On Friday, 19 June 2015, Animal Liberation ACT held a demonstration outside the Pinnacle Nature Reserve to raise awareness about the ‘ghost population’ of joeys killed as a consequence of the government’s kangaroo culls. Each year the government obtains a licence to kill thousands of kangaroos, but does not take responsibility for the hundreds of joeys orphaned by the cull and left to die a slow death of starvation without access to their mothers’ milk. The event included ‘glow in the dark’ kangaroos as a symbol of the ghost population of joeys killed due to the cull. This ‘ghost population’ of young animals is not included in the 5,000 kangaroos the Government has been licensed to kill over the next 2 years.
We had three great hand-painted banners, plus two big collaged people, and placards to stand and march in solidarity with refugees.
Feedback has told us that it sends a really powerful message out to the public about Vegans ‘Caring’ when we are at things like this and organisers assure us that we are more than welcome at such events.
It’s completely appropriate for people to attend events such as this as part of a group, in our case as Vegans in Solidarity with Refugees. RAC (Refugee Action Committee) actually encourages this as they feel it demonstrates the broad range of community groups who support refugees.
RAC wrote: The Palm Sunday Rally for Refugees is an annual event in Canberra where community, church, political and union groups from across the region gather together to voice their strong opposition to the Australian government’s shameful refugee policies.
Last year’s rally saw over 2,000 people march through the city demanding an end to the mandatory detention of refugees and other cruel policies aimed at denying refugees their legal right to have their claims processed. Regardless of what our politicians say, it is not illegal to seek asylum in Australia by boat, not even under Australian law, and every asylum seeker has the right to live safely in the community while their claims are processed.
Written by Jyoti, Animal ACTivism Collective Liaison
On Saturday 22 February a small group of us took vegan banners and attended the Refugee Action Committee’s vigil in Garema Place for Reza Berati, the Iranian refugee who was killed at Manus Island. You can read more about Reza Berati here.
Our presence at the vigil received intrigue and interest from the public. One lady came up to us and said that she didn’t know vegans were political and was so happy to see ‘us’ (vegans) there at the rally supporting refugees and being involved in social justice issues. Another person who chatted with us said a similar thing, and said she was so happy to see us there. Also, two Hazara refugees from Afghanistan stopped to chat, and shared their stories with us.
AnimalACTivism Collective plans to organise more actions like this so there is a more visible vegan presence. Many of us go to protests/vigils around social justice issues, and we thought it’s good to identify ourselves as vegans at these things so people can start to understand better that we care about human beings, the environment and a host of justice issues, as well as animal rights.
It’s common for other groups to attend such events with banners identifying themselves, so us letting people know we are there as vegans is nothing out of the ordinary. It would be awesome to have many more vegans standing with us at the next action! If you’d like to join us in solidarity at future events please contact Jyoti at firstname.lastname@example.org
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