Love Makes A Way
Statement from the day of the first Love Makes A Way action in March 2014:
A number of Christians are currently holding a prayer vigil inside the electoral office of Immigration Minister Scott Morrison in Cronulla.
The group said their action is a response to Australia’s cruel treatment of asylum seekers and an appeal to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to rediscover the ideals of his maiden speech.
The group, who identify with a variety of Christian churches including Catholic, Uniting, Churches of Christ, and Hillsong, entered Mr. Morrison’s electoral office and observed the prayer vigil for “the victims of Australia’s inhumane asylum policies”.
Australia’s asylum seeker policies, especially the policy of indefinite offshore detention and living conditions inside Manus Island and Nauru detention centres have been condemned by the UNHCR, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and a wide range of refugee and international law experts in Australia.
All the participants had previously been involved in advocacy for asylum seekers. The participants of today’s action feel moved to participate in nonviolent direct action in light of the complete failure of both major parties to protect the well-being of people seeking asylum.
“We feel as though the formal channels of policy debate on this issue have been exhausted,” said Justin Whelan.
“We risk arrest only because we believe the injustice being carried out by our government must be exposed, but in a nonviolent way. We hope others will also act to challenge cruelty towards asylum seekers and encourage others to embrace a more welcoming response,” Mr Whelan said.
“As Christians we stand in a tradition that teaches care for the vulnerable and love for outsiders,” said Matt Anslow.
“We know Mr. Morrison identifies as a Christian, and worships Jesus, who was a refugee.
“In his maiden speech to Parliament Mr. Morrison spoke eloquently of his passion for justice. We did this action because we believe that, despite all the tough rhetoric, Mr. Morrison is a person who cares about justice and compassion, and we pray he will reconsider his cruel policies,” Mr Anslow said.
The vigil included an invitation for Mr. Morrison’s staff to join the group in prayer.
After this action, those charged faced court where the charges were dismissed. The Magistrate noted, "If ever there was a peaceful protest this was it. This was the other end of the scale to the Cronulla Riots."
News story: Eternity News
News story: Huffington Post
News feature: SBS — Love Makes a Way: what drives these Christians to risk arrest?