FANTASTIC FREEDOM RIDE TO CANBERRA MARCH 15, 16 2016
Fran Kelly Interview:https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pg0J7OlmJG?play=true
Adam Bandt – Singing at the Rally:https://www.facebook.com/Adam.Bandt.MP/videos/1011089018926331/
Article about Grandmothers in Canberra, SBS.http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/03/16/grannies-protest-kids-detention
As you will have seen, there was a lot of coverage on the ABC, SBS, The AGE and AAP.
The Age photo gallery: "grandmothers purple with rage at the detention of refugee children"http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/gaggle-of-grandmas-flock-to-world-refugee-day-rally-20150621-ghtqxc.html
Yahoo 7 News:https://au.news.yahoo.com/vic/a/28512037/hundreds-turn-out-for-world-refugee-day/
For those who may have missed TV news coverage on SBS, you can see it at:
SBS.com.au: scroll in to 2:35http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/468937283586/Refugee-day
Australian grandmothers have united to express their fury against the detention by the Federal Government of vulnerable children in archaic and harmful conditions.
Compelled to cry out for justice, more than 500 grandmothers and hundreds of supporters issued a passionate call on the government to free all the nearly 1000 refugee and asylum seeker children being held in detention – immediately and with their families.
‘Every unaccompanied child under 18 years; every child with their family – every child in detention must be freed,’ said spokeswoman for Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children Dr GwendaDavey at the group’s launch today.
Speaking from the steps of Melbourne’s St Paul’s Cathedral, an emotional Dr Davey said ‘What if it was our grandchildren in these hopeless, unhealthy places? Our hearts would break’.
‘Children are sick, crying and depressed, because they have no hope. So are their parents; many mothers have attempted suicide. Children are being held for an unconscionably long time; even in Australia the average time for a child in detention in March this year was 231 days.
Children were being confined in appalling conditions within Australia, and even more disgraceful circumstances in detention camps in Christmas Island and Nauru, Dr Davey said.
‘We are shamed by what is being done by Australia in our name,’ she said. ‘We want a complete rethink of asylum-seeker and refugee policy in Australia, but above all, we want to free the children’.
‘Children in detention are being robbed of their names and identities to become mere numbers; their human rights of security, safety, education and health are being stolen. Children are being robbed of hope’.
Grandmothers, wearing 1000 paper dolls symbolising all children in detention cut hundreds of paper chains to represent the cutting of razor wire which separates young asylum seekers from hope and a future.
MC Denise Scott warned the Federal government that “no one can deny angry grandmothers”. Renowned folk and blues singer Margret Roadknight entertained the 1000 strong crowd, which spilled from the St Pauls steps across the footpath and into Flinders Street with a new song, “hold on: hold on you are not forgotten, hold on we hear your call.”
Refugee advocate Pamela Curr told the crowd: “This is no way to treat women and children, we have to stand up and be counted. Mothers and grandmothers care, we will show the way.”
At the close of the launch, hundreds of grandmothers chanted, “free the children, free the children” before spontaneously breaking into a chorus of “We Shall Overcome”.
Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children will take their campaign into the community to friends, neighbours and every federal politician in Victoria. They will not rest until the children are freed.