Monthly Archives: January 2014

RISE, “Australia day” and boats

RISE does not endorse any movement that claims to be pro-refugee but celebrates “Australia day”. To link our community to such events and white-wash this history is not just insensitive to the indigenous communities of Australia but also to most of us from refugee/asylum seeker communities who are ourselves victims of colonisation, occupation and imperialism and many of us who are also victims of genocide.

The boat people who come to seek asylum do not come to occupy or colonise and therefore, it is disingenuous to link them to the boat people who arrived in 1788.

RISE: Refugees, survivors & Ex-detainees, acknowledges that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the original owners and custodians of the land that we live and work on.

RISE music studio need your support

Dear Friends,

We would like to bring to your attention an exciting new initiative within RISE. As part of the RISE Cypher Project we are seeking to establish a community based recording studio.

The RISE music studio will give opportunities to aspiring young artists to positively express themselves and develop industry skills in a safe and supportive environment. With the assistance of our talented and professional staff who are all people of colour, we hope to provide training, educational mentoring, engineering and production facilities for young people to professionally record, market and distribute their own songs.

The need for this project arose from RISE’s strong connection with refugee communities and was designed in close consultation with local refugee and immigrant communities. One of the most common needs identified by young people is for their voice to be heard, recognised and acknowledged in addressing the various challenges they face.

As such this program is aimed at empowering participants with the knowledge, skills and tools to positively express their own identities within the context of their environment. The recording space will establish a positive relationship between participants & instructors, thereby enabling positive social skills and artistic mentorship to grow.

RISE operates in areas which are grossly underserviced and underfunded as such we are seeking your assistance in sourcing suitable equipment to establish the RISE recording studio. Examples of desired equipment include;

  • Microphones
  • Pop Filter
  • Headphones
  • Sound card
  • Reference/studio monitors
  • Digital audio workstation
  • Mixing console
  • Multi-track recorder
  • An array of musical instruments

If you would like to donate any above equipment, please contact admin@riserefugee.org

Go home, community leaders tell Lebanese asylum seekers

RISE is concerned by reports of a dangerous, grossly negligent and unethical undertaking by Australian Lebanese community leaders Jamal Rifi and Sheikh Malek Zeidan undertaking a trip to Manus Island and Nauru detention centres to urge Lebanese asylum seekers to “Go home”. Dr. Jamal Rifi is also a member of the Immigration Minister’s Council on Asylum Seekers and Detention (http://www.smh.com.au/national/go-home-community-leaders-tell-lebanese-asylum-seekers-20131228-300ox.html)

We condemn such actions if they are true, when reports from independent Human rights monitors state clearly that violence in Northern Lebanon in particular has escalated recently due to the Syrian crisis. This violence has escalated to a point where today’s breaking news states that Syria has bombed Lebanon. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/01/01/syria-lebanon/4280361/

Amnesty International states there were approximately 40 Lebanese asylum seekers when they visited Manus Island in 2013. Here is an extract of what they have to say about Lebanese asylum seeker in Manus Island detention centre (p 27-28 http://www.amnesty.org.au/images/uploads/about/Amnesty_International_Manus_Island_report.pdf):

“Several of the asylum seekers we interviewed had fled sustained violence in northern Lebanon. For example, D.M. ran a clothing store in Tripoli, living there through several waves of violence between armed groups. Once he was shot in the face. His brother and his brother’s children were recently injured in an explosion. He decided to leave Lebanon in July 2013.

Especially in and around the city of Tripoli, skirmishes between armed groups have been intermittent but ongoing for years. Violence intensified after May 2008, and clashes in 2013 were the deadliest since the resumption of violence between the groups of fighters, some of whom support opposition fighters in Syria, with others strongly in favour of the Syrian government.Others reported that they fled their countries years ago after conflict made it too unsafe for them to remain…”

We condemn anyone who acts as an agent that assists any government or organisation to break the UN human rights and UN refugee convention to refoul asylum seekers to Lebanon or any other part of the world.

We also consider it shameful, greedy and selfish for those of us who are members of refugee/immigrant communities who have established ourselves in Australia to pull the ladder away to prevent others from protecting their life and seeking a safe haven in this country. We ask our members to please condemn the actions of people from our own communities who abuse the rights of other asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.