ARMIDALE residents will mourn the loss of the 12 lives and hope on Manus Island and Nauru during a peaceful protest later this month,
The action is held on the 5th anniversary of the government decision to hold people arriving by boat in detention centres.
Armidale branch’s Rural Australians for Refugees member Jan Wyles is encouraging people to attend one of the two actions in the city.
“We are calling it a Day of Mourning, and we will have representations of the 12 people who have died in the five-year period on Nauru and Manus Island. It’s such a waste of human life,” Ms Wyles said.
“It’s only when we put ourselves in the shoes of these people and can find that empathy, and really untenable the policy is. For me, it’s unacceptable that my government is doing this.”
“A lot of people find it hard to know what to do, and of course it is because you get sick of writing letters. But we are hoping people will come along and even stand with us for 10 minutes.”
Peaceful demonstrations of this kind will be held around Australia on this anniversary.
“I was talking to a local teacher who had come back from Nauru and she said the one thing she came back with is the devastation of the absence of hope,” Ms Wyles said.
“And no human beings can live without hope.”
The actions will be held at the Armidale Mall, from 10-11am, and near the fountain at University of New England, from 12.30-1.30pm on Thursday, July 19.
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