Activists superglue hands in Aussie parliament protest
PROTESTORS demanding the closure of offshore detention camps for boatpeople disrupted Australia’s parliament yesterday with some supergluing their hands to railings in the public gallery.
Speaker Tony Smith suspended question time in what cabinet minister Christopher Pyne said was the most serious intrusion into parliament in 20 years.
The group of around 30 activists began chanting loudly soon after the session began, shouting “close the camps” and “where is your moral compass?”.
Some superglued their hands to the public viewing gallery railings as security tried to remove them, with guards using hand sanitiser to help peel them free, television images showed yesterday.
They were eventually pulled from the chamber, some forcibly.
The protesters, from the Whistleblowers Activists and Citizens Alliance, said offshore detention represented a “state of emergency”.
The same group stormed the stage and forced Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to stop speaking during a major economic address in Melbourne in August.
Canberra sends asylum-seekers trying to reach Australia by sea to isolated outposts on Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, with the detention camps’ conditions widely criticised by refugee advocates and medical professionals.
UN special rapporteur Francois Crepeau this month said Australia’s “punitive approach” to boatpeople had tarnished its human rights record following an 18-day mission that took him across the country and to Nauru.
Christopher Pyne slams the intrusion into parliament.