Protest against refugee policy

11 October 2015

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On Sunday, around 2,000 people protested against Australia’s current refugee policy.

The protesters walked from the Victorian State Library, via Swanston Street, Bourke Street and Lonsdale Street in the CBD.

Greens senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, was in attendance, and spoke about the harmful effects of mandatory detention and offshore processing.

 

2PRotest Against Mandatory Detention

Protesters gathered at the Victorian State Library to protest against mandatory detention and offshore processing of refugees.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Melbourne media in attendance at the rally.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Hanson-Young speaking out against the government’s handling of refugees.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Members of the public show support for refugees and asylum seekers.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Flinders Street activist, Jafri Katagar, also in attendance with his ‘Stop Racism Now’ placard.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Socialist Alliance member hands out leaflets about current refugee policy.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Two young girls attend the rally with their mother in support of refugees and asylum seekers.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Emotions run high as Hanson-Young speaks about treatment of refugees.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Australians respond to the increased intake of Syrian refugees with the slogan: ‘There’s room at my house’.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Even the pets of Melbourne were dressed appropriately.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

There were reports over the weekend that doctors from Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital are refusing to send refugee children back to detention centres.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

One of the rally’s main focuses was the harmful effects detention centres have on refugees, including suicide attempts, hair loss, and severe depression.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Numerous causes were represented at the rally, with a group from the Australian Free West Papua showing solidarity with Refugee Action Collective.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Placard reads: ‘We will not stand by and watch asylum seekers being treated with such cruelty and contempt.’

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Indigenous activists marched in solidarity with Refugee Action Collective.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

City streets were taken over by up to 2,000 protesters.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

“Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here,” was chanted by protesters as they walked through the Bourke Street Mall.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Protesters stopped at the corner of Bourke Street and Elizabeth Street as police cleared traffic and stopped trams.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Father and daughter duo participate in the march, along with many other families, holding up the letters for ‘HOPE’.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Left wing political group, Socialist Alliance, had a strong presence throughout the rally. Woman bangs on placard while chanting “free, free the refugees”.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Participants react to the increasing volume of the chanting.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

Protesters hold up banners as they walk through city streets.

 

Protest Against Mandatory detention

‘I welcome refugees’ was a common sentiment in the crowd. Participants ranged from the young to the elderly, from professionals to activists.

 

Tiyana MatliovskiTiyana Matliovski is a third-year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University and a staff writer at upstart magazine. You can follow her on Twitter: @tiyana_m88.