The Vigil for Baby Asha | Sat 20th Feb 2016 — Ned Martin’s Dot Org

Saturday 20th February – Waterlining & the Vigil for Baby Asha

Waterlining

I drove in to Kangaroo Point, and walked down to the river where the slacklining crew were planning to set up a waterline—however in the setup process they managed to break everything (doing around $600 damage to their equipment apparently) and then spent the next couple of hours figuring out how to de-rig their broken—but still highly tensioned—line without killing themselves. It was unfortunate timing as the waterline had already been postponed several times due to bad weather, and a “youtube video crew” had come down to film it.

Stand-up paddleboarders in the Brisbane RiverScary animals in the Brisbane River mudMore scary animals in the Brisbane River mudScary animal stand-offDom looking for bull sharksOptimistically setting up their waterlineTrying to figure out how to take down their broken waterlineA drone looks onTrying to take down their broken waterlineTrying very hard to take down their broken waterline

Vigil for Baby Asha

After the failed waterlining attempt I walked to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital and took some photographs of the Vigil for Baby Asha there. They had heard that an attempt to move the baby was going to be made, so they’d put out a call for everyone who could to come down. The numbers swelled to a good few hundred, and tensions rose as the protestors barricaded all the hospital exits, demanding that suspicious looking cars stop and demonstrate that they didn’t contain any baby Asha’s. This car-stopping exercise culminated in the protestors stopping two police riot vehicles. The first (which was unmarked) complied with their demands and opened their windows so the protestors could verify no babies were inside, but the second (which was marked as a police vehicle) refused to comply and had heavily tinted windows making it impossible for anyone to verify who was inside. There was a tense standoff until organisers began to report that they had information indicating that baby Asha was still inside the hospital, and the police vehicle was allowed to pass.

Shortly after this, ten or so police arrived in a clearly marked police van. One of the protestors took a photo of them on his mobile phone and had a policeman snatch his phone off him and attempt to delete the photo—seemingly without any justification— causing another tense situation. After some discussion from the various organisers and police, the situation de-escalated and the organisers began to report to everyone that they had people inside the hospital who would inform them if baby Asha had departed, so there was no need to check cars.

I stayed for several hours, leaving in the wee hours of the morning.

Welcome sign at the Vigil for Baby AshaWelcome sign at the Vigil for Baby AshaPeople hold signs along the side of the roadAn attempt to stop the frequent beepingBikers rev 4 refugeesChecking “suspicious” cars to see if they contain Baby AshaProtestors ready to block roadsSocialist AlternativeLet Them StayProtestors check inside a police carProtestors check inside a police carThese police wound down their windows to demonstrate they did not have Baby AshaProtestors prevent a police car from passingProtestors gather as rumours spread that Baby Asha will be movedProtestors gather as rumours spread that Baby Asha will be movedProtestors stop a police car and demand to search itThis police car refused to comply with the demands to prove it was not carrying Baby AshaProtestors stop the police car from leavingProtestors only let the police car leave after organisers insisted they had inside word that Baby Asha was still in the hospital“Let Them Stay” at the Vigil for Baby AshaPolice took this man’s mobile phone from him for no apparent reason, then refused to give it back until organisers defused the situationOrganisers discussing the situation with police#LetThemStaySmall groups camped at every exit from the hospital to prevent anyone leaving with Baby AshaPeople all over Australia sent pizzaThere was far more pizza than anyone could eat so the excess was taken to homeless sheltersGovindas dropped off some vegetarian mealsThere were even cupcake deliveries!A horse says refugees are welcome#LetThemStay at the Vigil for Baby AshaSsshh! The kids are sleepingProtestors at the Lady Cilento Children’s HospitalProtestors at the Lady Cilento Children’s HospitalProtestors prepare to spend the night at the Vigil for Baby AshaLet Them StayI can’t bear off-shore detentionSigns at the Vigil for Baby AshaPeople spending the night at the Vigil for Baby AshaPlease no beeping kids are sleepingA megaphone at the Vigil for Baby AshaPeople sleep at the Vigil for Baby AshaPeople kept a constant vigil all nightProtestors ensure a constant presence at the vigil all nightProtestors sleep at the Vigil for Baby AshaProtestors sleep at the Vigil for Baby Asha“The Chambers” at Somerville House“The Chambers” at Somerville House“The Chambers” at Somerville HouseBrisbane CityBrisbane CityBrisbane CityPaddington was a refugeeProtestors line the road outside the Lady Cilento Children’s HospitalI can’t bear off-shore detention