Walk for Freedom Reaches Canberra 4th Feb, 2017
Event: Completion of 1194km ‘Walk for (Refugee) Freedom” from Adelaide to Federal Parliament, Canberra ACT
Date: Sat 4 Feb 2017 11.30am to 4pm.
Adam Richards and son Ned Thorn are walking 1194km from Adelaide to Canberra to raise awareness about the plight of asylum seekers in Australia’s offshore detention centres, to close the camps and #bringthemhere.
A convoy of supporters in cars from all over the country who have been accompanying them for stages of the journey will converge in Canberra on Saturday 4th February when the walkers complete the final day of their arduous 1194km walk in baking summer heat.
There will be a rally with speakers and a march to Federal Parliament House followed by a boat flotilla to mark their arrival.
Adam Richards is an Adelaide lawyer. Son Ned is a very thoughtful and aware 13 year old. Over recent years, Adam was increasingly concerned by the plight of refugees and our treatment of those indefinitely detained on Manus and Nauru. His disgust grew. Adam was losing his pride in this great country of ours. Adam could see that the country he knew growing up – the land of the “fair go” — disappearing fast as he watched. He once stated that he owed it “to my children to fight for the Australia I love, and that’s the Australia that gives people a compassionate welcome.”
Blistered and aching, this dedicated duo are completing this journey crossing 4 states. Adam’s sentiments amplify the concerns of many in the Australian community, including walk supporters and coordinators.
Adam walked out of Adelaide with Ned on 28 December 2016 and has marched an average of 30km per day ever since. His walk is about regaining national self-respect, hence the “Walk for Aussie Pride”. The total distance of 1194 km will be walked on their 38 day trek. They will arrive in Canberra on the 4th February 2017.
“Our goal is to put increasing pressure on the government to close our offshore detention camps on Manus and Nauru”, said Adam.
“Over 80% of refugees on these islands have been assessed as genuine, despite the Government’s new processing strategies which lean towards setting refugees up for failure.
“Australia is also not meeting its current international obligations and is in contravention of all the following UN Conventions and treaties: the UN Human Rights Convention, the UN Convention on Refugees, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Right, the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“We also have laws and principles that are built into our own justice system as part of common law that apply to all that are accused of or convicted of crimes in this nation. This applies equally to citizens, tourists or people coming into our country by any means. For example, everyone has the right to access legal advice as well as the right to a fair trial. Our law also states people must not be imprisoned without due process. As such, we are also in contravention of our own laws”, said Adam.
Close the camps now and #bringthemhere. #canberrawalk.
Event: Sat 4 Feb 2017, Canberra.
11.30am onwards: walkers and cars arrive at Mint Oval, Denison St, Deakin, ACT.
12 Noon: Boat-making at Mint Oval
1.00pm: March (Route 1) departs on foot. Takes in The Lodge. Maps available.
2.00pm: March Arrives Federal Parliament House.
Three Speakers outside AFP.
2.40pm: Walk (map Route 2) from Parliament directly to Lake Burley Griffin to launch symbolic boat regatta.
3.15pm: Boat regatta at Lake at 40 Queen Elizabeth Terrace (map available).
Key speakers include: Anthea Falkenburg, Adam Richards, Fr Rod Bower, Dr John Minns, John Hargreaves, Chris Schmidt. Contact details below.
A symbolic “boat regatta” on Lake Burley Griffin will also coincide with the completion of Adam’s long and arduous walk. Great images will be available on the day from noon until 4pm.
Ned Thorn and supporters will remain for the opening of Federal Parliament on Tuesday 7 February 2017. Adam is due back at work in Adelaide. However, young Ned and fellow activists will present the petition to the Australian Federal Parliament, with the names that have been collected during his walk, and by other activists on the car convoy and elsewhere. (Times at Australian Federal Parliament building to be clarified).
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