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Issue #1585      March 13, 2013

Northam conversion

Over the weekend of April 26-28, 2013, refugee rights activists from all over the country are converging on Western Australia, to Perth and the Northam detention centre, as part of a nationwide weekend of action against mandatory detention and offshore processing of asylum seekers and refugees.

Both major parties are engaging in a race to the bottom in refugee policy, with the situation in Nauru and Manus Island becoming increasingly worse. The mainland detention centre network has also expanded. Northam, 1.5 hours outside of Perth, opened in June last year. Close to 600 asylum seekers have been detained there since. Northam is part of a group of detention centres isolated from the big population centres, meaning asylum seekers are kept “out of sight, out of mind”. We will converge on Northam to protest in solidarity with detainees and show the support that exists for asylum seekers. The convergence will feature three days of protests, discussions and forums, and visiting of detainees.

Refugee Action Coalition is organising a contingent from Sydney. Join us for a weekend of protest against the regime of mandatory detention and offshore processing.

How do I get there? Activists from Sydney are flying to Perth on either Thursday April 25 or Friday April 26. Buses will leave from Perth to Northam, which is a 1.5 hour drive.

Where will I stay? Some billeting in Perth will be available, and there will be camping in Northam.

How much will it cost? Flights start at $370 return with JetStar. Qantas and Virgin Blue also fly to Perth. Some subsidies are available. Please get in touch if money is an obstacle. Most food will be provided. The cost of the convergence, which will cover buses and food and so on, will be $25 unwaged, $40 waged and $100 solidarity.

What do I need to bring? A pillow and sleeping bag and anything else you’ll need for the weekend. Tents and other camping equipment can be co-ordinated as a group.

Interested? Get in touch with us! Call Amy on 0430 554 263 or email

If you would like to help fund refugee activists to get to the convergence, please consider making a solidarity donation to the Refugee Action Coalition. Any amount is helpful. Make a direct deposit to BSB: 062018, Account Number: 10118562, Account name: RAC, and send an email to to let us know you’ve donated to help the convergence.   

Next article – Opponents warn of hunger strike

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