Woomera Detention Centre - Good Friday breakout 29 March 2002

A phone call alerted the camp to the fact that the imprisoned asylum seekers were going to be having an action inside the remote desert concentration camp. So with drums, flags and voices about 1000 people make their way to the outer perimeter fence, to let the prisoners know that people were here to support them. Even being here we were inside the 'prohibited zone' established around Woomera, and liable to arrest for federal offences.




Soon after arriving at the fence the protesters notice that the 3m high fence, topped with razor wire is not necessarily the barrier that it might seem.






To the surprise of everyone, the fence comes easily down. There are no state or federal police present. On the TV news the night before SA police said that they were under no obligation to respond to the demands of the federal police who are responsible for the facility.





Protesters begin negotiating the razor wire and move closet to the concentration camp. Australia is the only country in the world to practice mandatory detention of asylum seekers who arrive here 'illegally'.






The next layer of fences proves an even easier barrier than the first one.







Click here to see more images of this massive protest in the Australian desert, shot by Pip Starr of Rockhopper Productions on Good Friday 2002