PM Malcolm Turnbull 30/11/2015
A group of 8 Christians including 3 ordained priests and pastors are currently engaged in a peaceful occupation of the Edgecliff electoral office of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The group is part of the ‘Love Makes a Way’ movement, which has seen over 160 people arrested in peaceful protests across Australia, calling for an end to the inhumane treatment of people seeking asylum.

The group is appealing to the PM to accept the recent Senate amendments that would free all kids and their families from Australian detention centres, impose mandatory sentencing of abuse, grant media access to detention centres and protect whistleblowers reporting abuse.

“The Prime Minister has an opportunity to show real leadership by releasing kids from detention”, said Father Claude Mostowik, speaking on behalf of the group.

Father Mostowik said: “Today’s peaceful sit-in is an invitation for Mr Turnbull to put a mark on the pages of Australian history, one that future generations will look back on as the moment our national shame began to end.”

“He can start today by accepting the Senate amendments so that the 112 kids in Australian detention centres are given the ultimate Christmas gift - the gift of freedom from detention.”

The group have told office staff they will remain praying in the office, refusing to leave unless the Government announces they will accept the Senate amendments. In doing so they risk arrest for ‘trespassing’.

Members of the group come from a wide range of ages and churches including Hillsong, Baptist, Catholic, Uniting and Evangelical churches.

Kylie Beach, from Hillsong Church, is one of those risking arrest for the first time in her life. “As a mother, I have to speak up for those mothers whose voices have been silenced, who fear every day for the safety of their kids. How can we not do everything we can to end this violence - even if that means risking arrest?” Ms Beach said.

Pressure has been building on the government to find a solution to the ongoing crisis of detention of asylum seekers. Doctors around the country recently made headlines for refusing to release children back into detention and Liberal MP Russell Broadbent has declared the current policy “unacceptable”. On the weekend, church leaders from across many denominations placed a large open letter in the Sydney Morning Herald, appealing to the Prime Minister to free all children from detention.

“In the end we are just asking this government to treat people they way we would all want to be treated if we were fleeing for our lives, seeking safety in another country”, Father Mostowik said. “It is not really a lot to ask.”
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