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April 7, 2012


by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Numerous notes pushed through the wire, and messages crushed into paper balls thrown over the fence greeted around 50 refugee protesters at Darwin’s Airport Lodge Friday afternoon.

Hundreds of faces peered through the fence, fathers held the children over the fence while other lined verandahs to shout their cries for help and welcome to the protesters.

One desperate note read, “ I feel so sad, please help, I’m very boring I just 10 yeas (sic) old but I stay in detention 1 yeas (sic). I want to be free please help me. Some time I very crazy. And I cut my hand three time but nobody know that.”

Children inside the Darwin Airport Lodge

DAL holds around 400 asylum seekers, including 100 children.

“How many people would know that almost 500 children are still in immigration detention across Australia?” asked Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

The protest at DAL followed a successful march by 150 refugee supporters through the streets of central Darwin, Australia’s detention capital.


Protesters, part of the Easter refugee convergence on Darwin will assemble at Northern Immigration Detention Centre at 10am on Saturday. NIDC holds over 100 asylum seekers and Indonesian asylum boat crew and fisher-folk.

“We are going to NIDC to expose the plight of the long term detainees many victims of the mental illness factories for mental illness after months and years in detention. And we are going back to the Airport Lodge in the afternoon to make good our promise to come back and let them know that there is a campaign still fighting to end mandatory detention and free the refugees.”

On Sunday, refugee activists will move their protest to Wickham Point, Darwin’s newest detention centre, presently holding 800 asylum seekers.

On Monday, refugee supporters will make common cause with Aboriginal activists and supporters calling or an end to the NT Intervention that has seen incarceration rates of Aboriginal people rise by 40 per cent.


Easter Monday will also see refugee protests in Sydney (meeting noon at Chester Hill railway station to march to Villawood); in Perth (2.30pm at Perth detention centre) and in Melbourne (meeting 2pm at Broadmeadows).

For more information contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713

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