Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

THE re­cent screen­ing of the film Suf­fragette show­ing the abuse of Bri­tish women in 1912 by their govern­ment in their fight for the right to vote is highly rel­e­vant to­day.

In De­cem­ber 2014 a group of men and women clergy re­fused to leave the Perth of­fice of a Fed­eral Govern­ment Min­is­ter. There were eight peo­ple; a Unit­ing Church Min­is­ter, a young mother, two church work­ers and an Angli­can Priest all women; and three men, one also a UC Min­is­ter, one a Pas­tor, one a lay church worker.

Th­ese peo­ple were peace­fully cam­paign­ing against the de­ten­tion and abuse of chil­dren in the Aus­tralian Govern­ment's re­mote off­shore cen­tres.

Hav­ing re­fused to "move on", the group was ar­rested and taken to the Perth lockup in ac­cor­dance with the law.

How­ever, what was not ex­pected at the lockup was that they were strip searched like any drug mule or ter­ror­ist. The hu­mil­i­a­tion and degra­da­tion they suf­fered is still af­fect­ing them to­day.

Let it be clear, th­ese are good and de­cent peo­ple. What they ex­pe­ri­enced at the hands of the au­thor­i­ties is rep­re­hen­si­ble.

With the ap­proach of both Fed­eral and State elec­tions, we need to know just who in the chain of com­mand or­dered the strip search. Our frag­ile democ­racy de­serves bet­ter than peo­ple like this at its helm. JAN WHEARE, May­lands.

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