Greenpeace Launches Powerful #LetThemStay Protest On Sydney Harbour

14/02/2016 3:54 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Protesters against the High Court decision to uphold the Government's offshore detention program have made a powerful statement on Sydney Harbour.

Activists from Greenpeace held aloft a #LetThemStay banner on the water in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Sunday.

#LetThemStay protests were held around the country this week after the High Court's ruling on effectively paved the way for 267 refugees to be returned to detention on Nauru.

Thousands turned out in public spaces such as Sydney's Hyde Park, while two protesters in Melbourne suspended themselves from the Yarra Bend Bridge on Thursday to unfurl a #LetThemStay banner.

Protesters are urging Malcolm Turnbull to allow the 267 asylum seekers, including 37 babies, to remain in Australia.

State and Territory leaders have also united behind the cause, writing to Turnbull with offers to house refugees in their areas.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews firat wrote to Turnbull during the week and was swiftly supported by NSW leader Mike Baird, Queensland's Annastacia Palaszczuk, the ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Jay Weatherill from South Australia.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told the ABC's Insiders program on February 7 that the government was providing incentives for people on Nauru to settle in other countries.

"We are dealing with these very delicate, anguished issues with compassion and we are dealing with them on a case by case basis," he said.

"But what I am not going to do is give one skerick of encouragement to those criminals, those people smugglers, who are preying on vulnerable people and seeking to take their money, put them on the high seas in boats where they will like-as-not drown.

"There are no policy options available in terms of border protection which are not tough, which cannot be described as harsh."

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has said each of the 267 asylum seekers will return to Nauru when they no longer need medical treatment.

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