1pm Sunday 20 March, Belmore Park
Federation is a proud sponsor of this year’s Palm Sunday Welcome Refugee Rally.
We encourage all our members, who are able, to march under the banner of Unions for Refugees.
We will meet at the Belmore Park Rotunda from 1230pm. The rally will march to Victoria Park.
Federation will provide our small hand held flags to identify our contingent.
Public opinion on refugees is shifting with the outpouring of calls for the 267 asylum seekers from Nauru and Manus Island to stay in Australia.
The stand by workers at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane to refuse to discharge baby Asha to be returned to Nauru, focused opposition to the cruel bipartisan policy of offshore processing. It also showed the strength and compassion of the union movement. The vigils and protests and the workplace selfies on social media have shown the widespread support for baby Asha and the campaign to #LetThemStay. The churches’ offer of sanctuary to the 267 has also shown how sweeping is the call for a humanitarian refugee policy.
This year’s Palm Sunday rallies can add to the growing community calls, not just to let those in Australia stay in Australia, but to close Manus Island, close Nauru and end mandatory detention.
For many years governments have used refugees as scapegoats for their failure to provide jobs, or properly fund housing and health care. This creates hatred and racism that poisons our workplaces and communities. The government is talking about making cuts to spending on health, education, parental leave and pensions while it wastes billions on refugee detention.
The escalated warfare in the Middle East, Afghanistan and North Africa is driving more and more people to seek asylum. Australia can do much more to help these asylum seekers, and much more to help end rather than extend the wars.
Rally MC: David Isaacs (former paediatrician on Nauru)
Joel Shakespeare (former Save the Children worker on Nauru)
Jessica Walker (Queensland Teachers Union, Yeronga High School & Save Mojgan campaign)
Dr Sue Wareham (Medical Association for Prevention of War)
Ian Rintoul (Refugee Action Coalition)
Shokufa Tahiri (Afghan refugee)