THE corner of a busy Geelong highway erupted into life earlier this week when a large crowd demonstrated on behalf of asylum seekers.
The rally, held outside St George’s Anglican Church, coincided with a number of other rallies around Australia – one was also held in Queenscliff – following a High Court decision to deport more than 267 asylum seekers who have been in Australia on a temporary basis, back to Nauru.
Protester John Bartlett said Surf Coast groups from Torquay, Winchelsea and Aireys Inlet, along with mayor Rose Hodge, and a number of church and Geelong groups, made it clear with dozens of banners that current policies, particularly those targeting children, were beyond the pale.
“Laura Connor, representing both Grandmothers for Refugees and Surf Coast Rural Australians for Refugees, summed up the feelings of the crowd when she said, ‘there comes a time when politicians have become so cruel, that we must come out and protest’,” Mr Bartlett said.
“Despite the grave nature of the demonstration, the crowd erupted into cheers, not unlike what might be heard on a Saturday afternoon from Kardinia Park, every time a passing car or truck beeped their approval.”
Mr Bartlett said organisers were also hoping for a large turn out at this year’s Walk for Justice for Refugees event to be held in Melbourne on Palm Sunday (March 20) .