Standing on the Side of Love in Australia

By UUA International Resources


[gallery type="rectangular" ids="7404,7405,7406"] Rev. Rob MacPherson, minister of the Unitarian Church of South Australia (UCSA), and his congregation are advocating on behalf of the rights of Australia's asylum-seekers. At a recent street protest outside the Adelaide offices of the federal Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, UCSA members witnessed on the side of love in demand of human rights. He writes:
Recent Australian governments (of both major parties) have orchestrated and conducted a cruel and illegal policy of mandatory offshore detention of vulnerable people fleeing persecution in the region. Those detained are often held for years in squalid camps in nearby countries who are themselves unable to resist the coercion of this larger more powerful nation. The conditions in these camps have been confirmed as squalid and dehumanizing by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and many other international bodies. There have been deaths, riots, hunger strikes, and physical violence visited upon asylum-seekers by locally hired agents of private security firms. Children in these camps (yes, children are incarcerated too) are suffering from acute anxiety and depression and other psychological developmental issues. Cognizant of our UU first principle, many in our church find we cannot be silent about this. Hence, our fund-raising and sponsoring of the Refugee Portrait Exhibition, which has traveled the state. Hence also, our on-going direct action at rallies, such as the one depicted (in the photos above).
Last April, Rev. MacPherson gave a talk at the congregation related to this ongoing issue, which you can hear below:

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