South Australian activists handed over thousands of blood money petitions collected from around Australia, to the Defence Minister Christopher Pyne in Adelaide this week calling on the Australian government to stop funding the Myanmar military who are accused of conducting a systematic ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya people.
In August Amnesty International Australia launched its crisis response campaign calling on the Australian Government to immediately stop funding the Myanmar military and their ongoing campaign of violence against the Rohingya people.
For months Amnesty Activists from around Australia organised events, stalls and hit the streets old school style through blitzing and informing the public that our government was potentially funding the very same military accused of committing crimes against humanity, to collect a grand total of 21, 260 signatures.
On Wednesday the 31st of October, South Australian activists gathered out the front of the Minister of Defense’s office to hand over the blood money petitions and demonstrate that this issue is in fact in the hearts and minds of many Australians. Although Christopher Pyne himself wasn’t available, our stand in Minister Pyne imitator proved to be more than fit for the role attracting both media and public attention.
“It was fantastic to see a mix of new and existing Amnesty activists attend the handover to show their support for the Rohingya People and outrage at the Australian Government’s funding of the Myanmar Military”
said long term activist Sigrid Pfaffle.
Activists from the Ministers’ federal electorate of Sturt presented the blood money petitions in large money bags covered in fake blood to a member of Minister Pyne’s team, who seemed confused at first and then slightly annoyed by the sheer number of petitions and weight of the money bags.
Activist Leader Rajina Dhillon shared
“We have the support of over 21,000 people from across the country whose signatures and objections were passed on to the Defence Minister’s staff. This speaks volumes and is a signal for the government to step up.”
The handover was a huge success, Amnesty activists on behalf of many members of the public sent a clear message to the Defence Minister, Christopher Pyne that Australians say no to blood money!