Thousands of marches and demonstrations were held across Australia in support of refugees. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
NATURAL ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Thousands of Australians on Saturday (October 22) took part in rallies to welcome refugees and make a stand against rising far-right sentiment in the country. More than 20,000 people, including prominent political leaders, attended demonstrations in 25 cities and towns across the country, Mohammad Al-Khafaji, chief executive of Welcome to Australia, said. A White Australia Policy, which was only dismantled in the late 1960s, favored European migrants over non-whites. Aborigines were administered under flora and fauna laws until then and remain far behind most people in literacy, health and economic standards. Under Australia's tough immigration policy, asylum seekers intercepted trying to reach the country by boat are sent for processing at camps in Nauru or to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and are not eligible for resettlement in Australia. Amnesty International claimed this week that conditions on Nauru, where about 400 Australian-bound asylum seekers are held, "amount to torture".