Refugee Rights Action Network organised a May 6 vigil to say: No More dying for freedom.
"You don't save lives at sea by killing people on land" was the message of one of the banners painted specifically for the event.
Speakers included: Rosemary Hudson-Miller from the Uniting Church; Peter Wilkie from Refugee Rights Action Network; and Sam Wainwright from Fremantle RRAN.
Phil Chilton from Unionists for Refugees chaired the event and described the government's policy towards refugees as a human rights abuse. He also called on every union member present to email their union secretary to ask them about their union's response to this issue.
Sam Wainwright spoke about the forced return of Sri Lankan asylum seekers to a country known for its extreme human rights abuses after five minute "interviews". Australia's anti-refugee policies now mean that its endorsement of the Refugee Convention has become meaningless, he said.