will walk alone – but if our politicians want to abuse men, women, and God help them – even children – in these offshore prison camps then it is done neither in our name nor with our consent.

Please show your support by signing the petition, donating to the walk, joining the walk, bringing a “boat” and meeting them at Parliament House, Canberra at 1pm on Saturday (February 4th).

Supporters are encouraged to then camp outside Parliament House with Adam and Ned and the others joining him from interstate until February 7th, when they will attempt to deliver the petition to the Turnbull Government and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton as well as his parliamentary colleagues in the House of Representatives.

Full information can be found on the Walk to Canberra website and/or the Facebook group for the event, or the Facebook event posting itself.

I will be covering the arrival of the march on the 4th, and the handing over of the petition on the 7th, as well as interviewing those camping out in support, hope to see you there!

Disclosure: Chris is a member of the ACT Greens, since July 2016.

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12 Responses to
Close the Camps: The Walk from Adelaide to Canberra
1
John Hargreaves 9:25 am
23 Jan 17
#

This is a great chance to show solidarity with those locked up for nothing more than asking for our succour. It is a good way to show the Govt that kids don’t deserve to go to jail for the alleged crimes of their parents. It is a good way to show the Opposition that they need a backbone transplant and the need to show compassion and sympathy towards those who come to our “boundless soil and wealth for toil” welcoming country.

Sure go hard on the people smugglers but show some compassion for those driven by desperation to take their families and themselves on a perilous journey which could end in tragedy because they are so scared.

Terrorists don’t risk their lives at sea in rickety boat.

I’ll be there and I call on all ALP members in the ACT and surrounding area of NSW to do likewise.

Incidentally for those who don’t know, I am a Life Member of the ALP. For me, it is not about politics, it is about the light in the eyes of the desperate being snuffed out.

2
dungfungus 10:46 am
23 Jan 17
#

John Hargreaves said :

This is a great chance to show solidarity with those locked up for nothing more than asking for our succour. It is a good way to show the Govt that kids don’t deserve to go to jail for the alleged crimes of their parents. It is a good way to show the Opposition that they need a backbone transplant and the need to show compassion and sympathy towards those who come to our “boundless soil and wealth for toil” welcoming country.

Sure go hard on the people smugglers but show some compassion for those driven by desperation to take their families and themselves on a perilous journey which could end in tragedy because they are so scared.

Terrorists don’t risk their lives at sea in rickety boat.

I’ll be there and I call on all ALP members in the ACT and surrounding area of NSW to do likewise.

Incidentally for those who don’t know, I am a Life Member of the ALP. For me, it is not about politics, it is about the light in the eyes of the desperate being snuffed out.

Most of the people still in Australian controlled immigration detention centres did not have “a perilous boat journey” from their homeland (usually somewhere in the Middle East).
In fact they flew 99% of the distance on regular commercial aircraft services into countries to the north of Australia where they should have claimed asylum under the international conventions for refugees that exist.
Under international air passenger rules they would have had passports or they wouldn’t have been allowed to fly. They would also have had adequate funds to arrange for the rest of the “journey” to Australian waters, which would be a couple of hundred kilometres on open but relatively calm seas.
Somewhere along the way their passports are lost so how are their claims supposed to be checked to establish integrity?
And what is inhumane about the conditions they are alleged to live in while being detained?
They are free to return (all expenses paid + other incentives) to wherever they came from at anytime. That’s a “humane” offer in any language.

Needless to say, I won’t be joining your walk.

3
HenryBG 1:48 pm
23 Jan 17
#

dungfungus said :

Most of the people still in Australian controlled immigration detention centres did not have “a perilous boat journey” from their homeland (usually somewhere in the Middle East).
In fact they flew 99% of the distance on regular commercial aircraft services into countries to the north of Australia where they should have claimed asylum under the international conventions for refugees that exist.

In fact, people who promote this fantasy of certain people being “refugees” might benefit from reading the refugee convention in order to try to understand that the concept of assisting refugees is being exploited by people who are travelling through places where they face no persecution and from which they are employing criminals and deliberately obscuring their identities in order to scam our asylum system:

Article 31
refugees unlawfully in the country of refugee
1. The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their
illegal entry or presence, on refugees who,
coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened in the sense of article 1,
enter or are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present
themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their
illegal entry or presence.

