Step up the pressure: Rally to close the camps, bring them here

| August 9, 2016 | Reply

1pm Saturday 27 August, Sydney Town Hall

The election result means the Coalition now have only the thinnest of majorities and are in a much weakened position. Offshore detention is facing a major crisis over Manus Island. We have called a rally to step up the pressure on Turnbull, the weekend before parliament resumes.

Post election rally A5

Invite your friends to the Facebook event here

Download an A4 size poster to advertise the rally at this link

During the election, Malcolm Turnbull and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton tried to use the refugee issue to win votes. But their efforts failed to work.

Dutton paradoxically blamed refugees for taking jobs and sitting on welfare, while Turnbull claimed that electing Labor would put “border security” at risk.

But despite the scare campaign, the election was far from a strong endorsement of Turnbull. The Coalition only narrowly avoided election defeat, and will hold onto government with among the thinnest of majorities.

The end of August marks 15 years since the Tampa affair, when then Liberal Prime Minister John Howard sent the SAS onto the Tampa to stop a boatload of refugees reaching Australia. They became the first asylum seekers sent to Nauru.

Now the Coalition’s promises to “stop the boats” and keep out refugees are no longer the winning electoral formula they seemed in the past.

Manus Island set to close

The system of offshore detention is facing a major crisis over Manus Island. On 26 April the PNG Supreme Court held that detention on Manus Island was unlawful and the detention centre would have to close.

Further court action in PNG is under way, in an effort to force both PNG and Australia to act on the ruling.

But there is nowhere else for the Manus asylum seekers and refugees to come but Australia. The same is true on Nauru, where there are no arrangement for permanent resettlement of those found to be refugees. We need to keep up the pressure to demand the government “Bring them here”.

For them, and for the 30,000 still being processed, we need to demand permanent visas, not Temporary Protection Visas where the threat of being sent back to danger hangs over them. The government’s new “fast track” processing is deeply unfair. Appeal rights must be reinstated.

The tide of public opinion is shifting. A strong majority of people now want those found to be refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to come to Australia. And the overwhelming majority will be found to be refugees. The 267 asylum seekers in Australia from Nauru and Manus Island have still not been returned, thanks to the “Let them stay” movement earlier this year. We need to step up the pressure to close the camps and bring them all here.

Category: Upcoming events

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