IEU members, officers, families and friends joined a crowd of three thousand people from school groups, refugee support groups, other trade unions, church groups, community groups, many faith groups, Unions for Refugees, Mums for Refugees, Grandmothers for Refugees, Amnesty, religious orders and others to rally in support of refugees in glorious sunshine (after weeks of rain) for the annual Palm Sunday rally at Hyde Park.
Despite the sunshine and colourful people there was a dark side to the rally. This was expressed repeatedly by the invited speakers. Tears were shed for the lives lost in Australian detention centres, for the alienation of citizens who were refugees who have worked hard and contributed to Australia, for the medical and psychological effects on refugees with an unknown future and for the affect detention has on children. Those at the rally marched and assembled to send a strong message to Australia’s political leaders that we welcome refugees, as a country we can do better and as individuals we will all play our part for a better Australia. We rallied to support the values of justice, peace, unity and harmony.
The themes of the 2017 Palm Sunday rally for refugees was ‘We can do better! Bring them here’!