4
Chris Mordd Richards 1:53 pm
23 Jan 17
#

dungfungus said :

John Hargreaves said :

This is a great chance to show solidarity with those locked up for nothing more than asking for our succour. It is a good way to show the Govt that kids don’t deserve to go to jail for the alleged crimes of their parents. It is a good way to show the Opposition that they need a backbone transplant and the need to show compassion and sympathy towards those who come to our “boundless soil and wealth for toil” welcoming country.

Sure go hard on the people smugglers but show some compassion for those driven by desperation to take their families and themselves on a perilous journey which could end in tragedy because they are so scared.

Terrorists don’t risk their lives at sea in rickety boat.

I’ll be there and I call on all ALP members in the ACT and surrounding area of NSW to do likewise.

Incidentally for those who don’t know, I am a Life Member of the ALP. For me, it is not about politics, it is about the light in the eyes of the desperate being snuffed out.

Most of the people still in Australian controlled immigration detention centres did not have “a perilous boat journey” from their homeland (usually somewhere in the Middle East).
In fact they flew 99% of the distance on regular commercial aircraft services into countries to the north of Australia where they should have claimed asylum under the international conventions for refugees that exist.
Under international air passenger rules they would have had passports or they wouldn’t have been allowed to fly. They would also have had adequate funds to arrange for the rest of the “journey” to Australian waters, which would be a couple of hundred kilometres on open but relatively calm seas.
Somewhere along the way their passports are lost so how are their claims supposed to be checked to establish integrity?
And what is inhumane about the conditions they are alleged to live in while being detained?
They are free to return (all expenses paid + other incentives) to wherever they came from at anytime. That’s a “humane” offer in any language.

Needless to say, I won’t be joining your walk.

Baseless allegations proven many times over not be far from factual. Virtually none of those in offshore detention at the moment, if any, travelled on commercial flights on the way here. There is illegal immigration by plane to Australia, but the majority are from China or India, and the majority of those illegally entering by plane never end up in offshore detention either.

Some references for you:
1. https://theconversation.com/who-are-australias-boat-people-and-why-dont-they-get-on-planes-8361
2. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-15/chinese-fly-into-australia-to-make-27dodgy27-asylum-claims/3892416
3. http://www.news.com.au/world/ten-myths-around-asylum-seekers-arriving-on-boats-in-australian-waters/news-story/6b47361badbf26880653639f299c5fda

Quote from the last one for you to highlight:

“While boat numbers have increased, Australian Government statistics from the first quarter of 2013 showed more than 90 per cent of asylum seekers who arrived by boat were found to be genuine refugees. In comparison, those who arrived by plane – despite being eligible for release into the community and not having to face years of detention on Nauru or Manus Island – were almost twice as likely to be rejected as refugees. The figure continued a long-term trend of high approval rates for people arriving by boat, with 93.5 per cent being found to be refugees in 2010-11 and 91 per cent in 2011-12.”

5
chewy14 4:43 pm
23 Jan 17
#

Chris Mordd Richards said :

dungfungus said :

John Hargreaves said :

This is a great chance to show solidarity with those locked up for nothing more than asking for our succour. It is a good way to show the Govt that kids don’t deserve to go to jail for the alleged crimes of their parents. It is a good way to show the Opposition that they need a backbone transplant and the need to show compassion and sympathy towards those who come to our “boundless soil and wealth for toil” welcoming country.

Sure go hard on the people smugglers but show some compassion for those driven by desperation to take their families and themselves on a perilous journey which could end in tragedy because they are so scared.

Terrorists don’t risk their lives at sea in rickety boat.

I’ll be there and I call on all ALP members in the ACT and surrounding area of NSW to do likewise.

Incidentally for those who don’t know, I am a Life Member of the ALP. For me, it is not about politics, it is about the light in the eyes of the desperate being snuffed out.

Most of the people still in Australian controlled immigration detention centres did not have “a perilous boat journey” from their homeland (usually somewhere in the Middle East).
In fact they flew 99% of the distance on regular commercial aircraft services into countries to the north of Australia where they should have claimed asylum under the international conventions for refugees that exist.
Under international air passenger rules they would have had passports or they wouldn’t have been allowed to fly. They would also have had adequate funds to arrange for the rest of the “journey” to Australian waters, which would be a couple of hundred kilometres on open but relatively calm seas.
Somewhere along the way their passports are lost so how are their claims supposed to be checked to establish integrity?
And what is inhumane about the conditions they are alleged to live in while being detained?
They are free to return (all expenses paid + other incentives) to wherever they came from at anytime. That’s a “humane” offer in any language.

