In the face of increasing criminalisation of the asylum seeking population entering Australia, all of whom are now subject to mandatory detention, local activists in the major cities have also radicalised their interventions. This paper is based on three months’ action research in Melbourne with activists involved in the ‘Refugee Action Collective’, a loosely organised, informal people’s organisation that has groups in different parts of the city, including the coordinating group based in the Trades Council, home of Melbourne’s trade union movement and a base for many activist groups. This research charted events in Melbourne and profiled some members of the RAC, with the main focus on the events of 2002.
Critical perspectives on refugee policy in Australia: proceedings of the Refugee Rights Symposium hosted by the Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Faculty of Arts, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia, 05 December 2002 / Michael Leach and Fethi Mansouri (eds.), pp. 59-87