Meryl Jackson from “Manus Lives Matter” spoke to the Vintage Reds at their March meeting.
Meryl has been involved with refugees for forty years. For the first twenty, she was proud of Australia’s welcoming policy. But the last years have been tough: dehumanising, no compassion shown, especially with the indefinite detention policy.
Some years ago the “Manus Lives Matter” group started doing phone card top-ups for the men, and sent parcels. Then they got to know the men, and made friends with a number of them. Meryl told stories about Nagaraj, a Tamil fisherman; Naeem, a 30-year-old Pakistani with an MBA in finance, a former bank and NGO worker, who has been in detention for four and a half years; and Shamindan, a 27-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil.