Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

Free the refugees! Let them land, let them stay!

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CANCELLED Car Cavalcade: From Manus to the Mantra: Set Them Free!

April 4, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm





*Please note this protest will be in the form of a car cavalcade.*

The health emergency makes this protest to free refugees more important than ever. We can show them our solidarity. Here is how it will work:

Drive your car to the meeting point at Hotham St Preston and form a cavalcade (behind light blue Hyundai Getz).

We will travel south down Hotham st, then around the Mantra several times before proceeding down High st.

We encourage you to bring your own signs and decorate your cars with signs and slogans like
“Free the Refugees”
“Covid19: Detention Isn’t Safe”.
“Healthcare not detention“
“Let them stay“
“End Offshore and onshore detention”

There will also be spray chalk and gloves available in Hotham to decorate cars.

For health reasons we ask: no more than 2 people per car, do not get out of your car if others are around (one at a time for spray chalk). Do not come if you are sick, or in close contact with a sick person.

We can communicate via Zoom at the rally (only passengers in cars to use Zoom!)

Car Calvalcade Zoom Meeting Link:

Why we are protesting:

As the men detained in Preston Mantra have made clear during their protests, refugees now face the increased risk of coronavirus infection because of their detention conditions in Australia. The refugees are the definition of vulnerable people, many with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart and kidney problems, confined in places where any idea of social distancing is a joke.

Ironically, these refugees were transferred to Australia for medical treatment, but are now having their lives once again put at risk by the Australian government.

The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases and the Australian College of Infection Prevention and Control recommended releasing immigration detainees (currently caged in hotels and detention centres across the country) into the community. The shared dining rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms and the notorious handling of detainees by security mean that Covid will spread through detention centres quickly. Detention centres are running out of – or have already run out of hand sanitiser. English classes of more than 20 are running in rooms that don’t allow for physical distancing. Mantra hotel is even short of food, because of problems sourcing supplies, according to Serco.

Over 60 refugees and asylum-seekers brought from PNG and Nauru for medical treatment have been locked up at the Mantra Hotel in Preston for seven months. This is on top of six years they spent in offshore detention. Over 40 are behind the fences at the Broadmeadows detention centre. There are more than 1400 people being held in immigration detention centres across Australia.

We are calling for all refugees and asylum seekers to be released into the community immediately

For more information, ring Chris on 0403 013 183


April 4, 2020
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Refugee Action Collective (Victoria)


215 Bell Street, Preston