Yass Rural Australians for Refugees to hold vigil to for asylum seekers and refugees

An attendee at the 2016 vigil in Yass. Photo: Supplied
An attendee at the 2016 vigil in Yass. Photo: Supplied

Yass Rural Australians for Refugees (YRAR) invites the community to gather at ‘The Sheep’ in front of Tootsie on Wednesday, July 19 at 6pm to mark the fourth anniversary of asylum seekers and refugees living in detention on Manus Island and Nauru.

The event will coincide with hundreds of similar vigils and events happening all around Australia on this day.

YRAR describes the past four years as “successive Australian governments choosing to make people seeking safety suffer in offshore detention”.

“The men, women and children abandoned in offshore detention are in immediate danger with nowhere safe to go,” it stated on its Facebook page.

The event on July 19 encourages residents to gather across the country for a candlelit vigil and shine a light in the dark.

“We will stand with those who have suffered, mourn those who have lost their lives and demand everyone on Manus and Nauru be brought to safety,” YRAR president Karan Gabriel said.

There will be music, a speaker – Father Mick – and four minutes of silence to mark the four years of offshore detention for hundreds of people.

There will also be a petition based on the hastage #BringThemHere. YRAR encourages community members to bring their own candle or torch.

“I encourage all Yass Valley residents who are unhappy at our treatment of asylum seekers, especially those in offshore detention, to come out tonight and support this vigil,” Ms Gabriel said.

The even aims to show the community that it can make differences by banding together.

“There are thousands of Australians who don’t think offshore detention is just or humane. We want it to end, and we want the Australian Government to bring those remaining here,” she said.

“The number of people there in offshore detention is so small compared to our population – we could easily accept them.”

To find out more about YRAR or the event: facebook.com/yassruralaustraliansforrefugees.