Nov 13, 2017

Loewenstein: Manus protest is failing, so let’s talk about a boycott of Australia

Industries like sporting and tourism could be turned into tools for fighting indefinite incarceration.

Let’s talk about boycotting Australia.

Australia’s war on asylum seekers at Manus Island, Nauru and other privatised detention facilities on the Australian mainland is seemingly unstoppable by traditional means. While condemned by every human rights organisation in the world, Canberra is unmoved. The demonisation of (mostly) brown and Muslim individuals is an effective tool for politicians as well as many in the Murdoch and tabloid press to whip up fear and aggression against outsiders. And it’s been working for 25 years with Australia now inspiring hardline European policies.

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12 thoughts on “Loewenstein: Manus protest is failing, so let’s talk about a boycott of Australia

  1. Draco Houston

    Not going to work fast enough for the folks on Manus. Sensible strategy for the long term though.

  2. Dog's Breakfast

    Not the worst idea I’ve read.
    We need a remedy to stop the government of the day enacting policy and legislation that has neither popular support or policy purity (or at least some policy reality). This, the revamped trade treaty and mindless sovereignty destroying ISDS provisions – thank god that Trudeau pulled out this time, the Iraq war (90%+ public against it), recalcitrance on same sex marriage, the war on drugs, the list is long!

    We need some mechanism that stops the buggers in their tracks.

    This is a good start though, somehow we need better, a solution for much more than this, to end the disconnection between the voters will and the pollies.

    1. drsmithy

      Citizen initiated referendums and recall elections.

      Real democracy would fix a lot of problems.

  3. Peter Bailey

    Anthony Loewenstein overkooks the fact that the EU has currently adopted similar tactics as Australia to restrict the flow of African immigrants to Europe. The EU finances Libyan patrol boats to prevent would-be immigrants leaving Libyan shores for a Mediterranean crossing. Those prevented from leaving are warehoused in camps reportedly more squalid than those in PNG. Peter Bailey

    1. Charlie Chaplin

      No he didn’t, Peter:
      “And it’s been working for 25 years with Australia now inspiring hardline European policies.”

  4. Peter Hannigan

    I can understand the frustration but this approach has real dangers. It may in fact harden opinions and policy in the opposite direction to what is sought. If you look at international responses to refugees and migration it is hard to see much that is positive. Open access for refugees is unsaleable whatever the moral strength of the position. What is needed is an approach that encourages people and the political parties to walk back from the extreme position we have reached. It is not going to suddenly change completely. That process does not have to be gentle. One possibility is to see how comfortable people are with Australia running concentration camps – a very emotionally loaded description – but which is an accurate label for Dutton’s camps going back to the original meaning rather than a WW2 one.

    1. Lizzie

      I do believe this is one idea that could wake people up to what is happening with these refugees. A blanket message across Australia emphasising the ignorance and apathy of many German people to what was happening in the concentration camps (though the concentration camps were in a league of their own) and to what is happening in our detention centres may open people’s eyes to this unlawful and cruel treatment of asylum seekers in our country.

  5. Bill Hilliger

    I’m doing my bit by not buying or supporting Rupert Murdoch NewsCrap products.

  6. AR

    Anthony is the Peter Tatchel of race. Needed but abhorred even ore.

      1. Zoay Hilla

        Good Worker and see me

  7. Bob the builder

    Protest isn’t failing, it’s barely happening.
    Boycotts are the weakest form of political response beyond signing a petition.

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