The fence outside Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek's office in Ultimo was adorned with cardboard cut-outs of children trapped behind bars on August 15. Some had messages urging Australia to bring refugees from Manus and Nauru to Australia.
The action was one of more than 40 across the country. They were organised as a response to the bipartisan cruelty towards refugees exposed in the Nauru files released by the Guardian the previous week.
The protests were initiated by Love Makes A Way and organised by local refugee rights groups, including ChilOut, Mums4Refugees, Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children and People Just Like Us.
Plibersek was not in her office. A sign said it was closed for “urgent renovations”. That was soon changed to read: “This office is closed due to urgent Nauru Protest.”
A sign affixed to the fence read: “Australia where is our humanity?” Another included a person with their heart cut out.
Stories from Nauru were written on some of the other signs: “I cannot sleep … I cannot shower … I cannot eat … I feel unsafe. I have been assaulted. I have had death threats. 24-3-2014.”