A quick heads up on an event happening right now in Federation Square in the CBD.
The Refugee Action Collective (Victoria) is holding a 24-hour event called Live Wire for Refugees from 12pm today until 12pm tomorrow (Sunday 1 September). This event is designed to demonstrate support for respecting the human rights of refugees and asylum seekers who arrive in Australia, as well as raising awareness in the community. This has been a long-running and controversial issue in Australia, and it has become a big talking point in the current federal election campaign.
‘The idea is to have people speaking non-stop for 24 hours, trying to fill the airwaves,’ says Lucy Honan from the Refugee Action Collective. ‘We’ve found that, over the last couple of weeks, there has been no space in the media for a pro-refugee perspective. The facts have been lost, ideas have been distorted. We just want to reclaim the airwaves.’
Lucy says the event has been a great success so far. ‘I’ve had a thousand conversations with people today. We can engage a whole new crowd of people who we usually aren’t in contact with. We had a couple of people come over to the stall and say “We don’t agree with you,” but we had a chat and either convinced them or we didn’t. We really just want to have a conversation and talk to people about this issue. ‘
Live Wire for Refugees has so far featured several local high-profile speakers, including Father Bob Maguire, but there is also room for general members of the public to take to the microphone.
If you’re in the city tonight or tomorrow, drop by Federation Square and have a listen. Whatever your views on this complex issue, here’s a great chance to share ideas and make yours heard.