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Rally at BITA: 8 Years No Freedom

8 years of trauma, 8 years of shame, 8 years too long.

The Australian government has held innocent refugees in indefinite detention for eight long years. Many were brought to the mainland for medical treatment, but were locked up again in so-called APODs (alternative places of detention) around the country. Some people were eventually released into the community, while their friends were arbitrarily left behind in detention.

In Brisbane, these people were forcefully moved to the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA). The government thinks that out-of-sight is out-of-mind.

This cruel and capricious treatment has caused severe distress and life threatening harm to innocent, vulnerable people. There has been no reprieve from the harm of eight years of indefinite detention.

Photo credit: Brisbane Times

For many of those in BITA, the 19th of July marks the end of their 8th year and the beginning of their 9th year in detention. They need support and solidarity as they continue to protest against their imprisonment.

Their call for solidarity, is a call that we must answer.

What: Gather at BITA, rally, then march.

When: 12 pm (noon), Sunday 18 July 2021.

Where: Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA).

100 Sugar Mill Road, Pinkenba.

Meet in the slip road, about fifty metres to the right of the front gate. This is public land.

Refugees who are still in detention, (as well as those who've been released on short term bridging visas), need a safe future. They must be released, with permanent visas and a pathway to citizenship, or the right to go to New Zealand or the United States if they choose.

8 years.

8 years of torture, imprisonment, being shifted from concentration camp to concentration camp.

8 years, no crime, no trial, no justice.

When will it end?

The government doesn’t want to end it—and they never will unless we make them do it.

We made them free more than 50 people last year.

We made them shut the concentration camp at 721 Main street, Kangaroo Point.

We made them bring that family back from Christmas Island.

We can make them do this too.

The first concentration camp on this continent was for Aboriginal people displaced from their stolen land. This action against this particular concentration camp will take place on Turrbal country, a land that the Turrbal people have never ceded to the colonial government. The Turrbal people, neighbouring Yuggera people, and all Aboriginal peoples have been resisting colonialism since 1788.

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