The Drownings Argument – Book Launch

Book Launch  – The Drownings’ Argument

On Saturday 21 February 2015 at Balmain Town Hall meeting room, Julian Burnside QC launched this small, but significant volume of essays! He began by apologising for the book’s title, not so much the stray apostrophe as for the fact that it should have been The Drownings Excuse…..and for the fact that we need such a book at all. The room was packed; no where near enough chairs to go round. He told us of the misery of particular individuals; he told us about people having their medications and hearing aids etc taken from them; he told us about the mammoth task he had undertaken to get letters from Australians to asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus, and how , after 12 months, the Dept had returned all the mail to him as sender, unopened. Where has our humanity, where has our basic decency gone?

Verity Firth, Labor candidate for Balmain, chaired the meeting, and she and Shane Prince, Co-convenor of Labor for Refugees, told audience members about Labor’s appalling record in government on this issue, Labor’s timidity currently in opposition, and the efforts of Labor members to change this and set the refugees free. Read Verity’s welcome here.