Saturday, October 19, 2013

Remembering the SIEV and those lost at sea

from w
Remembering those lost at sea - the SIEV asylum seekers - 19th October several years ago. Two hundred people or so gathered at Cunningham Pier, Geelong Waterfront today to throw flowers in the water, say prayers for the men, women and children lost on that day, and to remember others trying to get to Australia and losing their lives in the sea. And all refugees. An interfaith group, refugee advocates, even one group of Socialists that I don't usually rub shoulders with.

Arnold Zable writes:  We urgently need a change in the national conversation about boat people. A day of remembrance on October 19 each year would help heal the moral malaise and divisive politics that have infected the nation since the Tampa affair in August 2001, when the Howard government broke a tradition of bipartisanship on asylum-seeker policy fostered during the Fraser years in response to the challenge of Vietnamese boat people. No matter how cruel you can be, I can be crueller became the name of the game, supported by polling that confirmed the political advantage.

The SIEV X's sinking is our Australian story writ large.

On this day, we should remember the desperation that drove our forebears to make the journey. We should acknowledge this to be the inclusive story of who we are. Give or take a few generations, we too were once aliens who approached this continent by boat.



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