Police target refugee solidarity activists

For the second time in the last month there is video evidence of police making serious unprovoked attacks on refugee activists. The refugee solidarity activists are seeking to free people medivac’d to Australia from offshore detention by Christmas. Both activists assaulted by police are peaceful and reasonable people.

Snr Cnst David Giddins (Riot Squad) hits unionist from behind knocking him to the ground. The man required medical attention in hospital overnight.

The first attack took place at a refugee rights rally in Brisbane on Sunday 25 Oct 2020. A public video shows a member of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) being ‘king hit’ from behind by Senior Constable David Giddins (Public “Safety” Response Team).

The second assault by police took place on Monday evening (16 Nov 2020) at the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA). The vision (below) shows two police grab a solidarity activist in the middle of a peaceful protest march on a quiet road at BITA in Pinkenba near Brisbane. Police wrestle the man to the ground after placing him in a savage headlock. A large police officer pins the smaller man to ground using his knee. Both police twist his arms behind his back and handcuff him with his face down in the gravel beside the road. A male police officer then assaults an eye witness by grabbing her around the waist and begins pushing and shoving her. He appears to be in the process of arresting her until other eyewitnesses come forward and begin filming the incident with their phones.

Police assaults on Refugee Solidarity activists is on the rise

Police have retaliated against the refugee solidarity activists since a number of people prevented the forceable extraction of a leading refugee from the Kangaroo Apartments in June 2020 (see image).

SERCO guards attempt forceable extraction of refugee from his detention in Kangaroo Point Apartments in June 2020.

Police have been silent on the most recent attack but claimed the first against the unionist was ‘appropriate’. NTEU State Secretary Michael McNally disagreed defending his member against the attack which was unprovoked.

Both Federal and State government Ministers have come out against the refugee solidarity activists.

My guess is police are using social media platforms (eg Facebook, Telegram) profiling whom they attack at these demonstrations. This is a waste of police resources on events which are lawful under Queensland’s Peaceful Assembly Act 1992. Better organisation and co-operation is needed to protect protestors. For one, I think it absurd that the police riot squad (aka Public “Safety” Response Team) is used at these protests. It is high time the police minister, Mark Ryan, calls police to account for these assaults.

More refugees detained in Brisbane
This week the federal government transferred ten more refugees and asylum seekers from a hotel-prison in Darwin to the Meriton Apartments in Brisbane CBD (Adelaide Street).

The refugees are not allowed to leave their rooms and are confined, two people to a room, on the 71st floor of the Meriton building.

There is no fresh air, no place for smoking, no place for exercise, they have not been allowed to mix together and requests to visit people in other rooms have been denied.

A peak hour protest is planned for Friday afternoon 20 Nov 2020 at 4:30 @ Meriton on 485 Adelaide Street Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

The protest is hosted by Refugee Action Collective Queensland RAC and Refugee Solidarity Meanjin

Ian Curr
Paradigm Shift (4ZZZ fm 102.1 Fridays at Noon)
0407 687 016