#standwithMonica at the Border: Action today at 10 pm ET (2pm, Dec 1 Sydney)

When traveling back to Australia to complete her social work internship Monica Jones was stopped by Australian immigration and is now detained in a detention center that has been controversial because of mistreatment and deaths that have occurred in the facility. Human Rights advocates have released the following statement about Monica’s situation, and are planning a nationwide action in Australia on World AIDS Day (December 1). Because of the time zone differences this action will take place at 10 pm Eastern Nov 30 in the US. The Best Practices Policy Project is urging people to #standwithMonica at 10 pm this evening November 30 on social media and organizing local actions in solidarity if possible. We also ask that you record (video, audio, photos) your actions so we can build a strong media presence and archive of actions in support of Monica.


Stop the Stigma and Discrimination that fuels the HIV epidemic
Stigma and Discrimination at Australian border prevents African American student from completing her student placement.

Transgender African American sex worker activist and student Monica Jones is being held in immigration detention in Villawood since Friday with no access to visitation rights. Monica has been vocal advocate for the rights of people of colour, trans people and sex workers. Monica is being restricted entry to Australia in order to complete the 3 weeks remaining on her student placement after which she has a return ticket home to the US. Monica is in her 4th and final year of her social work degree. Without completion of her final 3 weeks of her student placement, Monica will fail this semester.

Her advocacy work will be significantly facilitated by the completion of her student placement, where she plans to work as a social worker for her community after graduation.

In the US, people of colour and tans women are disproportionately affected by HIV. Monica had hoped to learn from the successes of Australia’s response to HIV, in particular by peer led sex worker
organisations and community led responses to HIV, that is internationally recognised as a success. She had hoped to learn from the success of Australian peer led programs to achieve similar successful outcomes for African American, transwomen and sex workers in the US. This has been compromised by the Australian Governments refusal of Monica’s entry to Australia.

Monica wishes to highlight the stigma and discrimination experienced by sex workers, transwomen and people of colour that led to her profiling at the border and her subsequent detention. On World AIDS
Day we recognise that it is this stigma and discrimination that fuels the HIV epidemic.

Sex workers, trans people and allies are protesting at the Federal Law courts at 2pm (SYDNEY AUSTRALIA TIME) where Monica’s case will be heard on Monday. Community members, activists and allies will stand in solidarity with Monica to show the Australian Government that together with Monica we won’t stand for racism, transphobia and whorephobia.

Screenshot 2014-11-30 17.02.12