URGENT – People’s Assembly at Parliament house – CANBERRA

Calling all refugee supporters to join the

People’s Assembly in Canberra at the Opening of Parliament on Tuesday 28 September 2010

Dear Refugee Supporter

The election is over and the real work of government is about to begin. This is an exciting time for a fresh start for our Federal government – a new way of doing things.

We are asking for you to join with us at a Peoples Assembly in Canberra at the opening of Parliament on Tuesday 28 September (2010).

We will assemble on the lawns outside Parliament House to call on the new Parliament to introduce humane refugee policies and stop using refugees as political footballs. Refugee groups are asked to bring banners with the key messages of the gathering as well as their own messages.

Was your voice heeded on asylum seekers during this election?
Many of us are worried about the way in which successive governments have treated asylum seekers and refugees.  We are tired of seeing asylum seekers used as political footballs where each side of politics scores points by proposing increasingly harsher policies.

We believe that it is time to tell our parliamentarians- ENOUGH  IS ENOUGH!
With the entry of the Greens and Independents as significant players in Government, there is a chance to end this endless round of punitive policymaking and to achieve humane policies for refugees. We want to encourage these new players to demand better standards from the parliament on human rights.

We want to call a halt to this race to the bottom on human rights.
The reason we are coming together on the lawns of Parliament House on this day is to say that we, the people, want to be heard- we care about how vulnerable people are treated and we want our politicians to stop using asylum seekers as political footballs.

At a recent Refugee Advocacy Network meeting in Melbourne it was decided to ask all the refugee and asylum seeker networks, agencies and community groups to support and participate in this Peoples Assembly in Canberra.

Groups in each city will need to organise their own transport. We hope to send a bus from Melbourne, and are also assuming that many people will travel independently.   The logistics for the event are yet to be organized in detail.

We are seeking your support for this event. Please rely to Marie Hapke at trconcepts@netspace.net.au with PEOPLES ASSEMBLY in the title of your email indicating the likely number of people who may attend from your group/organisation.
If your group or you as an individual would like to endorse this proposal please email Marie Hapke at trconcepts@netspace.net.au with PEOPLES ASSEMBLY in the title of your email and details of your organisation and a contact number.

For further information contact Marie on 0409 252 673 or Pamela Curr on 0417 517 075 or
Sue Bolton on 0413 377 978


Signed by (organizations for identification purposes only):
Pamela Curr – Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Brigid Arthur – Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project
Marie Hapke – Refugee Action Collective
Sue Longmore & Cathie Bond– Queenscliff RAR
Anne Monk – Geelong Refugee Action and Information Network (GRAIN)
Denise Cauchi – Humanitarian Crisis Hub
Giancarlo Di Stefano – Australian Nursing Federation
Sue Bolton – Socialist Alliance (Vic)

On behalf of the Refugee Advocacy Network

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