The Labour Shadow Minister for Immigration, Julia Gillard, had her Werribee office encircled in fencing on Friday, August 30 by activists masquerading as Australian Correctional Management guards. The action was taken to highlight the party's ongoing support for mandatory detention and coincided with the one year anniversary of the dramatic rescue of more than 400 asylum seekers by the Norwegian ship Tampa. Political organizing in support of the freedom of movement has been increasing significantly throughout Australia in recent years.
"I Have No Pride in a Bloodstained Rag"
Meanwhile, more than 1000 people rallied in Melbourne that afternoon to remember the Tampa rescue and to protest the government's ongoing mistreatment of asylum seekers. In Sydney, inner city statues were dressed in barbed wire, Tampa sashes and black armbands to commemorate the establishment of Fortress Australia.
More information is available in this round-up of Tampa Day actions, and in the September 1, 2001 feature about the MV Tampa.