Jul 19th 2019

Thousands to rally nationally to say 6 years too long

Thousands of people marching nationwide on Saturday to mark six years too long of Australia’s cruel offshore detention regime.

Notable Australian figures Benjamin Law and Dan Ilic have added their support to the rallies, demanding that the 800 people still imprisoned in offshore camps on Manus be brought to safety:

"The boys I met on Manus are smart, funny blokes with dreams of doing big things. Australia has stolen 6 of the best years from these guys. 

“How many more years will we steal from them?" said Australian comedian Dan Ilic. 

“Nearly all people detained offshore are recognised as refugees, and have waited in very difficult conditions for safe resettlement options. 

“For many decent-minded Australians, it’s obvious the current situation is untenable. that Australia can do better, and that policy-makers must work harder towards a humane solution that cuts through the falsehood that the only two choices are permanent imprisonment or deaths at sea.” said Australian author Benjamin Law.

Shaminda Kanapathi is 28 years old and has been detained on Manus Island for six years. 

"All of the men who remain detained on Manus are highly depressed and stressed now. We have become very vulnerable and completely powerless.

“We have no control over what happens to us, even the most intimate decisions are made for us.

“Our lives have stopped. And every minute passes, and we have lost 6 years already.” Shaminda said. 

Shaminda will be speaking via video link from Manus at the Sydney rally.

#SixYearsTooLong Rallies have been organised by the Adelaide Vigils for Manus and Nauru, Adelaide Campaign Against Racism, Amnesty WA Refugee Rights Group, Australian Refugee Action Network, Canberra Refugee Action Campaign, Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN), National Union of Students SA, Refugee Action Coalition Sydney, Refugee Action Collective, Refugee Rights Action Network WA, Rural Australians for Refugees, Unionists for Refugees WA, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), Refugee Council of Australia, and GetUp.  

27 rallies will be held across the country in cities and regional centres:https://aran.net.au/campaigns/6-yearstoomany/{: target="_blank"}