Protesters chanted “Nine years too long, free the refugees” while marching through the streets of Brisbane on July 23.
The rally marked the ninth anniversary of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd re-establishing the infamous “Pacific Solution”. Rudd declared on July 19, 2013, that no refugee arriving by boat could ever settle in Australia.
Refugee Waise Ahmad and Simone Cameron from the Home to Bilo campaign spoke at the rally.
Jessica Walker from Teachers for Refugees recounted the injustices perpetrated by the Australian government and immigration authorities against former secondary student refugee Mojgan. She also informed the rally about recent good news for Mojgan, including securing regular work despite restrictive visa conditions and that she is expecting her first baby.
Mark Gillespie of the Refugee Action Collective told the rally that grassroots mobilisation was the key to winning refugee rights.