week 2 vigil june 29 2013

Castlemaine Vigil in Solidarity with Refugees
Day 14 Saturday 29th June 2013

It’s quiet on the steps weekend evenings. It was quiet this evening – although a few people did stop and ask what I was doing – some of them signing the petition, which made 62 signatures in all gathered from the steps over the past 2 weeks. Again, if anyone runs or has a business in this area who would be willing to have a copy of the petition for customers/visitors to sign please let me know.

So, yes, there were some lovely – because direct – questions from children. I remembered how Vassillio – the man I wrote of a while back – said ‘children are the angels’! One of the things that I notice is that children don’t walk by with eyes determinedly averted – they are freer – they look around, they notice and are interested, they listen to stories and feel. There is something profound about this. These children are what we need to become. To notice, to question, to show interest and feel empathy.

Tonight I thought of the children in detention centres. I thought of the young girl who, by the age of 10 had tried to kill herself 3 times after being imprisoned in a detention centre in Australia for 3 years. I thought of her younger siblings, her parents. I thought of other children traumatised like her. And I thought of how children do not have the power to make choices and yet we adults, here, in Australia, make choices that would cause children deep trauma and long-term harm.

Tonight i’m going to leave you with a poem by Renee Pettitt-Schipp, a woman, poet, arts worker living on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. You can find more of her poetry in http://www.borderlandse-journal.net.au
VOLUME 11 NUMBER 3, 2012

Politics of Entry

Coming in the back door
like you could wait politely at the front one.
Coming in the back door
like survival was a party, you’re just not invited.
But in all this
namelessness
we are blind
to the coming from;
coming from a landscape in shadow
where rape is tactical, procedural, political,
hold the daughter still
plant your flag in that dark place,
force the life out of her eyes until she
is pregnant with the violence of it.
Let despair grow round
and firm and hungry.
We say; the welcome mat,
red carpet, flood gates open
when all you see is light
from darkness
a door
ajar

I will be sitting on the Castlemaine Market Building Steps tomorrow night from 5pm – 6.30pm. Please come sign the petition and sit with me for a while if you can.

janet galbraith

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