On Sunday I joined 200+ compassionate Brisbane people to call for the government to end mandatory detention, end the freeze on Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum seekers and to stop playing political ping pong with human lives in the lead-up to the federal election.

My contribution was to help set up a ping pong table on behalf of The Greens to remind both of the old parties what a game of ping pong actually looks like – and that asylum seekers and refugees were not political ping pongs; they are people who deserve the same rights as those enjoyed by you and I.

Asylum seekers are people fleeing persecution from torture, trauma, war and tyranny – not political ping pongs.

The speeches were incredibly eye-opening and the courage shown by the speakers to speak out against this injustice was inspiring. Luckily I was wearing sunglasses because the stories were very hard to hear.

Refugee health worker Dr Alison Stewart’s accounts of the mental health trauma experienced by men, women and children who are detained for long periods and statistics surrounding their feelings of helplessness and hopelessness were extremely tough to learn of.

How a lucky country such as ours can justify such gross injustice is beyond my comprehension.

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