A pastor and a provisional psychologist were recently suspended four stories above the Subiaco office of Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on a hanging tent. The two Christians, part of the #LoveMakesAWay movement, unfurled two banners reading “SOS Manus” and “Love Makes A Way for asylum seekers” and staged a sit-in on a rock climbing portaledge above the office.
The peaceful aerial sit-in called on the Australian government to take immediate action to evacuate Manus before more people die.
Pastor Jarrod McKenna of Cornerstone Church, part of the #LoveMakesAWay action, said: “The lives of 600 people on Manus Island hang in the balance, their fate is in Julie Bishop’s hands. That’s why we are hanging here, urgently calling on the Foreign Minister and the government to take immediate action to ensure no more people die on Manus.
“What’s happening on Manus Island is an emergency. 600 people who sought safety in Australia have been imprisoned for years and are now deprived of food, water, medical care and a safe future.
Love Makes A Way is a movement of Christians seeking an end to Australia’s inhumane asylum seeker policies through prayer and nonviolent love in action.
“The crisis on Manus Island is desperate and urgent. We are appealing to the over 300 Christians who have been involved in #LoveMakesAWay to date to take immediate action. We are also appealing to all Australians of good conscience to take immediate action in support of the 600 people held on Manus. We must not let the Manus Island death toll rise,” said Delroy Bergsma, a provincial psychologist and the other half of the #LoveMakesAWay action.
In a statement shared with #LoveMakesAWay ahead of the peaceful action, journalist and Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani, writing from Manus Island, said: “We are peacefully resisting being imprisoned for longer.”
“We have lived in this prison camp for more than 4 and a half years. The Australian government have cut food, water and medicines to us.
“From Manus camp, I am asking people around Australia to say no to fascist thinking. What’s happening on Manus is under your name. We are asking the international community to make a stand also.
“We will never settle for anything less than freedom. Only freedom,” said Boochani.
Several hours into the peaceful demonstration, officers rappelled from the rooftop to lower the protestors to the ground. The men were arrested and charged with trespass.
“I really hate heights,” tweeted Pastor McKenna during the aerial sit-in. “But people will die if we do nothing.”
— Jarrod McKenna ن (@jarrodmckenna) November 9, 2017