Today I was part of the World Refugee Day rally in Sydney. It was a smalelr turn-out than many of the rallies in recent times (and I don’t mean in comparison to the 250,000 at the anti-war rally in feb – the ones around that one), which was a little disappointing, but the speakers were excellent.
Bob Brown, Carmen Lawrence and Thomas Kenneally spoke (Kerry Nettle from the Greens was also there), along with two refugees who have managed to gain their freedom from detention and are now under Temporary Protection Visas. Seemed a lot like preaching to the converted, but that’s kinda what rallies are about to some extent.
Of course the recent Family Court ruling was the topic of the day, but all speakers made further points about the Howard government’s policies in this area, and Labor’s general lack of committment to alternative solutions.
It was an absolutely beautiful day, and one couldn’t help but think of the refugees still in detention in Villawood, Baxter and Port Headland. We can only keep applying pressure for change, and to get the message out that refugees are human, have families and kids, and are entitled to the same rights as the rest of Australia.
If only I had a digital camera so that I could post some pictures…