News – 12 May 2014
Humanism in action – Walk for Justice for Refugees
On Sunday 13 April, 2014, a small contingent of members and friends of the Humanist Society of Victoria took a public stand for human rights by joining thousands of other Melburnians who marched in support of refugees and asylum seekers. Palm Sunday rallies were held in cities across the country, and Australia’s mass media appeared to largely ignore (or downplay) these rallies and the numbers involved.
Organised by the Refugee Advocacy Network, which markets itself as ‘a coalition of community and faith based groups, unions and refugee advocacy organisations’, Melbourne’s Palm Sunday refugee march was attended by thousands of people, predominantly from Christian churches and groups, and included a variety of community speakers. Our Humanist attendance, though small, demonstrated that the call for social justice was not confined to theists. One of our marchers later commented that our involvement was “an example of Humanism In Action – and not Humanism Inaction”.
Our hope for the next refugee rally is that numbers will be larger: that the event will welcome greater numbers of secular, atheist and free-thought groups, and that HSV involvement will also expand.
Meanwhile, another opportunity to take a public stand for human rights will take place on 17 May, 2014, when HSV members will attend a rally in support of Marriage Equality. All members, families and friends are welcome to join us.
Report by Geoff Allshorn