Eight Years of Harm

By Moderator Bronte Wilson

Posted in News

In August 2012, the Australian government decided to incarcerate in off-shore detention anyone coming to Australia by boat seeking asylum. On July 19th, 2013, the government declared that none of these asylum seekers would ever be re-settled in Australia, regardless of their refugee status.

That was eight years ago.

Eight long and destructive years will soon have passed, since the 19th July 2013, when Kevin Rudd announced that all asylum seekers coming by boat would be sent off-shore, and never be settled in Australia. Over 3,500 were subsequently taken off-shore by force. Many of these people continue to this day to be detained, without charge, indefinitely and quite possibly to the end of their earthly life. For thirteen that has been the case, with death in detention by medical neglect, suicide, and murder.

The Australian Parliament has recently changed our laws to allow indefinite detention, without any charge, to continue. It is a law that does not apply to ‘us,’ but to ‘them’.

In the eight years that have passed, a little less than a thousand people have returned to their home country and about the same number have been re-settled in the USA and other countries.

There are still 1,428 people in detention. It is time for this to end.

On Sunday July 18th, 2021, you are invited to walk in solidarity with other Uniting Church members, other Christians, and other people of goodwill as we call on our government to end 8 Years of Harm.

Our government must do more and with more urgency to re-settle people who have been in off and on-shore detention for far too long.

Please join our church family at 2:00pm on the 18th July at Tarntanyangga/Victoria Square for a walk to the Vietnamese Boat People Monument at the Torrens Parade Ground. At the completion of the walk we will hear from various speakers, including the voices of those that have been detained.

We will call for an end to indefinite detention, and for all those who were taken off-shore and are still being ‘processed,’ to be given the freedom to settle in Australia or New Zealand.

If you are unable to join us in this witness, please consider supporting the Time for a Home Campaign: https://www.timeforahome.com.au


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