Hundreds march through the Lismore CBD on Saturday in support of refugees
Hundreds march through the Lismore CBD on Saturday in support of refugees

Cars toot during Lismore street protest

IF you multiplied the number of car toots of support, by the size of Saturday's refugee protest in Lismore, you'd have to say it was a big success.

As it was, about 200 to 300 people filled almost a city block, as the column of protesters formed up and made their way around the CBD, disrupting morning shopping.

Earlier, the president of Sanctuary Northern Rivers, Michael Douglas, and several other key speakers, helped to rev the crowd up and urged them not to lose their "voice" on the issue of refugees.

With choir master Peter Lehner and his trusty crew ready to whip into song, there was no chance of the protest staying silent for long.

It was the second such walk for human rights.

Those attending were encouraged to gather and walk to remember the deaths in custody of people seeking asylum who were held in detention on Manus lsland and Nauru.

The names of those asylum seekers who have died in detention or of medical complications were read out.

These included Reza Barati, Hanid Kehazaei, Omid Masoumali, Rakib, Kamal Hussain and Faysal Ishak.

The walk was also used as a protest to demand a radical change to Australia's asylum seeker policies.

Speakers told of the vigil held outside Page MP Kevin Hogan every Thursday afternoon between 4.30pm to 5.30pm.

This has been going on for some 50 weeks and looks set to continue until the detention camps on Manus Island and Naurru are wound up.

Lismore councillor Vanessa Eakins took part in the march as did ex-Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell.

Manus and Nauru became a poltical hot potato recently after US President Donald Trump described the arrangement to accept 1200 refugees from these detention centres as a "dumb" deal.

The deal was done between the Turnbull Government and the former Obama administation.

Trump's comments on Twitter confused the situation, but it looks like going ahead with US offcials now conducting what is termed 'extreme vetting' of asylum seekers in both detention camps.



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