Needless to say, I won’t be joining your walk.

Baseless allegations proven many times over not be far from factual. Virtually none of those in offshore detention at the moment, if any, travelled on commercial flights on the way here. There is illegal immigration by plane to Australia, but the majority are from China or India, and the majority of those illegally entering by plane never end up in offshore detention either.

Some references for you:
1. https://theconversation.com/who-are-australias-boat-people-and-why-dont-they-get-on-planes-8361
2. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-15/chinese-fly-into-australia-to-make-27dodgy27-asylum-claims/3892416
3. http://www.news.com.au/world/ten-myths-around-asylum-seekers-arriving-on-boats-in-australian-waters/news-story/6b47361badbf26880653639f299c5fda

Quote from the last one for you to highlight:

“While boat numbers have increased, Australian Government statistics from the first quarter of 2013 showed more than 90 per cent of asylum seekers who arrived by boat were found to be genuine refugees. In comparison, those who arrived by plane – despite being eligible for release into the community and not having to face years of detention on Nauru or Manus Island – were almost twice as likely to be rejected as refugees. The figure continued a long-term trend of high approval rates for people arriving by boat, with 93.5 per cent being found to be refugees in 2010-11 and 91 per cent in 2011-12.”

How exactly do you think the majority of those in detention got from their homeland to Indonesia? The majority of them flew at least part of the way with Malaysia being the most used destination.

And the clear and obvious difference between boat arrivals and plane ones is that plane arrivals have been already identity checks before arrival and have valid visas otherwise they couldn’t pass our customs.

If you agree that there needs to be a limit on our yearly refugee intake (which any sensible person would), then why would you give preferential treatment for resettlement to those who arrive by boat? People who have the means and money to travel through multiple countries and pay people smugglers tens of thousands of dollars to get here?

I thought the left wing of Australian politics was all about equity, yet on this issue they want those with money to get preferential treatment. Strange.

6
John Hargreaves 5:24 pm
23 Jan 17
#

Well, Dungers, I can say that with the attitude you and Donald Trump share, you would not be welcome to any event which seeks compassion over condemnation, which puts people before popularity and which reaches out with a helping hand rather than with a sneer and a turned back.

What part of a child’s despair do you find confronting and scary? What part of a child’s crying eyes do you find threatening?

I will look in the crowd for a community of welcome and a community with hope for these refugees. I won’t look for a Hansonite.

7
Chris Mordd Richards 8:59 pm
23 Jan 17
#

chewy14 said :

How exactly do you think the majority of those in detention got from their homeland to Indonesia? The majority of them flew at least part of the way with Malaysia being the most used destination.

Simply false, either show a source to back that up, as I have with my assertion, or I will simply ignore this as the falsehood I know it to be.

And the clear and obvious difference between boat arrivals and plane ones is that plane arrivals have been already identity checks before arrival and have valid visas otherwise they couldn’t pass our customs.

Again false. They enter on a tourist, or work visa, or similar, one that allows them entry for a limited time. If they intend to stay illegally before even getting the visa, then they have applied under false pretences and therefore do not have a “valid visa”. Lastly, it is not illegal to apply for asylum, whether you come by boat or plane or swim even. Some plane arrivals seeking to stay here, travel on forged passports or other documentation too, which identity checks before arrival obviously do not pick up.

If you agree that there needs to be a limit on our yearly refugee intake (which any sensible person would), then why would you give preferential treatment for resettlement to those who arrive by boat? People who have the means and money to travel through multiple countries and pay people smugglers tens of thousands of dollars to get here.

Again, you have the right to claim asylum, regardless of the method of arrival. If you are found not to be a genuine asylum seeker, then you will and should be sent back. If found to be genuine though, you should and are allowed to stay (or at least used to be allowed to stay). The method of arrival is not relevant to whether someone genuinely qualifies for asylum or not. Every year during the Olympics, a number of athletes from oppressed countries claim asylum in the host country. It happens every 4 years and did in 2000 when Sydney was hosting. A lot of the time, those athletes are granted asylum. Never heard anyone complain about that, and they come via business or first class air travel generally. We are ok with that here because they are sporting talented and we love sport as a nation though, but someone without sporting talent and suffering far worse is demonised for asking for the exact same asylum. Interesting double standard there I think.

I thought the left wing of Australian politics was all about equity, yet on this issue they want those with money to get preferential treatment. Strange.

