Lorenzo Komboa Ervin Arrested in Australia

Former black panther political prisoner and current civil rights activist and IWW member, Lorenzo Komboa Ervin has been arrested in Australia and may be deported any day now in an effort to censor his speaking tour.

After being arrested, Lorenzo was sent to a maximum security prison in Brisbane prior to deportation.

Lorenzo's arrest and physical abuse has sparked an international outcry across Australia, the U.S., Europe, South Africa, and other places around the world.

Don't let the Australian government cave into demands by the racist right-wing to silence Lorenzo.

Keep up the pressure! Even though Lorenzo is out of jail and has his visa back, the government has made it clear they are still going to try to deport him.

Lorenzo's Out of Jail!

This just in:

Brisbane: Fri, 11 Jul 1997 09:45:24 +1000 (EST)

The high court in canberra/brisbane has just granted Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin bail. He will be released from jail this morning, but the immigration department will apply to the court to have him deported again on Monday. But till at least Monday, he's free!

Report from Australia (July 10):

Lorenzo Ervin will be so ending yet another night in a maximum security prison in Australia, following an adjournment at the Commonwealth Court in Brisbane today. The court convened at around 3.30 pm to decide whether Lorenzo would be granted bail and protesters who had marched from the immigration building were, after deliberation by court officials, allowed to enter and view proceedings. Justice Brennan appeared on a television screen, beamed live from Canberra, the nation's capital. Virtual reality justice ? Counsel for the government claimed the court had no jurisdiction over ministerial decisions to revoke visas, and this did not exactly please the judge. After a short recess Justice Brennan reappeared, stating it appeared that the wording of the immigration legislation prevented the court from overriding the decision of Senator amanda Vandstone. However, Lorenzo's solicitors raised the issue of natural justice and that since Lorenzo Ervin had not willfully or knowingly committed any crime, it was a moral outrage that he be held in prison, and be deemed responsible for a bureaucratic bungle by customs and immigration officials. Not suprisingly, the government barristers asked for an adjournment, as they were not familiar with the concept of natural justice. The case resumes tomorrow (Friday 11th July) at 9.30 am.

Demonstrations took place in capital cities around Australia today, with a vocal crowd of 150 or so in Brisbane. That demonstration was peaceful aside from a few scuffles with the large police presence when protesters attempted to enter immigration offices, and when the march blocked city streets. Protesters and supporters will return to court tomorrow to witness the outcome.

The Seamans' Union in Brisbane held a meeting today to vote on the motion that should Lorenzo be deported, they would take strike action to prevent him leaving by the Brisbane port. If you are in Australia, please contact the Seamans' Union and Pilots and Flight Attendants Unions in your city and call on them to take similar action to prevent Lorenzo's deportation. Should the government attempt to deport Lorenzo, please be prepared to blockade airports and docks. The Australian government must not be allowed to deny freedom of speech nor to decide for the Australian people what they are permitted to hear, nor should the indigenous community be denied the right to exercise their ties with their international brothers and sisters.

* The government contends that the US government denies ever having granted clemency to Lorenzo. Any help uncovering documents, news articles or archived material on this matter would be appreciated.

Australian Government Contact Information

Here's the big list of contacts for protesting by phone, email, fax, or letter.

For other contact info, visit the Australian Embassy web page or their list of links to other Australian Embassies, etc. around the world

Other Sites

Australian Media

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