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Sun Herald article Let them stay rally in Melbourne 8 feb 2016

‘Let them stay’: Thousands rally in Melbourne to stop refugees being sent back to Nauru

Stand for Sanctuary rally for refugees held in front of the State Library in Melbourne. Picture: David Crosling
THOUSANDS of people took to the streets of Melbourne last night to tell Prime Minister Turnbull government refugees from Nauru were welcome in Victoria. 

to read more click below

Up to 6000 people rallied outside the State Library of Victoria imploring the government to stop the planned deportation of 267 people including 37 babies to Nauru.
Crowds chanted “let them stay” and were given the Prime Minister’s phone number by organisers to ensure the message was sent to Canberra.
One sign posed the question: “To Malcolm and Peter, would you send your grandchildren to Nauru?”
Picture: David Crosling
Organisers of the GetUp! #letthemstay movement called this a “watershed moment” in Australia’s history and called for Turnbull to be on the “right side of history.”
Victoria Police were present however the rally remained peaceful.
St Michael’s student Grace Nestel, 12, attended the rally with her sister, mother and grandmother and said refugees should be let in.
“They’re trying look for a better chance,” she said.
“It’s not their fault, Australia should let them in.”
Melbourne’s crowd was one of several protests held around the nation with thousands more turning out in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Darwin.
Picture: David Crosling
Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Save the Children Mat Tinkler alluded to the horrid conditions of detention centres, including 50 degree heat and vinyl tents.
“One day spent in detention is one day too many for a child,” he said.
Daniel Webb from the Human Rights Law Centre said it was a tough day last Wednesday when the High Court handed down its decision.
“There is just no easy way to tell a mother with a one-year-old baby that our government wants to condemn them to a life in limbo on a tiny island.”
Lucy Holgen from Teachers for Refugees said this was the moment for action.
“I can’t remember a time when the government was so alone.”
She encouraged workers from all professions to galvanise support among colleagues.

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