Scoop Images: Aucklanders Welcome Afghan Refugees
Story and Images by Chloe Heffernan of Aotearoa Indymedia
People from many different community and political groups came together at the Mangere Immigration Centre to welcome the Afghan Refugees who have arrived in Auckland.
Maire Leadbeater (Auckland City Councillor and organiser of Justice for Asylum Seekers) handed over a letter of welcome on behalf of those present to Polly O'Brien of the Immigration Service.
Maire Leadbeater wanted to welcome the Tampa refugees but also spoke out against their detention and called for the children who came without parents to be released so they could be cared for within the Afghan community.
Many members of the Afghan community were present and expressed thanks for the welcome and to the NZ government for taking the refugees.
Media were there in force trying desperately to get shots of some children playing soccer in field from within the Immigration Centre with telephoto lenses. The children were actually rumoured to be locals, not the refugees who O'Brien said were tired and sleeping.
A call was made for people to attend a peace march against US retaliation this Saturday, 4pm from QE2 Square.