Culture

Two Protesters Have Suspended Themselves From A Melbourne Overpass To Support #LetThemStay

Legends.

The #LetThemStay movement has continued to build momentum, with rallies around the country over the weekend, 100 of Australia’s most well-known comedians adding their voices to the campaign yesterday and a Victorian school principal risking jail by publicly urging the government to let asylum seeker students complete their education in Australian schools.

Now #LetThemStay activists are stepping things up a notch. This morning two young Melburnians, 22-year-old rope access worker Hannah Patchett and 25-year-old arborist Katherine Woskett, have made national news by suspending themselves from the Yarra Bend overpass above Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway and hanging a #LetThemStay banner between them, attracting the attention of thousands of motorists on their way to work in the city.

“It’s outrageous that we even have to protest torture against children,” Woskett said in a statement. “We’re calling on the Australian government to uphold their obligations to international human rights conventions.” Another banner over Melbourne’s Hoddle St bridge has been up for the last few days. 

While #LetThemStay has benefited from high-profile endorsements and media attention in recent days, many asylum seeker campaigns typically struggle against a lack of media coverage, particularly on television. A similar protest during the Australian Open men’s final last year, which aimed to raise awareness of conditions in Australia’s Manus Island detention camp, resulted in Channel 7 abruptly cutting its broadcast.

Feature image by Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance.