Labor's deputy leader Tanya Plibersek's office fence on Broadway in Ultimo was adorned with cardboard cut-outs of children trapped behind bars on August 15, with some holding messages urging that the refugees be bought to Australia.
The Sydney-based action was part of more than 40 nation-wide that were initiated by Love Makes A Way and organised by local groups, including the Uniting Church.
The protests at bipartisan cruelty towards refugees were a response to the Nauru files — released by the Guardian last week — which exposed how the government's detention policy allows for children to be assaulted, women to be sexually abused and guards to laugh off a man's suicide attempt.
The morning protests outside MPs' offices demanded that refugees and asylum seekers in offshore detention be immediately brought to Australia.
Plibersek was not in her office: a sign said it was closed for “urgent renovations”. That was soon got changed to read: “This office is closed due to urgent Nauru Protest.”
One of the signs affixed to the fence read: “Australia where is our humanity?” Another was a person with their heart cut out.
Stories from Nauru were written on some of the other cut outs: “I cannot sleep… I cannot shower… I cannot eat … I feel unsafe. I have being assaulted. I have had death threats. 24-3-2014.”
The protest began with a young person on their way to school acknowledging county followed by a message from an asylum seeker, a quote from Martin Luther King and a couple of poems. A couple of mothers with their babies affixed their cut-outs on to the fence. A few stayed for a prayer.
The protest action drew attention from passers-by, with some joining in. The refugee rights rally on August 27 is the next major protest which is taking place in four cities.