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Why are we targeting Toll?

category indonesia / philippines / australia | migration / racism | press release author Friday August 23, 2013 20:03author by Dmitri - MACG (personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

Beyond borders collective

This morning, a group of vocal protesters from the Beyond Borders Collective attended the Melbourne office of logistics firm, Toll, to protest the company’s commercial involvement in the offshore processing of refugees and asylum seekers. Here is the statement released by the Beyond Borders Collective
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Beyond borders collective

This morning, a group of vocal protesters from the Beyond Borders Collective attended the Melbourne office of logistics firm, Toll, to protest the company’s commercial involvement in the offshore processing of refugees and asylum seekers. Here is the statement released by the Beyond Borders Collective:

Why are we targeting Toll?

Toll is Australia’s largest transport and logistics company. They rake in big money – previous managing director Paul Little made his $880 million fortune through his time at Toll. They have extensive business in the Asia-Pacific in shipping, transport, mining, and military contracting.

Toll are notorious for their anti-worker and anti-union policies. Most recently a union delegate at Toll's Somerton warehouse was sacked for raising safety concerns.

A huge portion of Toll’s $65 million annual profit comes from their work providing transport and infrastructure for the 'offshore processing' of asylum seekers. Since October 2012, Toll has been awarded $25 million in contracts with the Australian government to help implement its harsh border control policies.

Toll has also been cosying up to the Coalition, providing a fully funded junket to Nauru to Shadow Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Murdoch News Ltd journalists. During the visit, Toll showed Morrison an array of Toll tents. Just days later, Morrison launched plans for holding 2000 people in “tented accommodation” on Nauru.

This is business as usual at Toll. That why we're occupying Toll headquarters -- to bring the reality of their work into their own offices. By targeting Toll we’re implicating not just the government and the opposition, but the logistical implementation of this racist policy. Political processes do not happen only at the level of governmental decision-making. There are many levels at which we can challenge the criminalisation of people arriving by boat.

What’s wrong with borders?

The Australian border is not a natural or inevitable thing. It is created and maintained by the state, a state that is built on stolen land and the ongoing dispossession of Indigenous people. In the context of global capitalism, international borders criminalise and restrict the movement of certain bodies while allowing others free passage. The global elite and multinational corporations are allowed extensive legal privileges to cross borders. For the global poor and those who seek to escape war, colonialism, persecution, environmental devastation or poverty, attempts to cross borders are often met with violence and imprisonment (as is the case now for boat arrivals). Borders are not just used to keep people out, they also create restrictions and conditions for life within.

For example, migrant workers in Australia on 457 visas face deportation if they lose their jobs or their contract ends. This makes them highly vulnerable to employer exploitation. Restrictions on the free movement of people helps to maintain classes of hyper-exploited and precarious workers both here and overseas. Border controls are challenged every day. Thousands of migrants cross borders illegally or fit themselves into whatever visa category they can in order to migrate. We stand in solidarity with them and refuse to judge who is and who is not a ‘worthy’ migrant or ‘genuine’ refugee.

The Beyond Borders collective is based in Melbourne and part of the broader movement in solidarity with people who come to Australia by boat. If you would like to get involved, email us at beyondborderscollective@gmail.com

This statement was written on the land of the Kulin nation. Sovereignty was never ceded.

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOuWlKDU2XU
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