19 July National Day of Action
Four years too long: Close the camps, Bring them here
Canberra Refugee Action Committee participating with vigil,
protest outside Dept of Immigration
17 July 2017
On 19 July, it will be four years since the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that people arriving by boat to seek asylum in Australia would be detained in the Manus Island and Nauru centres and never allowed to settle here. It has been four years in which people seeking asylum have been held against their will, been subjected to terrible mental and physical stress and, in some cases, lost their lives – either murdered by guards or through medical neglect.
The Manus Island and Nauru centres have been condemned by the UNHCR, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Australian Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International and many other humanitarian and human rights organisations. 19 July is a shameful anniversary.
The Australian Refugee Action Network (ARAN) – the newly-formed national connection of scores of refugee activist groups – announces 19 July as a national day of action to call for the immediate closure of these camps and for the hostages therein to be brought to Australia.
Scores of actions are planned around the country on that day on the theme of “Four years too long: Close the camps, Bring them here”, including: vigils, peak-hour protests, convergences on politicians’ offices, public meetings, silent gatherings, speak-outs, prayer gatherings, public displays of graphics materials, and more.
The Canberra Refugee Action Committee is one of ARAN’s constituent organisations and is planning three actions:
- Morning peak-hour sign-holding at major intersections (Barry Drive/Northbourne Avenue, Antill Street/Northbourne Avenue, Melrose/Hindmarsh drives);
- a lunchtime protest (12.30-1.30pm) outside the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Belconnen;
- and a candlelit vigil to mark ‘four years of shame’ in Garema Place from 6pm.
“Australians are mortified at our horrific, bipartisan policy and that it has been going on for four years too long. We want all complicit politicians to know that we won’t back down from public protest until you close the camps and bring them here. On the contrary, we will escalate our opposition to it.,” said Canberra Refugee Action Committee’s Dr John Minns. “It’s time to evacuate the camps and bring them here.”
For further information and media interviews, please contact: Dr John Minns 0407 483 952