Refugees are welcome here: Rally on Palm Sunday

2pm Sunday 25 March, Belmore Park

The Turnbull government is constantly trying to whip up fear about refugees—as well as finding new targets such as African migrants—as it desperately seeks to recover electoral support. Refugees on both Manus Island and Nauru remain in danger. Last year, PNG immigration and police forced refugees on Manus out of the old detention centre. But they have simply been moved to other prison camps.

Locals have held repeated protests and blockades against the new camps on Manus, and the level of medical care has been drastically reduced. The refugees remain vulnerable to attack. A Human Rights Watch report in October documented these frequent and brutal assaults. One man nearly lost his arm following a machete attack. An Iranian asylum seeker suffered a fractured skull after an attack with a metal rod as his phone and money were stolen.

So far only 230 have been accepted under the US resettlement deal from Manus and Nauru—and there are over 1500 more refugees and asylum seekers there. Iranian, Somali and Syrian refugees are now blocked from going to the US by Trump’s travel ban. And Iranians are the largest single national group on Manus and Nauru.

In Australia there are still thousands of asylum seekers waiting to be processed under the unfair new “fast track” process which removes appeal rights. The new system is designed to reject a far higher number of people. And those who receive refugee status can still only get a temporary visa, and suffer ongoing insecurity. The Australian government must take responsibility for the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru and Bring Them Here immediately. And it needs to welcome all refugees and provide fair processing and a secure future.

The drums of war are beating louder, especially for a possible nuclear war over the political crisis on the Korean Peninsula. War creates millions of new refugees. Nuclear war could destroy the world as we know it.

It’s time to stand up for refugees, justice, peace and unity!

Endorsing organisations:

Amnesty International Australia
Asylum Seekers Centre
Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition
Blue Mountains refugee support group
Doctors for Refugees
Ecumenical Council
Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education
Grandmothers against detention of refugee children
Independent and Peaceful Australia Network-NSW
Independent Education Union NSW
Labor for refugees NSW
Love Makes a Way
Maritime Union of Australia Sydney branch
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Justice and Peace
Mums for Refugees
NSW Greens
NSW Nurses and Midwives Association
NSW Teachers Federation
National Tertiary Education Union NSW
Pax Christi Australia (NSW)
Refugee Action Coalition
SEARCH Foundation
Sydney Catholic Schools
Sydney Peace & Justice Coalition
Synod of the Uniting Church in NSW/ACT
Syria Solidarity-Australia
Teachers for Refugees
Unions NSW
Unions for Refugees
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

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