Diversitat and local refugee action groups are organising a rally on Saturday.
An asylum seeker boat. Source: News LimitedORGANISERS expect hundreds of people to rally in central Geelong on Saturday in support of asylum seekers and calling for end to mandatory detention.
Geelong’s Combined Refugee Action Group has convened the rally in response to growing concern over treatment of people exercising their humanitarian right to seek asylum.
More than 700 people crowded the group’s last event at Geelong West Town Hall.
“The idea of course is to focus attention on the situation in respect of those on Manus Island and Nauru, the difficulties they are encountering and the care for them,” group spokesman Monsignor James Murray said.
“They’re being treated as illegal and in fact they’re not and more and more people are becoming concerned about the situation and wanting to do something about it.
“The voice of the people in a democracy is so important.”
The rally will be in Little Malop St from 12.30pm.
Speakers will include Bishop Peter Danaher of Newtown’s All Saints Anglican Church, counsellor Jason Brown, group member Linda Cusworth and a Tamil refugee from Melbourne.
Monsignor Murray urged people to attend.
“Asylum seekers and refugees are in fear of their lives and we’re not giving them the help and support they need,” Monsignor Murray said.
“So many are traumatised. They might think Australia would treat them a bit better but unfortunately we’re not at the moment.”