DECLARE PEACE ON REFUGEES

PEACE – EQUALITY – NO RACISM

Everyone has the right to live in peace, with justice and equality, AND THAT INCLUDES ALL ASYLUM SEEKERS.

By declaring war on refugees, the Australian Government is alienating and dehumanising people who come to our country seeking the help we promised sixty years ago when the Menzies Coalition Government signed the United Nations Refugee Convention.

·                     close detention centres, on shore and off shore

·                     house asylum seekers in the community

·                     global and regional program to help people fleeing war and prosecution

 

War causes refugees - 80% of refugees are women and children. We condemn terrorism, by any person, group or government, but war is not a solution. Many of us believe we should reject all forms of violence. Australia is now out of the Iraq occupation and the Afghanistan War, where many refugees come from. Millions of Syrian people are dis­placed right now. Now we must make Australia really help reduce the level of conflict which makes people flee their countries looking for protection. This means reducing the dangerous tension between the United States, China and Japan. It means addressing the terrible repression in the Philippines, and Sri Lanka.

Government policy brutalises children, by locking them up indefinitely in inappropriate facilities. Not knowing the term of your imprisonment induces anxiety, depression and self-harm, yet Government policy subjects over a thou­sand children - and more adults - to this psychological cruelty.

After the deadly violence against refugees on Manus Island, this has to stop!

· resolve international conflicts peacefully through the United Nations

· address poverty, racism, environmental destruction and inequality

· vigorous response to climate change to do justice to future generations

· no new nuclear arms race – end Australia’s role in the nuclear cycle

· use national and international courts to bring terrorists and war criminals to justice

· oppose the threat to civil liberties in anti-terrorism laws.

 

Australian policy now promotes greater inequality - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have less rights than others under the NT Intervention, Muslims are demonised, single parents with young children are forced onto poverty-level NewStart, women’s wages are much less than male wages, women face their old age with significantly less than men, workers’ rights to organise and bargain are under attack, jobs are being wiped out. Yet government generously subsidises the superannuation, health insurance and private schools of the wealthy.

·                     a caring society instead of one of winners and losers!

·                     raise our voices for equality and fairness in the lead up to the May Budget!

Like the 1980s Palm Sunday Committees, and the 2002 Palm Sunday Committee, our 2014 Palm Sunday Committee is broad, with representation by invitation across ethnic, religious, social and political divides, with no group dominating.

SPONSORED BY: Anne Symonds (former MLC); Arab Council Australia; Assoc to Defend Freedom & Human Rights in Iran; Aust Manufacturing Workers Union; Aust Services Union; Benedictine Nuns Jamberoo Abbey; Blue Mountains Greens; CANA Communities; Carmelite Commission for Justice & Peace; ChilOut; Common Action; Construction Union (CFMEU); Edmund Rice Centre; Evatt Foundation; Finance Sector Union; Fire Brigade Employees Union; Josephite Congregation; Josephite Justice Office; Labor for Refugees; Maritime Union of Australia; Medical Assoc for Prevention of War; Metropolitan Community Church; Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Peace & Justice; National Tertiary Education Union; NSW Teachers Federation; Pax Christi; Quakers NSW Peace & Justice; Refugee Action Coalition; SEARCH Foundation; Socialist Alliance; Solidarity; Sydney Peace & Justice Coalition; Sydney Trade Union Choir; Unions for Refugees; Uniting Church Synod NSW/ACT; Woman & The Australian Church.

Contact: Fr Claude Mostowik 0411 450 953; Dianne Hiles 0425 244 667; Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713; Peter Murphy 0418 312 301

Facebook: search for Palm-Sunday-Sydney-2014

DONATE: Make a direct deposit or send a cheque to Sydney Peace & Justice Coalition, PO Box K941, Haymarket NSW 1240. BSB: 082-024 Account Number: 56 140 1082

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