Free the refugees!



The events at Woomera during the Easter weekend have inspired refugees' rights protests across Australia. In Brisbane 40 protesters gathered on the morning of March 30 outside the immigration department offices. The glass doors of the building had been painted overnight with the slogans "Free the refugees" and "Woomera-M1". The demonstration marched along Adelaide Street, chanting "Tear down the fences, free the refugees".

In Canberra, 50 students gathered at the Australian National University on April 4 to hear protesters' accounts of the events at Woomera. The report back was organised by the ANU Refugee Action Collective. ANU RAC activist Cathy Lewis fought back tears as she spoke of coming face to face with detainees pleading for freedom.

In Darwin, the Refugee Action Network brought the campaign to end mandatory detention to the Parap markets on April 6, when 40 people gathered to hear Bill Medley from Relationships Australia, Mick Fox from St Vincent De Paul and Ruth Ratcliffe from the Socialist Alliance talk about the campaign to free the refugees.

From Green Left Weekly, April 10, 2002.

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