THE Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN) is set to stage a protest at the Yongah Hill Detention Immigration Centre next Sunday, August 26, to demonstrate their opposition to the policy of mandatory detention.
About 80 people are expected to travel by bus from Perth to participate in the demonstration, which will also include speeches from Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, Colin Penter from Serco Watch and Caroline Fleay from Curtin University’s Centre for Human Rights.
RRAN spokesman Marcus Hampson said the group was determined to show there was public opposition to the government’s policy of mandatory detention.
“We hope to show that there is political opposition to the policy and show support for the refugees and their families,” he said.
“It is also to give people a chance to see Yongah Hill up front and personal, that it looks and runs just like a prison.
“There has been a lot said about the centre, but in the end a shiny cage is still a cage.”
Mr Hampson said there had been some interest from Northam residents to attend the convergence and have their say.
“There are a number of local people planning to join,” he said.
“They have contacted us to express their interest and ask what they can do to support us.”
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam is one of the speakers at the event, keen to share his views and show the detainees at Yongah Hill that they have support on the outside.
“The convergence is really for people locked up to know they have supporters outside and that they haven’t been forgotten,” he said.
“It is also to remind the general public that we are still incarcerating people for no crime.
“We can make the path so much safer and smoother for these people by firstly protecting lives at sea, ending mandatory detention and allowing asylum seekers who arrive without a valid visa to have their claims assessed while living in the community.”