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asylum seeker 1 Children in Detention (Sepia pencil 2005)
I’ve done it before and there’s no doubt I’ll do it again. When you write your own blog you can write what you like, when you like – so today I am veering right off the pelvic floor path and onto the slippery slope of asylum seekers. What provoked me to do this was a news item on the radio when driving to a family function at lunchtime. It was telling the story of Reza Berati, a 23 year old from Iran who lost his life in the most horrific way at the Manus Island Detention Centre. And when they said ‘a 23 yr old’ I thought you know my son is about to turn 23! There was a young man, a very young man, (the same age as my son who I have spent 23 years nurturing, educating, loving, cajoling and having the occasional tanty at) who died- inside a detention centre under Australia’s guardianship.
Now people have been known to say: ‘Well maybe he deserved it – coming to Australia by illegal means, queue jumping’ but then I thought, ‘What would I expect any of my well- educated, intuitive, resilient children to do if they were living in a repressive, totalitarian, violent country where reprisals for thinking differently may mean death?’  Well I would understand completely, if in their terrified, anxious fearful state they chose to make their way to a country like Australia – by any means possible. If we reverse the situation and there were people who had to flee to Iran to start a new life, what would we be saying, writing about, commenting on, if in that jail in Iran, the very guards who should be protecting those people turned on them and perhaps contributed to their death.
Knowing the answer on the issue of asylum seekers is beyond my comprehension. But I know I feel very uncomfortable about what is being done in our names.
I am sure there must be a couple (or hopefully more) unbiased, non-political, very intelligent, rational, ‘well-versed in the topic’, compassionate leaders in our democracy who may know a thing or two about the topic, who can problem solve, trouble shoot, brainstorm – you know, sort of get together and see if this madness can be stopped.
I can’t go tonight but there is a candlelight vigil (#Shinethelight) to be held at Emma Miller Place which is near Roma Street Parkland (Google it) starting at 6pm. I will be pausing and thinking with great sadness about a mother and father in Iran who are racked with grief tonight wondering:
What the hell happened to my baby?
asylum seeker 2
Tampa (Acrylic on board 2002)