Easter Monday Rally at Villawood

2012 marks 20 years since the introduction of mandatory detention for asylum seekers, so a protest was held at the Villawood Detention Centre in southwest Sydney on Monday. This protest was part of an Easter national convergence, where refugee supporters protested at detention centres around Australia.

The protest met at about 1pm outside Chester Hill train station. Some people held banners, tables of literature were set up and people were chanting.

At about 1:15pm we began marching toward Villawood Detention Centre, down the main street of Chester Hill, through the quiet suburban streets of Chester Hill and Villawood. People stood out the front of their shops and houses, some expressing support, others expressing disapproval but most just having a look at what was going on.

At about 2pm, we reached the outer wall of Villawood Detention Centre. Speeches were made and chants of freedom and آزادی (the Persian equivalent – apparently many of the current detainees are Persian speakers) were exchanged between protesters and detainees on the other side of the fence over 50 metres away.

At about 3pm, the group marched to an entrance on another side of the detention centre.

Not long after, the protest ended. Some people headed off toward Villawood train station while others walked back the way we had marched.

For more information on refugees and asylum seekers in Sydney and the rest of Australia check out: Refugee Action Coalition Sydney.

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