For the next 3 days my brother and I will be joining the hunger strike in solidarity with the Darwin protesters (our friend is one of them). A few people seem perplexed that I’m doing this and I will write about my reasons soon enough in a longer piece. A journalist in Darwin has already contacted us about it.
But mostly we need immediate action for the Iranian asylum seeker on the brink of death. He has been on an extended hunger strike for more than 89 days. He is wheelchair bound. He has lost 40% of his body weight and his organs are eating his body. He has been in detention for four years now and he has given up all hope. Whenever I hear about his case, I think of my friend and how he is now 9 days into the hunger strike and how similar their cases are. I think about how much he wishes for his freedom and how much he regrets ever coming to Australia, save for the fact that he got to know ‘so many kind Australian people, the best people in the world’.
I know the precarious mental state these men are in and I know the callousness, the cruelty and the depths to which this government can sink. And I can’t live with that. I don’t want to know anyone who can. I am so deeply ashamed of my country.
When the world and future generations ask what we did to stop these atrocities, our answer should be ‘everything’.
You can support me in a number of ways – by donating to one of the tireless organisations in support of asylum seekers and refugees. The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) would be an excellent start. You can write letters. You can post about what’s happening. You can make some noise. I would greatly appreciate any and all efforts.