9 Sri Lankans, 1 Afghan and 1 Iraqi have been on the roof of Villawood detention centre since yesterday afternoon. They are demanding to have their cases reviewed and want to be handed over to UNHCR rather than be deported back to their countries (which despite the lies of our government, are still unsafe). These men and the thousands of other asylum seekers Australia is keeping in detention (including children), just wanted to be treated with compassion. Their deadline for the government is 5pm this afternoon (September 21st) - or they have threatened to jump.
The men on the roof are self harming with razor blades. Two have already lost consciousness and none have eaten since yesterday afternoon.
How can Australia treat some of the world’s most vulnerable people in this way? How do our politicians sleep at night with blood on their hands? How do people who voted Labor or Liberal live with themselves - voting for policy that drove a Fijian man to suicide yesterday.
The system is in crisis and I fear that it is going to get worse. I feel sick, shame that I am a citizen of a country that treats asylum seekers so barbarically. I feel hopeless, so hopeless. The years of John Howard’s government and fighting and writing letters and screaming at protests and nothing has changed. Labor are infected with the same cowardice and sickness as the Liberal party.
Every day feels dark.