Some of Australia’s top musicians have combined their powers in a bid to stop offshore processing.
Backstage on their recent Laneway Festival tour, Violent Soho, Big Scary, The Smith Street Band, Japanese Wallpaper, Airling and Kučka, together with El Gusto and Luke Dubs from Hermitude and festival MC Kirin J Callinan took a photo of themselves proudly holding up placards reading “Let Them Stay” and “Musicians Against Offshore Processing”.
Big Scary have shone more light on what inspired so many big-name acts to stand together on the issue.
“It felt good to stand together with a bunch of great people and great bands to join the chorus of Australians saying #letthemstay,” they wrote on Facebook. “We know it’s a complex issue. We know there’s no simple solution. But we all agree on one thing: how our country is currently treating asylum seekers is not OK. We have the human and financial resources to provide compassion and safety for anyone seeking asylum. Not in our name. Not with our money.”
It’s not the first time musicians have come out against the Australian government’s deplorable treatment of asylum seekers, which has also been condemned by the UN Human Rights Council.
The Smith Street Band have been particularly critical of the government’s policy, dedicating a song to refugees during their set at last year’s Splendour In The Grass, after famously releasing a song about Tony Abbott’s dehumanisation of asylum seekers, dubbed Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face.
The likes of Urthboy, Remi and Hunters & Collectors’ Mark Seymour have all publicly expressed solidarity with asylum seekers, while popstar Cody Simpson last year donated his Twitter account to a Syrian refugee named Thair Orfahli, to help raise awareness about those fleeing persecution in the Middle East.
Triple J’s Matt Okine this week also made his stance on the issue known, via a brilliant Kanye West-inspired rap.
Meanwhile, the High Court recently threw out a legal challenge to offshore immigration detention, meaning that the Australian Govermnent will now move ahead with plans to send a group of 260 asylum seekers – 37 of whom are babies – back to detention on Nauru.
Check out the photo of Laneway’s best and brightest standing together to protest the policy, below.