Palm Sunday 2021

Be a part of the 2021 national Palm Sunday
Action for Justice & a fair go for refugees

Palm Sunday on 28 March 2021 is an important opportunity to raise awareness of the continuing injustice and cruelty experienced by refugees and people who are seeking asylum.

This year, organisers of the Palm Sunday events are aware of the need for COVID-safety. We recommend the wearing of masks and social distancing at all Palm Sunday actions and events

 What’s happening on Palm Sunday?

• Rallies and actions will be held in various cities and towns across Australia:
go to the ARAN Actions page to find a Palm Sunday event near you.

•  Help add impact to this year’s nationwide actions: To add your event to the listing, end the details to us via the ARAN contact form

• Lobby your local MP in the week before Palm Sunday
Plan an action and/or phone and letter blitz on key issues:
⋅ Permanent visas for all refugees
⋅ Safety net income support in the community while people are having their refugee status assessed
⋅ Release all Refugees from Detention;  #TimeForAHome
⋅ End offshore detention; take up the NZ offer to resettle these people;
Game Over

Contact local media about your planned activities and raise awareness of the issues locally.

Online activities for Palm Sunday: #Justice4Refugees  #GameOver

Social media campaign:

Follow Speaking Up for Refugees on Facebook from 1 March and share through your social media networks

Email a photo or short video clip with a message of support from your local group, organisation – or as an individual – for posting on the Speaking up for Refugees Facebook page. Then send the link to us via contact us via the ARAN contact form.

• OnlineJustice and a Fair Go for Refugees Webinar
Tuesday 23 March 7.30 pm – 8.30pm on Zoom
Learn more about the issues and a discussion on what Justice and a Fair Go for refugees means. Hosted by the Australian Refugee Action Network and supported by Amnesty International. With Zaki Haidari, Farhad Bandesh, Sr Brigid Arthur, Prof John Minns and Dr Graham Thom (Amnesty International). If you register before the night you will receive updates on the speakers and program.

• Online actions on the day; find out more.

• Follow the Speaking Out for Refugees  on Facebook .

• Post your own messages of support on your social media pages. Share posts using the hashtags  #justice4refugees and  #GameOver.

Lobby your local MP: background information on the issues are on this page and MP contact details are on the Australian Parliament’s website.

Faith communities will hold special Palm Sunday services and church bells will ring for refugees. Download an Our Bells Will Ring poster.

Add your own details, print and circulate it.
It’s important to let people know why you are ringing the bells !

Palm Sunday events images and videos
We will collate photos and videos from Palm Sunday actions across the country for sharing through social media.   Make sure your activities are in the mix.  Send photos and video clips to us via the ARAN contact form  by Tuesday 30 March 2021.

Resources to support your activities:

 Graphics and Templates

• Palm Sunday postcards to politicians. Download, print and send:
to the Prime Minister version
to local members and senators version
image insert for an email message to politicians (top and tail this image with a greeting – Dear ….. – and a sign off -your name – in the body of the email).

Proforma Media Release for use by groups to advise media of their local actions. Use this proforma as a starting point and make changes to include details of your local actions. Don’t forget to add your group’s name, a contact person’s name plus their mobile number. Download the media release (Word format).

Palm Sunday flag (PDF).

Poster 1: Palm Sunday poster template with the date (28 March). Download, print, add your local details and circulate. If you don’t have PDF editing software, download this Word Document, add you details and print it.

Poster 2: Palm Sunday poster template without the date. Download, print, add your local details and circulate. If you don’t have PDF editing software, download this Word Document, add you details and print it.

Refugees are welcome here sign (download the PDF and print it).

Justice for Refugees sign (download the PDF and print it).

Tips for making a good quality video clip using your mobile:   

• Using your phone is fine – ideally not as a hand held ‘though.

• Choose somewhere lit by natural light if possible (e.g. sit facing large windows if your home has them, but preferably without direct sunlight on you – overcast skies provide more even lighting)

• Think about the background; keep it simple if possible and if you have any appropriate visual props relevant to refugees feel free to use

• The clarity of the sound will be better if you record in a smaller space without hard surfaces; ideally a carpeted space

• Try to avoid background noise

• It may be tempting to speak a bit too fast; here’s an example of a good delivery, courtesy of the BBC and Brian Cox on YouTube.

• Post your clip on your own social media and email the link to us via the ARAN contact form.  We will post it on the Speaking Up for Refugees Facebook page.

• If you have any queries contact us via the ARAN contact form.

Background Information

Why it is important to call for Justice and a Fair Go for Refugees ?
Palm Sunday is a time when communities gather to call for humane policies to replace the cruel and shameful policies of the Federal Government in its treatment of people seeking asylum and refugees.

Justice & A Fair Go For Refugees means:
• Permanent visas and family reunion for all refugees
• Fair and timely assessment of all claims for refugee status
• Safety net income for all those who are waiting for a permanent visa, if they cannot find enough work to support themselves
• Releasing all refugees from detention; see #TimeForAHome
Bringing 260 people still held on Nauru and in PNG here, or allowing New Zealand to resettle them as the New Zealand Prime Minister has been offering to do for several years; see #GameOver.

Explainers 

Haven’t the refugees been released recently?
As a result of protest and legal action, some of the nearly 200 refugees who came to Australia under Medevac legislation have been freed after almost 8 years (over 6 years offshore and nearly 18 months in makeshift prison-hotels in Australia).

They came here for serious medical conditions which could not be treated adequately while they were imprisoned in Papua New Guinea or Nauru. Many have not yet received the treatment they need. Around 150 are still imprisoned in Australia, including 13 in the Park Hotel in Melbourne.

They have committed no crimes and should all be released.

Are those who were released allowed to stay in Australia?
All recently released refugees have been given six-month ‘final departure’ Bridging Visas. This is unfair, as the overwhelming majority are recognised as refugees and should be offered permanent protection here in Australia.

How do people survive on bridging visas for years?
Thousands of people who have sought asylum in Australia are living in the Australian community on Bridging Visas, including the refugees just released from detention in the prison-hotels. Many people have spent years in limbo waiting for their asylum claims to be assessed.

Life on a Bridging Visa
If you’re given bridging visa, you;
• do not receive Jobseeker
• are expected to work; while many can do this, some have health issues associated with long term detention which prevent them from working
• are not permitted to undertake courses of study or to receive training certificates
• cannot re-unite with your family.
Many have been living in desperate poverty for almost eight years,
relying on charity to survive.

What’s wrong with temporary visas?
Around 30,000 people who are recognised refugees have Temporary Protection Visas (three years) or SHEVs – Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (five years).

There is no certainty that these visas will be renewed, leaving refugees in permanent insecurity, with no rights to study and no rights for family reunion.

The lack of certainly makes it very difficult for people to rebuild their lives and get permanent work.

All refugees need permanent visas and a secure future.

If you need more information about  Palm Sunday 2021 contact us via the ARAN contact form

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