Protesters block entrance to Australian High Commission’s gates in NZ

protesters

About 20 protesters blocked the entrance to the Australian high commission in Wellington on Monday to highlight the plight of refugees and asylum-seekers on Manus Island.

“The purpose of the protest was to prevent anyone inside from leaving”, Peace Action Wellington spokeswoman Emma Cullen said.

“We’re shutting them down for as long as we can … at least until the evening, to affect these people, and for these people to acknowledge and question what their government is doing,” Cullen said, according to Stuff.

Three protesters chained themselves by the neck to the gates.

One of them, Helen Lyttelton, said she was protesting for the people without food and medication and said they were an incredibly vulnerable population.

“We’re here to show them we don’t need Australia’s permission to take on refugees. All they’re seeking is safety … and they’ve been unable to leave.”

She hoped high commission staff, when they tried to leave, would have some empathy for what the Manus Island detainees had experienced.

“For years, they’ve been unable to move. They’ve not had freedom of movement for up to four years.”

Earlier this month, the word ‘SHAME’ was scrawled across the high commission’s driveway and a poster declaring ‘Justice for refugees’ was posted on the front gate.

An unidentified liquid was also splashed over the sign at the front of the building.

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News category: New Zealand.

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