Following the escalating refugee crisis in Europe—where thousands departed on foot and by bus in Budapest overnight toward Germany and Austria, whose borders were recently opened to accommodate the swelling flow of asylum seekers—Greens leader Richard Di Natale and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young have made an impassioned call on the Government to respond to the emergency and accept 20,000 more Syrian refugees into Australia.
Richard Di Natale said the world had been deeply touched by images emerging from the crisis – including one particularly harrowing photograph of drowned toddler Aylan Kurdi, who washed ashore on a Turkey beach this week.
Di Natale has since launched a campaign, strongenough.org.au, to garner signatures on a petition addressed to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
— Richard Di Natale (@RichardDiNatale) September 5, 2015
“Australia has a moral obligation to offer assistance right now,” Richard Di Natale told ABC News this morning. “We should be offering assistance to these people that are in such desperate need of our help.”
Addressing Tony Abbott’s humanitarian responsibility to respond to the crisis, Di Natale said,
“Now is the time for you, as the nation’s leader, to step up, and show that we can be decent, caring, compassionate people, rather than the cruelty and brutality that we’re showing towards the most vulnerable people on the planet.”
Within Tony Abbott’s own ranks, Coalition MPs Barnaby Joyce and Craig Lundy have also called for the Government to accept more Syrian refugees. Yesterday, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said Australia should be doing more to address the crisis.
“You would be less than human if you didn’t … Who thinks watching a child drown is a good outcome?” Barnaby Joyce said yesterday, while maintaining that a wider acceptance of Syrian refugees would have to be done by “legitimate” means.
Craig Lundy commented on Australia’s humanitarian responsibility to welcome more refugees from war-torn Syria, asking, “Can we do more?”.
Yesterday, Pedestrian spoke with , the activist renowned for her involvement in 2014’s #IllRideWithYouMovement, and who established a viral hashtag on Friday – calling for Tony Abbott to step down from his ceaseless”stop the boats” rhetoric with #WeCanDoBetter.
“Never underestimate people power,” Veiszadeh told P.TV yesterday.
— Mariam Veiszadeh (@MariamVeiszadeh) September 4, 2015
Via Richard Di Natale.
Lead image by Matt Cardy via Getty.