The Refugee Action Collective (Victoria)organised a rally and march reiterating demands for an end to mandatory detention and offshore processing. This came in the wake of two events: the High Court decision ruling the government’s intended Malaysia deal illegal, and the drowning deaths of asylum seekers off the coast of Java a few days previously.
A few days after the Malaysian Bar Association issued a statement opposing the recently-announced refugee swap between the Malaysian and Australian governments (“Asylum seekers and refugees are not commodities to be traded” – full text given below), the Refugee Action Collective in Melbourne called a protest at the GPO in Bourke Street, followed by a march down to the steps of Flinders Street Station.
Several hundred people took part in a rally and march organised by the Refugee Advocacy Network (http://refugeeadvocacynetwork.org)to demand an end to the policy of mandatory detention of asylum seekers arriving by boat.
NZ Green Party MP Keith Locke was one of those who addressed a 500-600 strong gathering outside the Melbourne Town Hall last night at the end of a rally called by the Refugee Action Collective under the banner "Stand Up For Refugees".