Canberra Garema Place, 2nd April 2023
For many years, people across Australia have rallied in support of refugees on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter. But why Palm Sunday? Isn’t this a day of Christian observance? Yes, it is. But it also has a long tradition as a day to protest for peace, and its changing focus has reflected the major threats to peace at the time. In the early 1980s, Palm Sundays were marked with national rallies for nuclear disarmament and, since 2014, it has been to call for justice for refugees.
This Palm Sunday will be no different. The need to campaign for justice for refugees has not diminished. The Labor government has not ended the cruel policies towards people seeking safety in Australia. There is much to do to achieve permanent visas for the thousands still in limbo after 10 long years, to secure freedom for those still held offshore on Nauru and PNG, and to finally end the cruelty of mandatory indefinite detention.
Be part of this, come to the rally, 1pm, Garema Place, 2nd April.
Palm Sunday rally – Meet Our Speakers
| Senator David Pocock |
David Pocock is a strong supporter of refugees and continues to advocate for an end to Australia’s cruel refugee policies, most recently supporting the bill to evacuate the remaining 150 people still held offshore on Nauru and PNG, saying:
“For more than 20 years the plight of asylum seekers and refugees trying to reach Australia has been politicised. Successive governments have been in what seems to be a race to the bottom, campaigning on fear, division and cruelty.”
| Zahra Hashemi Barat |
Fleeing persecution in Iran, Zahra and her family hoped to find safety in Australia. Instead they were imprisoned for 5 years on Nauru before being evacuated to Australia for her young daughters to receive critical medical care. Five years on, Zahra still has no certainty of her, or her childrens’ future. The government insists that this family will never be able to call Australia home.
Read more about Zahra’s story, and those in a similar situation, in this piece by John Minns, published in City News this week.
| Reverend Dr Katherine Rainger |
Katherine Rainger, Senior Chaplain, Radford College, works with students on projects that serve the common good, including seeking compassion and fairness for refugees:
“The Palm Sunday rally for refugees is a chance for us to come together, to hear the stories of refugees and asylum seekers, and to be inspired to continue in the action that we need to take together for justice…”
Singing at the Rally
| David Rovics |
US singer/songwriter, David Rovics, will take time from his Australian tour to sing at the Palm Sunday rally. David is passionate about human rights, social justice and fighting for the survival of our planet.
Zaki Haidari – Refugee Rights Campaigner, Amnesty International
Lachlan Clohesy – ACT Branch, National Tertiary Education Union
Union Members – ACT Branch, Australian Education Union
If you can be involved in any of these activities, or simply want to find out more, please contact RAC at email@example.com or just flick us a reply. Your help is critical in building the 2023 Palm Sunday rally to be as large as we can make it!