March 2015 – Palm Sunday Rally for Refugees

 

Garema Place in Canberra was packed today with a representation of an Australia I am proud of. All kinds of social groups, welfare organisations, student groups, school groups and fiath based groups gathered to campaign for more compassionate treatment of refugees by Australia. Together they pointed out that the policies of both Liberal and Labor parties mean that a vote for either is a vote to continue treatment of refugees that is illegal, inhuman and that brings our country profound shame on the international stage.

Hearing this from Jon Stanhope made me reflect,that we would surely listen with incredulity to anyone who said that they supported the Nazi regime, knowing about the holocaust because, though they didn’t support that particuar policy they considered that the Nazi’s other policies were good for the economy. It makes me wonder where in our order of priorities do we place fundamental issues of humanity when we cast our vote? I also reflect that these current extreme policies must be offending the consciences of public servants and naval personnel who are being forced to undertake them. Can or should we encourage and support civil disobedience in the name of humanity? Or are we more optimistic that new leadership of the major parties will produce real policy change?

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