Deathscapes

Local Resistance 8a - Lines of Solidarity

Deathscapes

Lines of Solidarity: Local communities


‘Australia does not want us to be educated or healthy. We would grow ourselves up strong then. We two groups – the refugees and us Manusians – we are being treated as starving dogs. Australia throws a bone into the middle and we are to fight over the scraps.’

Paru, local Manusian


In November 2012, local landowners threatened to sabotage the camp on Manus Island. They blocked the road to Lombrum naval base and shut down the island’s airport. They demanded to be involved in the construction and servicing of the camp and stressed that associated work contracts should be given to local people. In 2014 it was reported that local landowners had initially viewed the facility as an economic opportunity, however were frustrated about what had eventuated.

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In October 2017, Manusian community leaders met with the Provincial Government to express discontentment with the proposed relocation of refugees to Lorengau, on private property, and urge the government to honour the Supreme Court’s decision to shut down the ‘processing centre’. The Manus Alliance Against Human Rights Abuses organised a petition calling for asylum seekers and refugees to be brought back to Australia while others in the community expressed concerns about the economic impact of the closure.

[imagecaption] ‘Ethel: A Manus local Dutton doesn’t want you to hear from’, 2017. Video: GetUp! During the siege following 31 October, some Good Samaritans on Manus tried to deliver food to the refugees in the camp however were being turned away by the military. Following the forced relocation of asylum seekers and refugees to the camps at East Lorengau (ELRTC), Hillside and West Haus, resistance has continued with local people using trucks and other vehicles to block access to the sites on multiple occasions. [/imagecaption]

 


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