Flotillas Of Hope Prepares To Sail
By Matt Hamon
A group of yachts and their crew will be heading off from Australia and sailing to the small nation island of Nauru on the 15th May with the aim to arrive at Nauru for World Refugee Day, 20th June 2004.
The yachts are going to Nauru with the specific goal of bringing hope to those detained in appalling conditions in Nauru's Australian Immigration gulags. The Flotillas of Hope also wish to highlight the plight of the indigenous Nauruans who through the neglect of the Nauruan government has sold their future to foreign interests.
Recently the Flotillas of Hope project received the following warning (see below) from Ms Helen Bogdan, a hired Australian Public Relations Consultant for the Nauruan Government. In her message and the warning from the Secretary of Justice several interesting points are made.
There is a clear understanding by the authorities why the Flotillas of Hope are heading to Nauru yet this does not prevent them indicating a reaction which would be overkill under the circumstances.
None of the asylum seekers on Nauru have visas and this being the case proves that Australia has committed an offence under the Nauruan Immigration Act of 1999 by aiding and abetting the transport of illegal immigrants to Nauru? After all they were asylum seekers in our country but Australia through it's trading in people policy is surely guilty of people smuggling.
Matt Hamon, a spokes person for Flotillas of Hope and Hope Caravan said, "It is obvious that DFAT (Department of foreign affairs and trade) are advising Nauru."
"It will be interesting to see what lengths the Australian government will go in order to prevent ordinary Australian's highlighting the plight and the shame of asylum seekers being indefinitely detained on Nauru in Australian's concentration camps", said Matt Hamon
Stavros Georgopoulos also a spokes person for Flotillas of Hope and Hope Caravan said today, "If they arrest us when we do land, we have won because they will have to explain why they are locking up Australian and British citizens on their gulag. They will also have to explain why they won't let our lawyers on the island to protect our rights. The images and messages sent out will be reminiscent of Guantanamo Bay, in fact worse because they won't allow legal representation happen."
Stavros Georgopoulos went on to say, "If they stop us using Australian Navy at the 12 mile international waters zone, then the message and images of two little boats being hounded by the Navy will be overkill. This is particularly so with our Teddy Bear flags blowing in the wind."
Although the warning has been issued this has
not deterred the crews of the Flotillas of Hope from making
their journey to the prison island in 6 days time.