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UMSU welcomes you along to this year’s ‘Palm Sunday: Justice for Refugees Rally’. Annually, on Palm Sunday, people from a range of different groups throughout society gather together and participate in the Walk for Justice for Refugees to show support and solidarity to those who have been mistreated by our government, and demand change in our asylum seeker policy.

We’ll be joining these groups on the day, hosting the official student contingent from the University of Melbourne.

What’s happening?

Thousands of refugees and people seeking asylum have been, and continue to be held in cruel offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island. They continue to be subjected to inhumane conditions, inadequate medical care, physical and sexual abuse, as well as the psychological trauma resulting from their indefinite detainment.

These conditions have resulted in nine deaths in the last four years. Right now, 160 children are still held in Nauru and many families continue to be separated because of Australia’s asylum seeker policy. Last year, the Australian Government, in a shameful move, also rejected New Zealand’s offer to resettle and offer protection to 150 asylum seekers and only 242 people have been offered protection by America, as 1700 people remain in detention.

What can we do to help?

Join UMSU and your fellow students in demanding ‘Close the Camps, Bring them Here!’, ‘Education not Detention!’. We call on political leaders, both within the government, and in the Labor opposition, to abandon Australia’s current asylum seeker policy. We call on the government to undertake an approach that is humane and holds respect for the basic human dignity of people seeking asylum. Rather than spending millions on keeping asylum seekers in detention on Manus Island and Nauru, we urge the government to bring them here and let them stay.

The money spent on maintaining the cruelty of offshore detention could go towards funding our universities, currently under attack by the very-same Liberal party in government.

When we stand together and collectively call for change, we can push for action and improvements to the lives of refugees. If you want to be a part of this movement, join our student contingent to the Walk for Justice for Refugees. We’ll be meeting out the side of the State Library at the front of Mr Tulk’s Café at 1pm, before the protest at the front of State Library at 2pm.

Join the UMSU contingent on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/348269579012939/

Palm Sunday Protest event: https://www.facebook.com/events/142529579757550/

 

Desiree Cai
UMSU President