Crowds Rally To Support Refugees

11/10/2015 7:25 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST
Refugee Action Coalition

Thousands of protesters have met at rallies around the country to stand for the rights of refugees and the abolition of mandatory detention.

At Sydney's Town Hall, over a thousand protesters from the community, unions and advocacy groups met and marched to Belmont Park, while crowds also gathered in Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

The events fell on the same day Melbourne doctors are in the spotlight for refusing to discharge children back into detention.

Refugee Action Coalition Sydney spokesperson Ian Rintoul was one of the representatives who voiced his concerns in an address to the Sydney crowd:

“This is just the tip of the iceberg of an absolute horror show that’s going on in Nauru,” Rintoul said.

“Refugees are welcome here. Let them land. Let them stay,” he chanted with the crowd.

Mr Rintoul later told AAP that 'We wanted to send a very clear message to Malcolm Turnbull that the refugee movement hasn't gone away."

Protesters waved banners that said 'Welcome refugees from Syria' and 'Close Manus. Close Nauru. Welcome refugees' while listening to speakers that included Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and Syrian refugee Abdul Hakim.

Organisers were happy with the turnout. One organiser, Kerry Foster, said: “Social media is great but if you have people in he streets, that media can also show that people are physically out there to show they care.

“The important thing is engaging people for rallies like this who want to show they care and engage others with it more critically,“ she said.

“The turnout has been great so there seems to be a growing sympathy for refugees,” said protester Praba Balasuhbramaniam.

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