Solidarity with Villawood Detainees
“It has come to this because we have seen life lost and we believe we have to do this in order to protect our lives” – detainees in Villawood
Early yesterday morning, Josefa Rauluni committed suicide in Villawood detention center. He was to be deported that day. This death rests in the hands of Australia’s paranoid and racist border policy.
Other detainees immediately responded to show respect for Josefa and express their anger at their own detention. 11 people have occupied the roof of Villawood and many more have been on hunger strike for over 20 hours.
The events of yesterday demonstrate the desperate situation in the detention centres and the brutality that underpins border control. Deportations and invisible queues have claimed more lives than we will ever know. The experience of living under this oppression cannot be measured.
The rooftop protest of several detainees is part of a growing militancy amongst those incarcerated in detention centres. In the past months we’ve seen hunger strikes, breakouts, roof occupations and self harm. The present protest in Villawood is an expression of rage by people whose control over their own lives has been taken away by the Australian Government. It acutely expresses how fortress Australia takes lives.
Yesterday there were protests on both sides of the fences in Villawood. We must continue to take action in solidarity with the struggles occurring from within the detention centres. Our actions must reflect the urgency of the situation as the government amps up its racist, anti-migrant rhetoric and implements harsher policies that cost people’s lives.
We struggle against the policing of peoples movement and micro-control of peoples lives at the borders (and in detention) not because of humanitarian concern, but because their struggle is also ours. We have more in common with these people than with the bosses and the politicians who make the decisions that affect all our lives.
We struggle against all borders because no death as a result of border protection brings us more freedom.
We tear down all cages because peoples’ desire to move will never be caged.