Written and sent to Howard and Ruddock almost ten years ago...
I am writing to register my family and myself as being completely opposed to our country's handling of the refugees/asylum seekers/*illegal immigrants/queue jumpers*, fellow HUMAN BEINGS!
I wish to convey my concern and disgust at our abhorrent, arrogant, small minded, gutless, pathetic, disgraceful, selfish, inhumane treatment of these fellow HUMAN BEINGS. I know I am not alone in my opinions, but am continually frustrated at not being heard.
We have watched (programs like 4 Corners and Sunday and those on SBS) and read for months, in basically a state of shock, our leaders embarrass and shame us and I cannot understand WHY we are treating fellow (desperate) HUMAN BEINGS in this barbaric and dismissive manner.
These fellow HUMAN BEINGS should be detained for the briefest of periods, only to be identified and health screened. They should then be released into the community to be monitored whilst they await assessment on their applications.
You should know that my family is willing to make our home available, as a refuge at the risk of a $10,000 fine or whatever pathetic, controlling threat you wish to throw at us.
You are WRONG Mr Ruddock. Your policies are WRONG and you need to admit it, accept responsibility and change them. I expect you and your Government will have to answer some serious questions and explain yourselves to the world in the near future. Are you prepared?
I believe my fellow Australians would be as outraged as I am, if our leaders provided them with the truth instead of politically motivated propaganda. You are playing on and manipulating the (unfounded) fears of many Australians. This is an abuse of power and clearly displays the incredible arrogance of this government.
I continue to become more and more upset and ashamed with the passing of every day. The Sunday program of 4th May 2002 left me feeling ANGRY, FRUSTRATED and FURIOUS with you, Minister Ruddock. I can barely maintain my rage. To describe these tortured and tormented fellow human beings as misbehaving, attention seekers, who can only be bad parents for allowing their children to witness others self harm, is INSANE.
What sort of future adults are we creating out of this nightmare? Who is going to take responsibility for their future care and treatment, in recovering from the lack of attention and meaningful education, the destruction of their families and the removal of all independence? To the point where children refer to fellow children as numbers?!
Please know that in most of the countries that these people are trying to flee, THERE IS NO QUEUE!!!
What do you think would happen to them if they approached their Government and said, “I want to leave?”
Would you not do whatever it takes to protect your family if your life/home/country was under threat from war, dictators, political unrest and uncertainty, violence, flood, famine etc, etc??
Why punish innocent people who have never been charged, nor found guilty of, ANY offence? In fact, under international law these fellow HUMAN BEINGS are legally entitled to seek asylum anywhere. They have broken no laws, yet are being treated and housed as criminals.
There is no logic in your decisions to separate families into different detention centres, or to allow some out and leave others in. How is that not harmful to the families and HUMAN BEINGS concerned?
Why are you not as obsessed with finding the tens of thousands of temporary visa holders who overstay, many never to be found?
Your racism is transparent, Mr Ruddock. Along with Prime Minister Howard’s.
Do we not have free press in this country? Why are they not allowed access to the detention centres to report back to the Australian public? What are you hiding? You are not protecting the people inside, you are denying them their human rights and eroding their identities.
It matters NOT ONE IOTA, what financial resources or social class these fellow HUMAN BEINGS have or belong to. After weighing up all their options they have made the incredibly difficult decision to flee, believing the risks to themselves and their families far out-way the risks of staying. They chose Australia because they believed what they had heard about Australia – that it is a free, democratic, prosperous country with open arms.
Even writing this now is making my insides boil.
Please do not bother to reply, if all you can offer is condescending, avoid the issue, buck passing, accept no responsibility, blame the victims rhetoric.
Yours in frustration and shame,
post script 2011
They did send me back a standard, form letter. I burnt it in disgust.
62% Aussies think boat arrivals are rising.
2010 = 6879
2011 = 1675
Italy 2011 = 40000
What boat problem?