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Love Makes a Way into Turnbull’s office

One of the protesters being escorted out of Mr Turnbull's office. Source: Love Makes A Way

By Lydia Watson-Moore

 

Police removed Christian protesters from Malcolm Turnbull’s Edgecliff office last week, after an eight-hour sit in to raise awareness of the plight of asylum seekers.

The protesters, part of the ‘Love Makes a Way’ movement, were rallying against the immigration detention of children and the Nauru detention centre.The group prayed in the Mr Turnbull’s office for eight hours before police removed them from the premises.

Love Makes a Way spokesperson Matt Anslow told City Hub the current situation of Australia’s immigration detention was in dire circumstances and the government needed to take action.

“The situation is beyond words with how bad it really is. We think the church, and Australia can no longer stand by and simply allow this to happen,” Mr Anslow said.

“Formal channels of advocacy have failed. [Tuesday’s protest] was due to a need to show another expression of dissatisfaction,” he said.

The group was calling for acknowledgement of a proposed moratorium on sending families and children to the Nauru and Manus Island detention centres.

Mr Anslow said the moratorium was presented to the government by a collaboration of numerous humanitarian and refugee organisations, and that Tuesday’s protest was appealing for Mr Turnbull’s support.

The group chose Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Communications, as the target of their rally due to his significant political influence and religious affiliation, according to Mr Anslow.

“He’s a cabinet minister, he’s a potential prime minister at some point, and he’s incredibly influential in the party and in Australian politics,” Mr Anslow said.

Malcolm Turnbull’s office has yet to comment on the issue to both the Love Makes a Way protestors and City Hub who approached his office for comment.

“Malcolm has remained silent, which is unfortunate, because that means he has remained silent on supporting children out of detention and he’s remained silent on supporting a freeze on sending children to terrible detention centres. It’s not a good result for us,” Mr Anslow said.

One of Tuesday’s protestors, Father Claude Mostowik, told City Hub he was also disappointed with the lack of government response to the raised concerns.

“I don’t need him to make a statement to our group, but I think he needs to make a statement to the parliament, not only about the children in detention, but about asylum seekers, and the evil way they’re treated,” said Fr. Mostowik.

Fr. Mostowik believes the Australian public is unaware of detention centre living conditions, and that more public protests and community support are needed.

“I think these sorts of measures are called for in order to wake up the public, wake up the people. People are quite complacent about the situation, or they’re not even aware of it,” said Fr. Mostowik.

The protest remained peaceful for the eight hours. The Police Media Unit said officers from the Rose Bay LAC escorted the protestors away without incident. No charges have been laid.

The Love Makes a Way group said they are committed to the cause, and will continue to protest until the conditions of immigration detention significantly improve.

“I will absolutely continue to protest. I will continue until we get humane treatment for these people. They depend on us to raise our voices,” Fr. Mostowik said.

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