Australia rallies for refugees

In March, IEU members joined a strong contingent of teachers to make up a diverse 4000 strong crowd in Sydney and 50,000 across Australia, at the Palm Sunday Welcome Refugees Rally.

Teachers, health professionals, church and union leaders spoke out strongly condemning the detention of asylum seekers in centres on Nauru and Manus Island. They called for justice and the Federal Government to release refugees and welcome them into the Australian community, further that those asylum seekers who were currently in Australia for medical treatment not be returned to Nauru.

A Sydney paediatrician told the rally he was sent to Nauru to treat sick children in detention in 2014, and found conditions there appalling.

“I was horrified by what I witnessed there. This is not a question of human rights, it’s a question of human decency.”

Church leaders from various faiths also addressed the rally, reiterating their offer of sanctuary to asylum seekers at risk of being deported.