Pro-refugee demonstration sends NSW Liberals packing

More than 60 activists shut down a NSW Liberal Party state electoral conference on Thursday, 3 November. 

A motion on notice at the conference called for an end to all immigration and refugee intake, referring to refugees as “criminals”, “bastards” and “jihadists”. This came just days after the federal government announced a proposal to ban all asylum seekers arriving by boat from ever entering Australia.

Amnesty International, refugee advocacy group People Just Like Us, the Greens, the CFMEU, Socialist Alternative and the National Union of Students assembled outside the Parramatta RSL in protest at the new depths to which the Liberal Party has sunk in the treatment of refugees. 

The protest forced the NSW Liberals to cancel their conference. Protesters also marched through the streets of Parramatta to the office of local Liberal MP Geoff Lee, chanting “Be prepared to get in the way, let them in, let them stay!” Many local residents honked car horns in support and cheered from the footpath.

Forcing the NSW Liberal Party to cancel the event was one small victory this week for anti-racists. But there is still a long way to go in challenging the government’s barbaric refugee policy. 

Pro-refugee activists need to continue mobilising on the streets, disrupting business as usual and “getting in the way” of the racist consensus of the Liberal and Labor parties.