Most genuine asylum seekers have very little money, and what they do have, is from selling every single thing they own, in the hopes of making it somewhere they can stand a chance of not being killed and persecuted and having a somewhat ok life. They are not rich, most do not travel by plane, most asylum seekers that do travel by plane are found to not be genuine, over 90% that arrive by boat or non-plane travel are found to be genuine year after year.

What little money they have does not make them not eligible for asylum, and does not matter. We grant asylum to those financially well off, and those not, if they qualify for asylum because they are being persecuted and their lives are at risk. It doesn’t matter if they come by plane or otherwise either, they either qualify for asylum because they are being persecuted and their lives are at risk, or they don’t. The method of arrival and their financial status is not, and never was, a condition of being able to seek or qualify for asylum.

Your attempt to conflate the issue with this aspect is not only naive, but also foolish, because it is IRRELEVANT. And the accusation that the left is favouring those with money for preferential treatment is not only demonstrably false and a ridiculous assertion to make, but also ignores that left puts people before profits, full stop. The left argues for equal rights for all, not preferential treatment for the rich, you are confusing the left with the Liberal party there.

8
No_Nose 7:15 am
24 Jan 17
#

Chris Mordd Richards said :

chewy14 said :

How exactly do you think the majority of those in detention got from their homeland to Indonesia? The majority of them flew at least part of the way with Malaysia being the most used destination.

Simply false, either show a source to back that up, as I have with my assertion, or I will simply ignore this as the falsehood I know it to be.

The trouble with your sources are that they only mention direct aircraft arrival to Australia. There is no mention of how the refugees who come to Australia by boat got from their home country to Indonesia.

http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php/mcs/article/view/4883/5490 “Refugees and asylum seekers arrive in Indonesia either by plane (for those with travel documents and access to a visa) or by boat, most commonly via Malaysia. Asylum seekers pay between USD5,000 – 10,000 to people smugglers who facilitate their risky journey to Indonesia. Typically a refugee will fly to Kuala Lumpur, and then travel on fishing boats to North Sumatra in Indonesia by crossing the Strait of Malacca.”
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/06/24/asylum-seekers-indonesia-reject-claim
“But within less than two weeks threats from the Taliban saw them paying a people smuggler to organise plane tickets for them to Indonesia, via India and Malaysia”
https://www.adelaide.edu.au/apmrc/pubs/policy-briefs/APMRC_Policy_Brief_Vol_2_3.pdf “This shows a pattern of initially flying to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and then moving to Indonesia through multiple channels.”

Having pointed that out, I would also like to point out that refugees are in no way obligated to claim asylum in their first country of call, and that many of the transit countries are not signatories to the UN Conventions on refugees.

I am in no way a supporter of mandatory detention and off-shore camps for asylum seekers and refugees. Australia’s treatment of those seeking our help for themselves and their families is quite simply deplorable.

9
dungfungus 8:58 am
24 Jan 17
#

John Hargreaves said :

Well, Dungers, I can say that with the attitude you and Donald Trump share, you would not be welcome to any event which seeks compassion over condemnation, which puts people before popularity and which reaches out with a helping hand rather than with a sneer and a turned back.

What part of a child’s despair do you find confronting and scary? What part of a child’s crying eyes do you find threatening?

I will look in the crowd for a community of welcome and a community with hope for these refugees. I won’t look for a Hansonite.

What does this issue have to do with “a child’s despair”?

Oh, I get it. You mean the confected perception painted by the advocates of those in detention who will try anything to get residency in Australia.

Perhaps you can tell me why they insist on being admitted to Australia when other “asylum” options are on offer to them.

10
chewy14 12:59 pm
24 Jan 17
#

No_Nose said :

Chris Mordd Richards said :

chewy14 said :

How exactly do you think the majority of those in detention got from their homeland to Indonesia? The majority of them flew at least part of the way with Malaysia being the most used destination.

Simply false, either show a source to back that up, as I have with my assertion, or I will simply ignore this as the falsehood I know it to be.

The trouble with your sources are that they only mention direct aircraft arrival to Australia. There is no mention of how the refugees who come to Australia by boat got from their home country to Indonesia.

http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php/mcs/article/view/4883/5490 “Refugees and asylum seekers arrive in Indonesia either by plane (for those with travel documents and access to a visa) or by boat, most commonly via Malaysia. Asylum seekers pay between USD5,000 – 10,000 to people smugglers who facilitate their risky journey to Indonesia. Typically a refugee will fly to Kuala Lumpur, and then travel on fishing boats to North Sumatra in Indonesia by crossing the Strait of Malacca.”
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/06/24/asylum-seekers-indonesia-reject-claim
“But within less than two weeks threats from the Taliban saw them paying a people smuggler to organise plane tickets for them to Indonesia, via India and Malaysia”
https://www.adelaide.edu.au/apmrc/pubs/policy-briefs/APMRC_Policy_Brief_Vol_2_3.pdf “This shows a pattern of initially flying to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and then moving to Indonesia through multiple channels.”

