While the focus of the Palm Sunday marches this year will  be the fate of 267 asylum seekers who are at risk of being returned to Nauru, we also remember the broader issues and other people who suffer under Austrlia’s asylum seeker policies.

The dissatisfaction with these asylum seeker polices has never been stronger. The policies have never been worse. Bi-partisan support for the current regime is almost total.

Men, women and children of all ages continue to be detained and ‘processed’ in the off shore black sites of Manus Island and Nauru. Places where they have been raped, assaulted and in one case murdered by staff.

Even those found to be refugees are not being offered durable solutions or realistic options to resettle and recover from their refugee experience. All at a cost of billions of dollars to the Australian taxpayer.

On shore there are still people being detained for periods of up to seven years or more. There are still thousands and thousands of people on bridging visas waiting for a decision on their asylum claims. The new ‘fast track’ process that they are subject to is patently unfair and unjust. The best that these people can hope for is some form of temporary visa if they are found to be refugees. They will have no certainty, no ability to be reunited with family or to bring their loved ones to safety.

And then there are those in increasing number who have been refused visas all together. Asylum seekers are in need of our protection, not more difficulty. We are inviting people from all walks of life to express their dissatisfaction with the current asylum seeker policy in a peaceful walk through the streets of Perth.

We have had very successful Palm Sunday peaceful walks in 2014 and 2015. We want 2016 to be the biggest yet!


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