World Refugee Day: stars, refugees, grandmothers, yarnbombers and more join call to “stop the cruelty”

The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum urges local Catholic communities to come out in support of the Refugee Advocacy Network’s World Refugee Day event for Melbourne this Sunday 21 June 2015.

Sister Brigid Arthur of the Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project said:

“The message of the day is STOP the CRUELTY: We can do better. It will be carried through song, theatre and artistic expression by community groups and individuals through Melbourne streets.”

“Hundreds of Grandmothers singing on trams, trains and buses will make their way into the city. Yarn-bombing and knitting enthusiasts will decorate the streets with messages of hope. Hearts will be planted in boxes all over the city. Street artist Peter Drewe will be at work. Flowers and memorials will pop-up in gentle spaces. Students, choirs and street theatre, spoken word artists and installations and even a funeral procession carrying a coffin for our precious human rights will pop-up throughout the CBD this Sunday 21st June, from 12noon.”

The day will kick off with a screening off the new film Stormy Waters on the Big Screen at Federation Square at 10am. At 2pm the artists, activists and the public will gather in the City Square, on the corner of Collins and Swanston streets, for the Grand Finale with special guest stars:
• Mark Seymour with songs from his new album
• Rod Quantock armed with his shiny new Order of Australia will amuse and stir
• Mohammad Ali Baqiri – formerly a child detainee on Nauru
• Pamela Curr – Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

Corinne Grant will keep us all in order. South of the River, the West Papuan Black Orchid String Orchestra, Les Thomas, L-FRESH and other performers will join for a rousing finale to the day.

“Many Australians are heartbroken by our cruelty to people in need and the politics of hate souring the nation,” Sister Brigid said.

“The Refugee Advocacy Network believes that we can welcome refugees and that we can treat asylum seekers with dignity. We want a return to our fast held belief in a Fair Go for all. This Refugee Day is a time to affirm our hope for a kinder and fairer Australia.”

See more details.