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08 April 2014

It's the Department of Immigration and 'Border Protection' which is offensive

According to SBS News, the Department of Immigration and 'Border Protection' - note the lie in its title and at its heart - has told Vanessa Powell, a refugee activist, to 'remove an offensive remark' on one of her facebook posts or they 'will consider their options further'.

Vanessa didn't make the remark but has removed the post. Here we have a Department implementing the Government's rotten refugee policies which are about criminalising, dehumanising, demonising and denigrating asylum seekers. They are carrying out a deeply offensive policy.
Not only that but to try to shut down critics of government policy is also deeply offensive to free speech and justice. It looks like the current free speech debate is really about free speech for rich white men.
It is also not surprising that the Department devotes its energies to hunting down Facebook critics rather than those who murdered Reza Berati on its watch and that of its Minister.

Here is what I wrote in the the most recent 'Saturday's socialist speak out' about the Department.

The human rights abuses of asylum seeker children on Nauru continue. All the Department of Immigration could say when questioned by the head of the Australian Human Rights Commission was that they were just implementing government policy (even if it did breach international human rights laws, principles and standards.)

This Nuremburg type defence of just following orders has particular resonance since Australia's detention centres, both here and in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, are concentration camps.

'Just following orders' sums up the bigwigs in the Department of Immigration and 'Border Protection' in charge of implementing the government's racist and reactionary asylum seeker policy perfectly. Here is my challenge to them. Threaten me with punitive action.

I look forward to disgruntled departmental employees posting on the first Free Speech Sunday on this blog next weekend about their bosses and the government’s inhumane treatment of asylum seekers. But be warned. The last person to do this lost her job there.

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