If you’re in Australia, you’ll have seen the recent rise in the hatred directed towards refugees by the government, opposition MPs, and various media people. It’s quite incredible watching what is said, and it never fails to amaze me that there can be such hatred directed towards people who are simply trying to get out of a horrific situation. Why stop people, and why hate people, who are prepared to go through so much to gain some freedom? This is even more so when we consider that people arriving on boat make up only 4% of people who arrive in Australia and seek asylum.
And when we consider that maybe if countries were prepared to let in refugees in boats then many of us would have lots more family. But it’s not the personal loss that makes me angry. It’s the way in which it reinforces that people would rather protect what they have than share it with others. And this leads me to further confirm that nationalisms which depend for their identities on creating and reinforcing differences between people, bring no good. And why a model of a world built on a diaspora which is truly compassionate, which embraces living with difference, appeals to me.
If you’re in Melbourne, from 5.30 to 6.30pm tomorrow night there is a vigil in Fed Square:
Tampa, SIEV X … Never again
Vigil to Welcome Refugees
Demand a fair deal for asylum seekers
Process the asylum seekers’ claims and offer them safety in Australia
Monday 26 October
Bring your own messages of support for the refugees, placards and banners etc.
Organised by Refugee Action Collective. Supported by the Tamil Community.
For information: phone Marie 0409 252673 or Sue 0413-377-978