I went to this yesterday in Sydney. The Australian government (and dog-whistling Opposition) will not get away with demonising refugees in the pursuit of power:
Onlookers stared and tourists took photographs as protesters formed a giant ring representing a lifebuoy on Bondi Beach yesterday to send a political message about the treatment of asylum seekers.
The protest, which attracted about 300 people wearing the lifesaver colours of red and yellow and was repeated in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, was organised by Amnesty International Australia.
Amnesty national director Claire Mallinson said the organisation was renewing its focus on refugees because of several backward steps taken by the Rudd government.
“Recent policy changes by the government, including the processing suspension on applications from Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum seekers, the reopening of Curtin detention centre and the opposition’s proposed policies of turning back boats and reintroducing temporary protection visas, all undermine the human rights of people seeking protection from violence and persecution,” Ms Mallinson said.
Representatives from refugee communities, GetUp!, the Refugee Council and church bodies also took part.