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Rally against offshore detention

 

19 July 2019 will mark the passing of 6 long years of unnecessary suffering for people sent to Manus Island and Nauru just because they exercised their right to seek asylum in Australia. 

 

Over the last six years, Australians and the refugee movement have created changes. Actions taken have forced the government to get kids off Nauru, pushed politicians to pass historic Medevac legislation, and mobilised in solidarity across the country.


On Saturday 20 July, thousands of people will come together across the country to send a clear message to politicians: we'll keep fighting until the hundreds of men and women detained offshore are brought to safety. 

 

The group in charge of organising the nationwide protests, the Australian Refugee Action Network (ARAN), are hoping to force systemic change in Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers.

The suffering of people held on Manus Island and Nauru has been constantly in the news for the last 6 years and it must be brought to an end. Nearly all of these people are recognised as refugees, and have waited in very difficult conditions for safe resettlement options.   Australia must now resolve this situation, by taking up the offer from New Zealand, and also resettling people here also, especially those who have family members here.   

 

The situation is now urgent, with more than 90 acts of self-harm and suicide attempts in just four weeks after Australia’s federal election.  The situation must be resolved – these people cannot be abandoned. 

 

Billions of dollars have been spent to maintain these arrangements, Australia has put unreasonable pressure on the governments of PNG and Nauru to co-operate, and nearly 2,000 people, including around 300 children have suffered abuse and psychological harm.  This is a very sad chapter in Australia’s history, and one which must be brought to an end NOW. 

Australia can no longer deny responsibility for these people, and it is shameful that the Morrison government is proposing to remove the protection of the medivac legislation, to once again deny people access to medical treatment they so badly need.

Behrouz Boochani, who has been held on Manus Island for nearly six years, says there is an increased sense of desperation and hopelessness among the island’s refugee population.

About 500 people have been resettled in America, and about 55 are still waiting – some for more than 2 years, to find out whether America will offer them resettlement.   There are still several hundred people on Manus island and Nauru who have no resettlement options.

 “We are calling on the Morrison government to immediately bring this cruel regime to an end by bringing people to safety, or arranging other safe resettlement options for them” read the end of the ARAN news release about the protests.

You can find details of the protests below and at the ARAN website. https://aran.net.au/campaigns/6-yearstoomany/ 


Thurs 18 July          

1.       Newcastle 5-6pm – King St, opp Town Hall Newcastle Facebook event here

 

Friday 19 July

 

1.       Albany 10am – readings, a march up the main street, a reading of the names of the men who have died in offshore detention and presentation of a document to our local member’s office.

2.       Ballina 7:00 – 8:00 pm St Mary’s Anglican Church, 38-42 Norton St – Vigil

3.       Bendigo 5pm – Rosalind Park (View St end), FB event here

4.       Cairns 6pm – Esplanade opposite Aplin St. FB event here

5.       Hobart 12.30 pm – The famous Tassie Nannas plan to walk from Hobart’s Elizabeth Street Mall (their regular knotting spot) with posters, banners and knitted chains to the office of Senator Jonathan Duniam, taking a letter to deliver to him. Other groups (eg Amnesty) are welcome to join us.

6.       Hobart  4:30-6pm – on the corner of Murray and Macquarie St. FB event here

7.       Mansfield – 4.30pm Median Strip, wear black, bring messages. For further information, contact: mansfieldrar@gmail.com 

8.       Moss Vale 12noon – 1.30pm – Vigil in Leighton Gardens For further information, contact: rarsouthernhighlands@gmail.com

9.       Nowra  10-12pm – cnr Berry and Junction Streets.

10.   Sunshine Coast – Candlelight Vigil for Refugees from 4.30pm, St Mark’s Anglican Church, Main St, Buderim. Event here

11.   Wangaratta 4:00 – 5:00 pm Outside the office of Dr Helen Haines MP at the roundabout – 17 Murphy St. Wangaratta

12.   Warranmbool 12 Noon – outside Dan Tehan MP’s Warrnambool Office in Kepler St Warrnambool

 

Saturday, 20 July 2019 

       

1.       Adelaide 2pm – Parliament FB event here

2.       Alice Springs 11 am till 1 pm at John Flynn Uniting Church Todd Mall

3.       Brisbane 2pm – Queens Park FB event here

4.       Canberra: 1pm – cnr Northbourne Ave & London Cct, Civic. Canberra FB event here

5.       Darwin, 2pm – Parliament House (Facebook event coming)

6.       Hawkesbury 11am – Richmond Park FB event here

7.       Hobart, 2pm – Parliament Gardens (Facebook event coming).

8.       Melbourne 2pm – State Library FB event here

9.       Perth 11am – Forest Place FB event here

10.   Sydney 2pm – Sydney Town Hall FB event here