Refugee activists gathered at the State Library on June 20 to mark World Refugee Day and continue the campaign for permanent protection for refugees and to end the country’s racist and cruel migration policies.
Hosted by the Refugee Action Collective Victoria, the rally urged the new Labor government to provide security and protection to thousands of refugees still in indefinite detention.
Speakers included representatives from the Tamil Refugee Council, Refugee Action Collective Sydney and the Greens. A statement from Hazara artist and refugee Naser Moradi was also read out.
Despite the Murugappan family’s welcome return to Biloela, hailed as a refugee movement driven success, speakers called for a change in refugee policy altogether. The Murugappan family and other Tamil refugees remain at risk of deportation to danger and persecution in Sri Lanka while they only have temporary protection.
Speakers also drew attention to the cruelty of keeping 501 visa holders, some of whom are First Nations people, locked up and at risk of deportation to New Zealand.
Asylum seekers stuck in limbo in Indonesia were also a focus, with calls to hold the Labor government to account and end the “dehumanising and punitive” migration policies.
[The Refugee Action Collective Victoria is organising a forum The refugees who Labor is leaving behind on July 11.]