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World Refugee Week Rally in Wollongong
23 June 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to inform the public about the situation of refugees in Australia and around the world. This year in Wollongong the Refugee Action Collective Illawarra is organised a rally to drawn attention to the racist anti-refugee policies being pursued by both the major parties in parliament.
We will be starting at Crown Street Mall, marching on the road down Crown Street and ending at a park next to the WIN Entertainment Centre.
We need to keep up the pressure around the issue of asylum seekers, we cannot allow it to fade into the political background. The situation for refugees, both in Australia and those trying to get to our country, is one of continuing horror and barbarism.
Over 1000 refugees are still on Nauru or Manus Island, so far only a couple of hundred have been accepted as a part of the US resettlement deal. Many have had there applications rejected due to unclear and secretive “security reasons.” Operation Sovereign Border has stopped 31 vessels, carrying 771 refugees, from reaching Australia.
On the mainland there are still 1,815 refugees waiting for the granting of a further Bridging Visa E. This means that these people do not currently have lawful permission to stay in the community, and do not have current rights to work, study or access Medicare. There are a further 29,166 refugees on a Bridging Visa E. Of those, 6,790 do not have the right to work lawfully in the community.
There are signs that at this years Australian Labor Party conference there will be some debate around the issue of refugees, this makes it even more important to hit the streets and send a strong message to our local ALP politicians: Sharon Bird and Stephen King in particular, that if elected the ALP government must shut down the anti-refugee border regime that resulted in so much horror.
The rally will be stopping outside of Sharon Bird’s office to make clear the support that refugees have in the Wollongong community.
In that spirit we are demanding:
– Bring the refugees to the mainland
– Let the refugees stay in Australia
– End the boat turn-backs and shut down Operation Sovereign Borders
1pm Saturday 23rd June
Crown Street Mall, Wollongong