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28th July 2013

Yesterday approximately 5000 people rallied in Melbourne for the rights of refugees. The rally, organised by Refugee Action Collective, Victoria, was in response to Prime Minister Rudd's new policy that will send those that arrive by boat to Papua New Guinea.

The day started with a performance by musician Les Thomas.
Which side are you on?
Free Ranjini
Song for Selva

After an acknowledgement of elders the first speaker was Sharon Firebrace who is an Indigenous media activist.

Mangi Kotas Buin spoke about Rudd's policy from the perspective of a citizen of Papua New Guinea.

Adam Bandt Federal Member for Melbourne representing The Greens gave a very inspiring speech.

Pamela Curr from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre spoke about the effect that these policies are having on the community.

Ali Bakhtiavandi spoke about the policy from his point of view as a former refugee.

Next was Liz Walsh from the Refugee Action Collective.

The rally marched down to the central shopping district where Margarita Windisch from the Socialist Alliance spoke. At this stage an anonymous commuter staged a 1 person counter-protest to highlight the plight of herself in being held up for 10 minutes by the 5000 other people who were protesting the Australian government's appalling treatment of refugees.

Melbourne hip hop artist Pataphysics performed his track Asylum is a Crime which you can buy on Band Camp. Money raised goes towards RISE, refugee survivors & ex-detainees.

The rally moved onto Federation Square where Leslie Cannold spoke on behalf of the Wikileaks Party.

The day ended with Abe Ape and his powerful spoken word piece We Want Justice.


15th October 2011

A rally in support of refugee rights and commemorating the Siev X tragedy was held in Brisbane Square. The speakers were, in order:

Tim (chairperson)
Andrew Bartlett (Greens) who reminds us not to lose our humanity.
Tariq (Iraqi Refugee)
Julian Burnside (Human Rights Lawyer)



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