Speak out against Melissa Parke

I don’t think I’m the only one on Wray Avenue who has been really disappointed in Melissa Parke over her support for the Government’s plan on asylum seekers (and yes, I’m sure there are some who think her position is fine, and other who think it doesn’t go far enough).

I have had a few people ask me if there is anything happening on Wray Avenue outside Melissa Parke’s office. It has happened before and looks like it is happening again.

This just came up on my Facebook feed:

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 8.01.15 AM

The text reads:

“Thursday, 15 August, at 4 pm join us in front of Melissa Parke’s Fremantle office to demonstrate community opposition to the PNG “solution” and Ms Parkes’ support for abandonment of the refugee convention.

We will be delivering copies of petitions we have been gathering signatures on opposing the off shore processing of asylum seekers.

The action will be held at Ms Parke’s office, 62 Wray Avenue, Fremantle.

Register YOUR disgust at: Melissa.parke@aph.gov.au”

There was a protest organised a few years back which went really well (which I wrote about here).

Quite aside from my personal beliefs about how we, as a society, should respond to asylum seekers, to me there is a bigger issue here. For me, the issue with the Government’s plan, and my problem with Melissa Parke’s support for it, is a failure to show integrity in upholding, both in practice and in spirit, a international convention our nation helped to draft and sign into law. Our signing the Convention on the Rights of the Refugee is a truly noble gesture that we should celebrate as a great act, not look to modify or ‘reimagine’ to suit political ends.

Much of the debate I’ve seen and read seems to suggests the Government’s plan may not even be legally defensible; I’m not a lawyer though, much less one experienced in international law.

Fremantle is the only real politically-left Federal seat in Western Australia and I think it’s constituents deserve better – especially since they are often promised better by candidates, incumbent or otherwise.

Despite Ms Parke’s reasonable defence of her position recently in The Fremantle Herald, I’m not convinced she is right and plan to add my voice of protest on Thursday.

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