Vigil in support of asylum seekers

Call to Vigil in support of Asylum Seekers
Place; King George Square, Brisbane(Adelaide St. end)
Time: 5 pm
Date: Friday 18 July.

Hello Friends and Comrades,

As you have been, I have become increasing appalled at the treatment of refugees, by the Australian government. They have ramped it up another notch recently with the announcement that they expect refuges who have not been granted refugee status to begin making arrangements for return to their country of origin before exhausting all avenues of appeal in this country. The threat is that they could be returned to custody and have whatever government funds are being provided withdrawn if they do not meet this requirement. To begin making such arrangements would probably necessitate contact with the embassy or other government agency of the very country they have fled. What a frightening prospect this would be. The ALP government has been followed by the Coalition government in demonising the most vulnerable of people.

And now the federal government has dispatched a number of Sri Lankan people back to the hands of the very government from whom they have escaped and from whom they are seeking refuge. At this moment approx. 150 other asylum seekers have ‘disappeared’ on the high seas, prisoners of the Australian navy and out there somewhere in the ocean. We know that the first group were subjected to a farcical screening process and only a High Court injunction is preventing the second group of be subjected to the same process. The Australian government, meanwhile, has supplied two ships to the Sri Lankan navy which in likelihood will be used to prevent people from escaping the continued tyranny of the Sri Lankan government upon the Tamil people. Our government has refused to join in the call for an international investigation into to the final weeks of the civil war when thousands of Tamil people were murdered by the Sri Lankan military.

What to do when we have a federal government that continues to treat asylum seeker as political pawns and what does it say about the Australian population when both sides obviously believe that there is political capital to be gained from the demonization and mistreatment of asylum seekers? And what does it say about a government that has been willing participants in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan that has caused many thousands to flee and keeps silent at this time whilst the Israeli government subjects the people of Gaza to a bombing campaign? There are many people across the country working very hard in support of asylum seekers. At this point in time I feel the need to step away from my day job and life in Redcliffe and bear witness against this continued evil under the guise of an asylum policy particularly at this time when a group of asylum seekers are being held captive by the Australian navy. So I will be vigiling from 4.00pm-5.30pm this Thursday(17 July) at the Adelaide St. end of King George Square in Brisbane and invite anyone to join me. A small thing in the grand scheme of things but I believe that at a time like this when I am filled with an anger towards an evil in our midst but feel unable to directly confront it, to vigil and be in that space for a while whereby we witness to the truth is very important. Please RSVP, bring a placard if you can and let’s talk about what more we can do here in Brisbane,


Sean O’Reilly





Please comment down below