Gosford Anglican Minister, Father Rod Bower, was arrested after chaining himself to the fence of the Prime Minister’s Sydney residence, Kirribilli House, on November 27.
Father Bower was taking part in a protest against the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island, with a group of Christian leaders who all chained themselves to the front gates of Kirribilli House.
The protest was part of the non-violent, ‘Love Makes A Way’ prayer protest movement that seeks an end to Australia’s current policies on asylum seekers and refugees.
Father Bower and four other protesters held up signs calling for the evacuation of the Manus and Nauru offshore processing centres.
He shared an image on Twitter of himself and his fellow protesters with chains around their necks locked to the gates of Kirribilli House.
“I’m at Kirribilli House with friends,” he wrote on facebook.
“In fact, we’ve chained ourselves to the gate.
“We chain ourselves not only to the gate, but to the Manus men.
“All humanity is connected, and when one suffers, we all suffer,” Father Bower said.
The protest came one day after thousands of people gathered across Australia calling for the end of offshore detention by the Federal Government.
“One thing we all agree on, is the need to treat people the way we want to be treated ourselves,” Father Bower said.
“The relentless abuse of people by the government for political purposes not only diminishes these vulnerable refugees, it diminishes all Australians,” he said.
The protesters were removed forcibly by police, who had to cut their chains, and taken away in a police van, but later released.
The collective, national action followed the Papua New Guinea Police and Immigration shutting down the makeshift refuge that asylum seekers had established on Manus Island after the official closure of the detention centre.
It has been four weeks since local authorities closed the centre, shutting off electricity, water and supplies of food, despite widespread, international condemnation.
Websites, Nov 27
Twitter and Facebook, Father Rod Bower
Suzy Monzer, Journalist