||Issue No. 148||16 August 2002|
Interview: Labor Law
Unions: Critical Conditions
Bad Boss: Shifting The Load
History: Peeking Out
Safety: Flying High
Corporate: Salaries High, Performance Low
International: War on the US Wharves
Review: And the Signs Said...
Poetry: Tony Don't Preach
Satire: Latham Dumps Rodney Rude as Speech Writer
The Locker Room
Another Capitalist Party?
Justice For All?
Kill the Photos!
Right Wing Lackies
We must never forget the treacherous series of events that saw the manipulation of refugees and the politics of racism divide our community and elect the Howard Government.
Yet although the so called Tampa Crisis symbolised a dark time for Australia's history, the campaign for refugee rights has grown.
The refugee rights campaign is large, diverse and growing. Across the country there are new organisations beginning every day. I am involved in one such organisation - Labor for Refugees.
We began in the branches of the ALP where rank and file anger with the ALP's support for mandatory detention and the "Pacific Solution" translated into a campaign for a more compassionate refugee policy.
Since the federal election, with the support of the Labor Council, this group has grown in strength and numbers.
Over 200 ALP branches in NSW have signalled their support for Labor for Refugees, which includes calling for a refugee policy that ensures those who escape from persecution are treated with dignity and respect in our community.
This is a campaign against the politics of division as well as fighting for compassion. As unionists, it is essential that we fight the Government's use of racism to divide us, because when we are divided we are less able to fight for workers rights and a decent society.
Labor for Refugees had its greatest success at the ALP State Conference this year when a motion calling for an end to mandatory detention was carried. Such motions have since been carried around the country reflecting the desire to immediately end Labor's support for mandatory detention.
However the campaign does not stop here. We must build support for change within the ALP while also building the community movement against mandatory detention. This movement has already been successful - over 50% of people now oppose mandatory detention. But it must grow if we are to end the racism and the persecution of refugees in this country.
You can get involved in this campaign by joining us at the Tampa Day Vigil at Town Hall on 26th August at 5pm, you can also join Labor for Refugees by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a mass rally for refugees on 26th October, email email@example.com for more information.
By working together we can defeat the politics of fear, and eventually this divisive Howard Government.
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