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Byron Shire
June 15, 2021

North coast residents urged to Walk Together this Saturday

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Residents gather every Thursday outside MP Kevin Hogan's office to protest the federal government's asylum seeker policy. Photo supplied
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A rally to celebrate cultural diversity will take place in Lismore next Saturday (October 22), as well as in more than 20 other cities and towns around Australia.

Called Walk Together, organisers say the rally aims to promote compassion, build unity and to welcome to people seeking asylum, refugees and other new arrivals.

Across Australia celebrities including Missy Higgins, Judith Lucy and Tom Ballard will be joining the rallies – and in Lismore The Winsome Choir will be singing.

36-week vigil

The Lismore event is the culmination of 36 weeks of action by a group of dedicated citizens who have been holding a vigil outside Page Nationals MP Kevin Hogan’s office in Molesworth St every Thursday from 4:30pm.

The messages on their signs spell out their concerns: ‘Close the Camps’, ‘Asylum Seeker Policies = Human Rights Abuse’, ‘Bring them Here’, ‘Human Rights for All’, ‘Stop the Cruelty’.

Organisers say a large percentage of drivers passing the vigil wave or express in other ways their support of the demonstrators.

They are calling for people to walk together on Saturday for a society that ‘upholds human rights and is guided by mutual respect between all groups of the community.’

Organisers of the Lismore rally – Amnesty International and Remembering and Healing – say, ‘it is high time to stop the brutalising of vulnerable people who have fled terrible conditions and are asking for our help.

‘The UN has warned the Australian government about the inhumane conditions at our detention centres. These conditions are in breech of the international agreements Australia has signed,’ the groups said in a statement.

‘It is shameful that our government readily points the finger at human rights abuses in other countries, but sets up and defends human rights abuses at home. This has to change!’

Mohammad Al-Khafaji, CEO of the group Welcome to Australia, says ‘right now, where there is fear mongering and division, it is more important than ever that we promote unity, respect and inclusion towards all in our community.’

‘We must work towards a community which rejects racism, and celebrates our inclusive multicultural nation.’

‘Walk Together is our opportunity to call out the best in Australians to come together and support refugees and new arrivals, and to stand with them, and say welcome.’

‘We have more in common than that which divides us.’

 

The Lismore Walk Together rally will take place at the Lismore Transit Centre in Magellan St from 10am, Saturday, October 22, followed by a march through the Lismore CBD.

 


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Here’s a couple of facts the dedicated citizens can have a chat about while they’re marching around the CBD on Saturday, pointing the finger at the heartless Liberal/National Government and making Australians feel bad about ourselves.
    In the last 12 months there have been 15,552 visas issued to refugees to come to Australia. The largest amount in 30 years. In the next 12 months it’s increasing to nearly 19,000. There are about 500 people now in detention and it was them who made the decision to try and jump the international queue by paying people smugglers, so they are in a situation of their own making.
    The CEO of “Welcome to Australia” intimates we are generally xenophobic, the “Organisers” reckon we brutalise vulnerable people.
    I’m not the only one who has had a gutful of being painted as a heartless sadist by the mob who hang about with their signs. It wasn’t me who opened the borders to all and sundry, it wasn’t me that facilitated the deaths of 1200 drowned at sea as a result and I certainly didn’t agree to this folly that has cost taxpaying Australians billions of dollars that could have been spent a lot better on hospitals, education and I have little doubt, the pensions of this sign wielding mob.

    • They are in a situation of their own making, are they Mark?
      For what terrible deed are they locked up for?
      If you have had a gutful of being painted as as a heartless sadist then change your ways.
      It is a situation of your own making.

  2. So it appears Len, you have no problem leaving genuine asylum seekers with no access to the cash to pay people smugglers, to rot in dangerous refugee camps for up to 20 years. And you reckon I’m a sadist?

  3. Len Heggarty, they are not locked up on Nauru. Any that are locked up anywhere are there because they have no visas. YOU try entering any country without a visa and see what happens!!

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