Friday, March 9, 2012
In addition, the company has contracts to run prisons and hospitals and other public services. The protest was calling for all of these privatised enterprises to be returned to public hands.
Occupy Perth and was supported by Serco Watch, Refugee Rights Action Network, the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (DICWC) and unions including United Voice.
Dave Hume, from the Save Fiona Stanley Hospital campaign, spoke about how when public Hospital service had previously been privatised in Western Australia in the mid 1990’s it led to an outbreak of disease and germs and decline in services which cost the taxpayer $2.7 million to clean up. The cleaning contracts had to be returned to public hands.
Sarah Ross from RRAN denounced the mistreatment of Refugees in inside Serco run detention centres, noting that Serco staff were under-trained and unequipped for dealing with mental health issues. She also pointed out that since the company took over the detention centres in 2009, people had committed suicide, noting the case of a Fijian man Josepha Rauli, who jumped to his death from the roof of the Villawood detention centre in September 2010. Ross said that SERCO had the blood of those 7 men on their hands.
The crowd also heard from Paul Kaplan of the DICWC, before marching around the building chanting "Serco: Blood on your hands". At the end of the protest Police and Perth City Council Rangers confiscated some barbed wire being used as a prop for the protest but showed no interest in arresting any of the Serco executives for their crimes.
[Article by Alex Salmon for Green Left Weekly #914.]
Video by Zeb Parkes
Photos by Zeb Parkes
The action also attracted reports in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Herald Sun and The ABC.