Tuesday 25 June 2013
Sitting on the steps tonight I was thinking, of course, of Barry Prior – feeling the sadness of loss – and trying to imagine what it may be like for families whose loved ones disappear, drown at sea, or are disappeared through some other form of violence. This pain … is unimaginable.
Anne, a woman I had not met previously dropped in with a poem for me. I will share it with you:
ORDINANCE ON ARRIVAL
Welcome to you
who have managed to get here.
It’s been a terrible trip;
you should be happy you have survived it.
Statistics prove that not many do.
You would like a bath, a hot meal,
a good nights\’s sleep. Some of you
need medical attention.
None of this is available.
These things have always been
in short supply; now
they are impossible to obtain.
This is not
a temporary situation;
it is permanent.
our condolences on your disappointment.
It is not our responsibility
everything you have heard about this place
is false. It is not our fault
you have been deceived,
ruined your health getting here.
For reasons beyond our control
there is no vehicle out.
– Naomi Lazard
Much of the evening I sat on the steps alone but was visited by people wanting to sign the petition and some others who drop in so many nights to encourage, or sit or just say hello.
Two young men came by and stopped to look at the vigil site. They then introduced themselves to me with a sense of excitement. They had been in the IGA Mostyn St Building campaigning for UNHCR and were surprised to come across the vigil. Nicholas explained their work and how he had come from Brazil. Sami explained to me that he had been a refugee from Ethiopia. We talked for a while and before they left we exchanged BIG hugs and well wishes and a sense of the criss-crossing of connections of care through this country.
I will be sitting at the Castlemaine Market Bldng Steps from 5pm – 6.30pm each evening. Please join me or come sign the petition.