An energetic crowd took to the streets of Fremantle last weekend to show their support and welcome for asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.
The Refugee Fiesta, held on the Fremantle Esplanade on Sunday 15 June, was a family friendly affair with speakers, food, music and activities. Organised by the Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN), the Uniting Church in WA joined other organisations such as Amnesty International, Coalition for Refugees Asylum Seekers and Detainees (CARAD), Mercy Care, the Anglican Church Diocese of WA and Friends of Palestine as they showed their support.
Speakers included Senator Scott Ludlam, Greens MP; Marcus Roberts, refugee rights activist; Assadullah Khurrami, a member of the Perth Hazara community; Matt Bowden, co-convener of Labor for Refugees WA and Phil Glendenning, president of the Refugee Council of Australia.
Phil said that the people of Australia need to speak up for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
“If both our major political parties aren’t up to it , then we – the people – have to be,” he said. “When a nation says that it’s ok to incarcerate children as sending a message to someone else, we are effectively holding those children hostage.”
He continued saying that Australia’s unjust refugee policy is saying to refugees: “go die somewhere else.”
Following the speakers, those present walked through the streets of Fremantle, gaining attention from loads of people out and about in the busy ‘Cappucino Strip’.