Perth & Fremantle
1:00pm Saturday 17 July
Outside Wesley Uniting Church
Cnr Hay & William Streets
Perth WA 6000Australia
19 July this year marks the eighth anniversary of the announcement by then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, that “any asylum-seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will...have no prospect of being resettled in Australia...and will never permanently live in Australia".
Since then, successive governments have maintained this arbitrary and punitive policy, forcing hundreds of people into a traumatic and prolonged state of limbo. 12 people have died while held hostage by the Australian government offshore on Manus Island and Nauru. Many survivors of this regime, some of whom have been resettled in a third country and others who remain in limbo in Australia, continue to face significant challenges to their physical and mental health. Countless reports, testimonies, artwork and literary works have documented the human rights violations and abuse this policy has engendered.
Some 33 Medevac refugees are still being held in the Park hotel-prison in Melbourne while dozens more who were transferred here from Manus and Nauru are imprisoned elsewhere in Australia, including in Perth.
239 refugees and people seeking asylum remain in Australia’s offshore detention system - 109 people on Nauru and 130 people in Papua New Guinea.
We call for the Perth community to gather in solidarity with all asylum-seekers and refugees who have suffered as a result of policies and practices, including the 19 July policy, which have been carried out by and on behalf of Australian governments. This year will also mark two decades since the Tampa was denied entry to Australian waters, the SIEV X sunk and the lie of the ‘Children Overboard’ scandal.
We will gather to remember all refugees whose deaths occurred in connection to Australia’s detention regime and border policies and to offer condolences to those who are still grieving; to acknowledge the separations from and impact on families; and to continue to call on the government to free all refugees and provide permanent safe haven in Australia.
We acknowledge that this protest will take place on the unceded land of the Whadjuk Noongar people. Always was, always will be.