#EvacuateNow, Four years too many - Geelong Vigil
On July 19, it will be four years since the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, announced that people arriving by boat to seek safety would be held in the detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru, and never allowed to settle in Australia.
It has been four years in which people seeking help from Australia have been held against their will; have been subjected to terrible mental and physical stress; and, in some cases, have lost their lives – either through assault by guards or medical neglect.
Even though the Manus Island and Nauru centres have been condemned by the UNHCR, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Australian Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International, there continues to be bipartisan support for this injustice.
This is an anniversary of international shame for Australia.
A series of stations will be set up around the Wesley Church Hall where you can:
Hear the words of the people who are unjustly held captive
View the works of arbitrarily detained artists
See photos depicting the reality of the conditions of offshore detention
Light a vigil candle
Write a message of compassion
Write postcards to send to politicians
Bring some flowers to add to a wreath to be symbolically sent out to sea
Join us to mourn those who have died, stand with those who are still being abused, and demand that everyone be brought to safety.
Hosted by Combined Refugee Action Group