The Sanctuary Movement

There was a great article in the Guardian Australia on Monday on the growing Sanctuary Movement. How interesting it is to hear of hundreds of people from different religions gathering at their churches to learn how to engage in civil disobedience in order to help protect asylum seekers from border force officials.

“We’re not here today to be arrested. We’re here today to demonstrate what respect looks like. This is about a respectful way to challenge the current policy framework”.

The policy framework that those gathered have come to challenge is the federal government’s hardline stance on asylum seekers, which has left 267 asylum seekers currently in Australia facing deportation to offshore processing centres on Nauru or Manus Island. They could be removed at any time and there are 37 babies among them.

As a result, hundreds of people gathered at churches around the country on Sunday, including at Wesley Uniting church, to learn how to engage in civil disobedience and protect asylum seekers should border force officials try to forcibly detain them and send them to offshore detention centres.

You can read the full article here.

let them stay
Misha Coleman from the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce and Shen Narayanasamy from GetUp address the crowd at sanctuary training at Wesley Uniting Church, Melbourne. Photograph by Melissa Davey for the Guardian