Thousands of people rallied as part of the refugee sanctuary movement in Melbourne on Monday. Our citizen journalist John Englart was there to capture on photo the rally and the many posters present.

The rally was in response to the High Court ruling on sending refugee families back to Nauru detention. The Sanctuary movement grew rapidly in response from church groups prepared to offer sanctuary to every one of these people and families to stop them being deported. It was led by the Anglican Dean of Brisbane, Peter Catt.

A wide range of people have come out and implored the Federal government to stop the planned deportation of 267 people including 37 babies to Nauru.

Crowds at the rally heard from several speakers and chanted “let them stay”. They were also given the Prime Minister’s phone number and urged to send a message to Canberra.

Organisers estimated 6000 people in attendance.

On February 6, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews wrote to the Prime Minister saying that Victoria was prepared to house all 267 people rather than send them back to Nauru. One after the other, all the Premiers and chief ministers also endorsed the move to Let them stay.