Having pointed that out, I would also like to point out that refugees are in no way obligated to claim asylum in their first country of call, and that many of the transit countries are not signatories to the UN Conventions on refugees.

I am in no way a supporter of mandatory detention and off-shore camps for asylum seekers and refugees.

Australia’s treatment of those seeking our help for themselves and their families is quite simply deplorable.

It’s not like asylum seekers suddenly materialise in Indonesia or our region. A large proportion of them have come from thousands of kilometres away and international air travel is common.

A well designed refugee resettlement system must set a yearly limit for refugees. To not do so is to promote open borders to all arriving refugees. The world wide population of displaced people is 65 million +, of which 20 million + have been identified as refugees. Promoting such an open border policy would lead to a complete overwhelming of our resettlement support services, cause signifincant social unrest and lead to thousands of deaths at sea from asylum seekers on leaky boats.

One only needs to look at what happened when the previous Labor government changed the policy for evidence of this. Boat arrivals started increasing exponentially due to the pull factors involved and more than 1200 people died in transit. If that wasn’t enough, the European experience of similar policies solidifies this fact.

If you accept that there logically needs to be a yearly limit, then we should base that system around need and equity rather than those who have the money and means to travel through multiple third countries to get here. Selectively choosing pre-processed refugees from those most at risk of harm should be a guiding position

The system supported by Mordd gives preference to those with money and the means to get here. It is completely inequitable and unfair. It ensures that far more people will die, both in overseas refugee camps and in transit here.

There is no “good” solution to this problem, it’s a choice of least worst. Unfortunately too many people want to make policy decisions based on emotion rather than logic.

11
HenryBG 10:45 am
25 Jan 17
#

The most common vector for illegal entrants during the period of Rudd’s failed border control policies was via flights to Malaysia.

This has nothing to do with detainees in Australian detention centres who, having flown here, have out-stayed their visa, or whose visa has been cancelled and are awaiting deportation.

No_Nose said :

Having pointed that out, I would also like to point out that refugees are in no way obligated to claim asylum in their first country of call, and that many of the transit countries are not signatories to the UN Conventions on refugees.

Whether the country of arrival is or is not a signatory to the Convention has no bearing whatsoever on either
1. a person’s status as a refugee
nor
2. that country’s duty to the principle of non-refoulement under international law. This principle is not established in law by the Convention – this is a mistake the hand-wringers seem determined to cling to.

The test for a valid claim to asylum should be strictly as per the refugee convention: the applicant should have arrived directly from the place where they were facing persecution. If the hand-wringers were correct, we would not be able to legally detain illegal entrants.
(Hint: the detention at Manus is illegal under PNG law for this very reason: the detainees did not enter PNG unlawfully).

The reason lawyers are able to help economic migrants abuse the asylum system is that the Convention was written as a direct response to the refugee situation pertaining in the 1940s: many people were refugees from countries that no longer existed and many people were refugees within countries they had not left but where they were not considered citizens.
This was also a time before the modern-day fantasy of “multiculturalism” pertained: ethnic germans from territories now part of Poland – for example – were not expected to seek to remain in Poland or return there. The purpose of the Convention was to protect ethnic Germans – for example – who had become “stateless” until such a time as they could be assimilated elsewhere.

12
Acton 12:45 pm
25 Jan 17
#

Carefully selected migrants are welcome from whatever background, but what we know about those in detention centres – low skills, riots, property destruction, assaults on women, children and each other, rapes, sewing lips together, contempt of others etc indicates that (as a group) they are comprised of law breaking, violent, homophobic, mysogonist, racist, religiously intolerant criminals.
Their views, their attitudes and their behaviour are unwanted in Australia so we keep them out. I don’t want any as my neighbours and I wounldn’t want them in our schools.

Those who attend the ‘Let Them All in’ protests are demonstrating their own hypocrisy, naivity and political deceipt.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-23/manus-island-asylum-seeker-charged-with-raping-local-woman/8205702

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