Protesters arrive at Baxter detention centre in Australian desert

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Friday, March 25, 2005

Protesters at the gates of Baxter
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Hundreds of protesters arrived at the Baxter detention centre in the South Australian desert to demonstrate against the incarceration of refugees held there. An additional 300 protesters converged on the home of Immigration Minister Senator Amanda Vanstone, in the state capital of Adelaide, on their way to Baxter.

Protesters near Baxter
(Image missing from commons: image; log)


People from all over Australia are protesting against the Australian Government's policy of mandatory detention. The first protesters arrived by buses in Port Augusta early Friday morning.

Detainees seem split over the protest. The Age reported Detainee Peter Qasim as saying, "It stops people from visiting us, it stops us receiving any calls. It is a good idea to protest but better somewhere other than here."

However, other detainees have been reported as saying, "It is better in front of Baxter, I believe showing Baxter, protesters will shout about human torture inside detention. Then there would be good publicity about all torture inside Baxter detention."

And, "We welcome all of [the protesters] and we thank [them] all who has seen disgrace of this human torture. Further we thank to you all who come and visit and looking after us all the time, we need it."

Despite fears of violence, there has been no confrontation between the police and the protesters.

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