Operational Matters, Working Paper

This last few weeks has provided a quick lesson in the myth and mechanics of border policing in and beyond Australia. Below is a Working Paper on ‘operational matters’ in the related campaigns. It is meant to provoke a focused discussion about how to bring about change. [An earlier version of this was distributed on January 26, 2013.]


  1. Violence is integral to the policies of Operation Sovereign Borders and mandatory detention. That violence can only be justified by giving credence to and encouraging racism.
  2. Successive Australian government policies are a global problem that require a range of global responses.
  3. The subcontracted, multi-agency character of internment, deterrence and expulsions makes everyone complicit. It also makes active non-compliance and refusal possible at each step in the supply-chain.
  4. Campaigns in support of asylum seekers and refugees have to confront their own “positional errors” and “unintentional-but-repeated” reiterations of colonial sovereignty.

[Read the rest of the discussion paper here]

Operational Matters, Working Paper

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