Evan Smith

Evan Smith is a historian at Flinders University in South Australia. He blogs about British, Australian and South African history and politics at Hatful of History blog. He tweets at @hatfulofhistory.

    Border Farce

    by Evan Smith

    The border is everywhere and nowhere. Not merely a marker of territoriality, the border reinforces the sovereignty of the nation-state, and officials of the border control system can descend on any space to enforce exclusionary powers and police undesirable populations at will. This is what ‘Operation Fortitude’, unleashed on the Australian public last month, shows us.

    Photo: EPA

    On the morning of Friday, 28 August, 2015, a press release from the newly formed Australian Border Force (ABF) announced that its officers were to be deployed on the streets of the Melbourne CBD, in conjunction with the Victorian Police, over the weekend as part of ‘Operation Fortitude’. The press release quoted the ABF’s Regional Commander for Victoria and Tasmania, Don Smith, who declared:

    ABF officers will be positioned at various locations around the CBD speaking with any individual we cross paths with,…You need to be aware of the conditions of your visa; if you commit visa fraud you should know it’s only a matter of time before you’re caught out.