Busking for freedom at KP Prison

Last night I went to listen to musicians playing to the refugees detained inside kangaroo point central apartments. Prior to the concert I had a long talk with Laurie from a band called Soy Division. Laurie has been down several times and has played his harmonica and guitar busking with other musicians to raise the spirits of the refugees and participants in Refugee Solidarity.

Laurie has also spent many hours on the walkie-talkie monitoring van movements in and out of the detention centre.

At about 6:30 pm I arrived on the corner of Walmsley and Main Street to hear two women singing to the men on the balconies above. They were joined by other musicians jamming along with them. Dorothy, one of the women singing, later told me that hope is very powerful and that you can make a big difference to the men inside KP prison.

Dorothy and friends looking for hope & the beach beneath the pavement.

At least one of the refugees, Kazem, is a musician himself and has had his songs played on 4ZZZ including Covid 19.

During the concert no fewer than 38 workers entered the compound many of them appearing to be security guards employed by Serco. Some of them arrived in two hire buses provided by the employer and others came by themselves. In the following hour 15 workers left the compound. Two vans came and went returning refugees from medical appointments.

The main entertainment for the night was performed by a long time refugee and Palestinian rights activist, Phil Monsour. Phil is a teacher and a member of the queensland teachers union. During the concert I counted about 25 refugees coming out onto the balcony or to the windows to listen. There were six police in attendance a number of security guards and about 20 or so refugee activists. He sang an acknowledgement of country, a song by Kev Carmody, You cannot buy my soul.

Finally, Phil was joined by Remi on piano accordion and they played a great song, The other side, adapted from the words of Martin Luther King Jr.

There will be a big mobilisation this Sunday 19 July at 12 noon after Jonathan Sri won his court case against the police attempting to stop peaceful assembly outside KP prison.

You are: 7 Years Too Long #FreeTheKP120

19 July 2020 at 12 PM – 3 PM8–25°C Sunny
Kangaroo Point Central Hotel & Apartments
Public  · Hosted by Refugee Solidarity Brisbane / Meanjin, Socialist Alternative Brisbane, Refugee Action Collective Queensland RAC, Jonathan Sri, Councillor for The Gabba and Democracy in Colour

Seven years of prison and counting—for what?

📍 721 Main Street, Kangaroo Point
⏰ Midday
📅 Sunday the 19th!

11:30am: Gather at the prison
Midday: Rally
12:30pm: Hear directly from the KP120


Sunday the 19th of July marks seven years to the day since our government introduced this cruel policy of forbidding people from ever settling here if they come by boat instead of by plane. This means thousands of innocent people have been imprisoned in Manus and Nauru for seven years, with no way out.
Now we have the absurdity of sick people brought here for medical treatment instead locked up in hotels and detention centres or left to rot in so-called community detention—because they can’t be sent back, and our government won’t release them to live here.

This community does not consent to the government locking up innocent people forever in our name.Join a coalition of refugee groups, faith groups, unions and community members as we say enough is enough.Maybe once we’ve heard a few speeches we’ll march down and visit our mates inside those walls?

This will be an authorised, peaceful, family-friendly, and lawful gathering of people under the peaceful assembly act and we will have marshals on the ground ensuring hygiene, proper social distancing, and answering any questions you might have.

We acknowledge that we’ll be protesting on the stolen lands of the Yuggera and Turrbal peoples, whose sovereignty over these lands was never ceded.

Down Under – Dorothy & friends
You Cannot Buy my Soul – Kev Carmody sung by Phil Monsour
Stand with Us – Phil Monsour
Who Killed Reza Berati – Phil Monsour
Let them land, let them stay – Phil Monsour
Fires are burning – Phil Monsour
Eyes on the prize – Phil Monsour
Black Fella White Fella – Warumpi Band sung by Phil Monsour

One thought on “Busking for freedom at KP Prison

  1. Extraction by deception says:

    This morning Serco (the private company that the Australian government hires to run its detention centres) moved two men from the Kangaroo Point prison to the PA Hospital via ambulance. The blockade has a general policy of never obstructing ambulances, so the vehicle was allowed to leave, and the men who were taken to hospital didn’t resist the transfer because they thought they would be returned to Kangaroo Point after going to the hospital.
    But then instead of taking the men back to Kangaroo Point, Serco transferred them out to the higher security facility at BITA. Activists blocked the main driveway into BITA, but it looks like the van was eventually allowed in through the neighbouring military facility via a back entrance.
    This is an extremely concerning move by Serco, because it creates a situation where the men inside might be more likely to resist being taken to hospital for medical treatment because they’ll be worried that it’s a sneaky way for Serco to transfer them.

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