Two Protesters Have Suspended Themselves From A Melbourne Overpass To Support #LetThemStay
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.
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) February 10, 2016
“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.
— UnitingChurch VicTas (@ucavictas) February 9, 2016
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.