SYDNEY, Dec 1 ― Australia's parliament was hit by a second day of protests by anti-offshore detention centre activists today with two people abseiling down the building to unfurl a banner reading “close the bloody camps now”.
While the pair scaled Parliament House a dozen others waded into a forecourt pond and added red dye to symbolise blood while holding placards calling for the closure of offshore immigration detention facilities.
It came a day after some 30 people disrupted parliamentary Question Time, chanting “close the camps” and “where is your moral compass?” with several supergluing their hands to the public viewing gallery railings.
Both of the protests were organised by grassroots organisation Whistleblowers Activists and Citizens Alliance. No charges have yet been brought against those who took part.
Spokeswoman Zianna Fuad said to expect “widespread protest until the camps are closed”.
“I actually think we've tried all our other avenues of civil debate,” she added to reporters.
Canberra sends asylum-seekers trying to reach Australia by sea to isolated Pacific outposts on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, with the camps' conditions widely criticised by refugee advocates and medical professionals.
UN special rapporteur Francois Crepeau this month said Australia's “punitive approach” to boatpeople had tarnished its human rights record following an 18-day mission that took him across the country and to Nauru.
The government has defended its position as necessary to stem waves of migration by people from war-torn Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and the Middle East, with many dying at sea during the treacherous journey. ― AFP