Your Say: Palm Sunday Rally for Refugees Garema Place, Canberra

Your Say: Palm Sunday Rally for Refugees Garema Place, Canberra

The Palm Sunday Rally in Canberra was a gathering of many different groups including many local churches wanting to show their concern for Australia’s treatment of refugees over the last 20 years, especially those in off shore and on shore detention.

The treatment of so many legitimate asylum seekers, fleeing for their lives, only to find extensive imprisonment and bureaucratic and political intransigence, has been a stain on our country. Many churches led the rally, including the Kippax, North Belconnen, Tuggeranong, Woden, and City Uniting Churches.

Multiple cries of shame, shame reverberated through the large gathering as the speakers identified the travesties of our federal policies and our contravention of United Nations conventions. Our faith and the workings of the Spirit – within and beyond our churches, compelled us to take this journey, as Jesus did, to challenge injustice.

The speakers included those who had suffered from our policies, as well as known, brave advocates for asylum seekers.

  • Shabnam Safa, Chair National Refugee-led Advisory and Advocacy Group (NRAAG)   
  • Asher Hirsch, Refugee Council of Australia   
  • Dr Claire Loughnan, University of Melbourne   
  • Abbas Nazari  – author of After the Tampa   (Tampa refugee 2001 and Fulbright Scholar)  

Mary Woodhouse

North Belconnen uniting Church

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