Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Melbourne yesterday to protest the treatment of refugees by the Australian Government.
The fate of around 600 refugees and asylum seekers is currently unknown after the government switched off the power, water, food provisions and medical supplies at Manus Island Detention Centre in Papua New Guinea, closing the centre on October 31st, with all Australian contractors and service providers leaving the island.
Protestors stopped traffic in the heart of Melbourne, sitting down and holding their crossed wrists in the air, chanting “bring them here”.
Earlier in the day, Federal Greens MP Adam Bandt spoke in front of a crowd of protesters where he labelled Immigration Minister Perter Dutton a ‘terrorist’.
"These people have committed no crime other than to do what every single one of us would do if we thought our lives, or our family's lives, were at risk," he said.
"If the definition of terror is to use violence and threaten people's lives for political purposes, then Peter Dutton is a terrorist.”
Alternative accommodation centres have been set up for the people at Manus Island, however, the remaining 600 have expressed strong fears of violent reprisals from the local community.
The UN has called on Australia to “de-escalate” the situation and urgently restore food, water and other necessities.
A similar protest was also carried out in Sydney.