SINGING IN THE FOYER OF PARLIAMENT HOUSE
In her own words…
We went, 300 of us, on the Freedom Ride and Day of Action in Canberra March 15th 16th and 17th.
We told our elected representatives that we would NOT stand by and allow the detention of babies,
children, and their families.
WE said loudly and clearly that we would NOT stand by and watch 267 asylum-seekers in Australia be returned
How did we do it?
We came from Melbourne and Sydney, regional NSW and Victoria, from Tasmania and the Northern Territory
Buses and cars travelled up the Hume Highway from Federation Square in Melbourne, linking at Violet Town with participants from Bendigo and Ballarat – on to Wangaratta and a walk to independent Cathy McGowan’s office to encourage her support for the refugees. With cars festooned with purple, we continued through Gundagai to meet up in Canberra with our colleagues from Sydney, regional NSW, the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
DAY OF ACTION in Canberra on Wednesday 16th March began with a cavalcade of cars and buses driving to Parliament House grounds at 8.30am to a stirring rally. Surrounded by 1000 children-shaped cut outs, and at many meetings with parliamentarians throughout the day, grandmothers put their case clearly and vehemently for justice and compassion. Speakers at the rally, Dr Gwenda Davey and Dr Anne Mijch from Grandmothers , Sarah Hanson Young from the Greens Melissa Parke from the Australian Labor Party and independent Andrew Wilkie all joined with us in the call to: Free the Children from Detention.
And at the end of the day our voices were heard loudly in the foyer of Parliament House
singing: We Shall Overcome – We shall Free the Children. When we did that, we knew
Grandmothers are brave, and we sang and danced some more right outside Parliament House.
Grandmothers Against the Detention of Refugee Children -- 600 of them -- talked and walked and sang to free the children in Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday 28th February 2015. They shouted their agreement as Dr Gwenda Davey vowed, “We will not be silent!” The city streets rang to the call, “FREE THE CHILDREN!”
The report of the Australian Human Rights Commission -- The Forgotten Children -- called for the release of all asylum seeker children from detention. NOW.
Grandmothers and Friends of Grandmothers raised their voices to salute Dr Gillian Triggs for her courage in making this call.
They cheered as Tracy Harvey sang and launched the new song “Billy Lids” written to
support the Grandmothers’ campaign to FREE THE CHILDREN.
Click here for the link to "Billy Lids"