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Refugee Supporters Join In National Day Of Action Against Nauru, Manus Island Offshore Detention

'Close the camps, bring them here.'

27/08/2016 4:19 PM AEST | Updated 27/08/2016 7:54 PM AEST
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David Gray / Reuters
The most recent stages of protest against Australia's offshore detention policy have taken place.

Thousands of refugee supporters have marched across the country today demanding the immediate closure of detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

Rallies were organised in seven major cities including Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Newcastle and Hobart on Saturday for a national day of action, calling on the government to "close the camps (and) bring them here".

Now is the most important time you can be involved.

Hundreds joined outside Melbourne's State Library around midday to support the cause, whilst crowds met afront the Town Hall in Sydney.

Marchers walked and chanted through city CBD's as organisers spoke of their demands -- for all refugees and asylum seekers to be housed in the community while their claims are processed, with refugees to be given permanent protection in Australia.

In Melbourne, teacher and whistleblower Jane Wiley spoke of her experience of trauma and abuse on Nauru.

In Sydney, Greens MP Adam Bandt addressed his party's recent reshuffle that saw Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young lose her immigration portfolio, saying there would be "absolutely no change" to their refugee policy.

"If anything, the spirit of everything that the Greens and that Sarah Hanson-Young has fought for will be intensified over the coming weeks and months, because we actually have the chance now of closing these camps once and for all," he said.

"Now is the most important time you can be involved."

The national protests come after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed the closure of the Manus Island regional processing centre after talks with Papua New Guinea.

The Greens are expected to call for a royal commission into offshore detention when parliament resumes next week.

A march in Darwin is scheduled for Sunday, with plans for similar events in London and Tokyo also underway.

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