We oppose the expansion/reopening of the Christmas Island detention centre.
We call for all refugees and asylum seekers to be released into our community.
Join this peaceful march through the Brisbane CBD in peak-hour, on Tuesday morning.
When: Tuesday, 18 August 2020 from 7:45 - 8:45 am AEST
Where: Speaker's Corner, George Street, Brisbane, QLD, Australia 4000
We will gather outside Queensland Parliament House from 7:45am, then march to 299 Adelaide Street.
Why: The federal government has started sending more migrants and refugees to the Christmas Island detention centre. A Tamil family from Biloela are currently being held indefinitely on Christmas Island in violation of international human rights law.
This is a short, peaceful event, gathering in front of Queensland Parliament House, marching down George St and Adelaide St and ending outside the Immigration Department at 299 Adelaide St. We'll finish up by 8:45am at the latest.
We have lodged a notice of intention for this assembly with Brisbane City Council and the Police Commissioner according to the Peaceful Assembly Act 1992, so participants will be able to lawfully march down the roadway without being arrested or fined. In accordance with that notice, we will aim to clear the Adelaide St roadway by 8:45am.
This event will be conducted in accordance with all necessary COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Participants are encouraged to wear face masks, maintain safe distances from each other, avoid unnecessary physical contact and to stay home if you're sick or might have been exposed to someone from a COVID-19 hotspot.
Please also BYO banners/signs, and of course, all your friends.
Thousands of local residents are ready and willing to take refugees into our homes and support them to settle here long-term.
We know it's not safe for these people to return to their countries of origin (if it was, the Australian government probably would have forcibly deported them years ago). Holding people seeking asylum without a release date is a violation of basic human rights under any circumstances.
Sending vulnerable people who have escaped war zones and political persecution to an offshore detention centre (where they will be out of sight and out of mind) is clearly unacceptable.
Advocates fought hard for years to close down the Christmas Island detention centre. It's outrageous that the government is using the excuse of COVID-19 to start sending people there again (at a tremendous cost to taxpayers).
Considering the suffering that is likely, and the scale of these human rights abuses, we need to block peak-hour traffic on a regular basis in order to force a political response.
To those who ask why blocking roads is acceptable, we have already exhausted all other methods.
Yes, we are also protesting outside the offices of key political decision-makers like Peter Dutton. But this isn't just about the politicians. Regardless of your profession or where you live or who you vote for, every single member of our society has a responsibility to stand up against human rights abuses that our government is committing in our names.
If you don't think protesting works to shift government policy on an issue like this, we challenge you to find another method that does.
Although this protest will be lawfully allowed to occupy the roadway, we have hidden the list of attendees to reduce the risk of police persecuting participants and organisers.
Jonathan Sri, Councillor for the Gabba
Refugee Action Collective - Queensland