A Rabbi and eight Christian leaders have just entered the electoral office of MP Jamie Briggs in a protest over asylum seekers.
The group of nine join 38 other faith leaders who have been arrested around Australia in the ongoing Love Makes A Way* movement in response to the government’s “No Way” campaign aimed at asylum seekers.
The groups entered the building in Mt Barker this morning and are holding a sit-in until they receive an answer to when all children being held in detention will be released .
To pass the time, they have been praying for all 983 children being held in immigration detention and praying for a humane change in policy.
TBS will provide updates as more information becomes available
The faith leaders are occupying the reception area of the electorate office, with each member holding a soft toy as a reminder of the humanity of all asylum seekers and the inhumanity of the current policy.
Police are now on-site at the Mt Barker electorate office of MP Jamie Briggs, where Christian leaders and a Rabbi are praying for asylum seekers. The group of faith leaders are refusing to leave the office until they receive an answer as to when all children will be released from detention. The location of the action is: 72 Gawler Street, Mt Barker SA 5251.
Arrests happening right now.
Update 8:05am Tuesday 25th:
Confirmation that the protestors have now been released from custody. They were released on bail.
On why she is willing to be arrested, Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky said;
“I am risking arrest today because the most-repeated teaching in the Hebrew Bible is to treat the stranger with kindness. We Jews trace our roots back to the Hebrew slaves in Egypt 3000 years ago and re-enact the agony of slavery each year at the festival of Passover. The International Refugee law that our government is undermining was written to say “never again” after the Holocaust. I cannot stand idly by and watch my government keep some of the world’s most vulnerable children in detention when my faith commands me to act.”
The faith leaders are from a variety of traditions – Pentecostal, Jewish, Quaker and several Uniting Church congregations. The group hopes to secure a response from the MP (the Inverbrackie Alternative Place Of Detention is located in Jamie Briggs electorate) as to when the 983 children will be released from immigration detention.
— Kate Leaney (@misskate_86) June 23, 2014
Kudos to faith leaders today for risking arrest as they stand up for the hundreds of children locked up in detention #LoveMakesAWay
— sarah hanson-young (@sarahinthesen8) June 23, 2014
*#LoveMakesAWay is a movement of Christians seeking an end to Australia’s inhumane asylum seeker policies through prayer and non-violent love in action.