Manus Men: an open letter
Dear Prime Minister Ardern,
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
I’ve been in regular communication with several of the refugees on Manus and Nauru for about 3 years.
I’m not a naive person and naturally quite pessimistic. Even so, I have found even their worst behaviours to be very reasonable for the dehumanising situations in which they have been placed.
Moreover, Behrouz Boochani is a person who knows the high moral ground because he lives there full-time. His leadership is amazing. He has taught nonviolence to his cohort. I wish more Australians knew what these men know. I have seen so much personal growth in them across the 4 years.
The men are enterprising and have not let abuse or slurs or messed up meds or even hunger completely cripple them.
Most are itching to become dynamic, contributing citizens despite the damage done by Australia or on behalf of Dutton.
If you can take them as a complete group, please do.
Showing Australia that there is a better way that abuse, bribing and bullying is important.
Even Bill Shorten has failed the moral leadership test. As an ardent supporter of Mr Shorten and as an ALP member, I feel incredibly disappointed by this. He’s let racism & deception & economic waste spread as “boat deterrence” became an excuse to pander to the ignorant xenophobes and defence fanatics.
Please show Australia up on this, as New Zealand did on Tampa. Historic respect and tourism to NZ will increase. I guarantee that refugees detained offshore have no interest in Australia hereafter.
Your nation will be the richer for these mostly wonderful and always interesting, diverse and stoic people.