It’s been two weeks since hundreds turned out in Sydney' despite the rain to protest the government’s forced shut-down of the Manus Island offshore detention center which has left roughly 600 without water, power, and food.
David Shoebridge, who is an NSW Greens member of parliament, was a keynote speaker at the rally.
"If we were reading about what is happening on Manus Island as if it was occurring in Iraq, or in the darkest parts of Sudan, then probably we could understand it, and look at it and say 'Well, that is the way brutal authoritarian regimes respond to refugees'".
"I condemn our government and I condemn the Labor opposition for accepting this as policy", Shoebridge continued.
"And I send this clear message: Mr Shorten, Mr Dutton, and Mr Turnbull, you will be condemned by history"
Even after the constant claims from the Prime Minister and Immigration Minister that new relocation areas are safe and ready, photos from West Lorengau on Manus Island show different scenarios.
The photos indicate that the area is still a construction site. “Dutton’s claim that he wants to close Manus Island as soon as possible; that’s a lie. Dutton wants Manus, like Nauru to become a permanent prison island,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“Dutton intends to scuttle any plan for safe resettlement. He is deliberately depriving refugees of the necessities of life to force the refugees were forced into less safe areas of Manus Island than provide the safe resettlement that he is obliged to.”
“As the Turnbull government sinks in the opinion polls, Dutton sinks into infamy, engulfed by international condemnation.
“The naked brutality of the government siege has exposed the use of torture that has underpinned Manus Island from the beginning. Labor has now joined the call for Dutton to accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 refugees. Labor urgently needs to take another step.
“The only guarantee of safety for all the asylum seekers and refugees is for the government to end the siege, evacuate them all, and bring them to Australia.”
The emergency protest rally dubbed: “End the Manus Siege; Bring them Here,” is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 18 November, 1 pm, at Hyde Park. The speakers will include Benjamin Law (writer), Ann-Maree McEwan, organizer Independent Education Union.