Australian communities defend deporteded nun
Leaders and members of the religious community, politicians, union and community leaders and members are publicly showing their support for Sr Patricia Fox.
Sr Pat is the Australian nun from the Congregation of the Sisters of Sion ordered to leave the Philippines on the April 25 for ‘engaging in activities that are not keeping in terms of her missionary visa’.
The Movement Against Tyranny (Australia), International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) and Migrante Australia have initiated a signature campaign as an expression of the Australian public’s support for Sr Pat.
Sr Pat’s principles of compassion for the poor, and respect for their dignity and rights contrast with the explosion of unlawful killings under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, and his vocal threats against defenders of human rights and the rule of law.
The campaign has gathered nearly 500 signatures, with more expected.
Amongst the signatories are Sr Mary Barbuto, Regional Co-Leader (Sisters of Our Lady of Sion), Fr Claude Mostowik, President Pax Christi Australia, Dr Phil Glendenning, Director Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education, Senator Claire Moore (Australian Labor Party), Senator Lee Rhiannon (Greens NSW), Sally McManus Secretary Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), Padraig Crumlin, National Secretary Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), Grahame McCulloch, National Secretary National Tertiary Education Union, Andrew Dettmer, National President Australian Manufacturing Workers Unions (AMWU), Peter Adrehart, Chairperson Melbourne Unitarian and Peace Memorial Church, Kevin Bracken, President Spirit of Eureka, Shirley Winton, Committee Coordinator Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN), John Speight Chairperson Melbourne May Day Committee, Andrew Morrison Co-Chairperson Philippines Australia Solidarity Association, Peter Murphy Chairperson International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP), Peter Brock, Chairperson Action for Peace and Development in the Philippines (APDP), Gill Boehringer, Chairperson International Association of People’s Lawyers (Australia), George Kotsakis Chairperson Migrante Australia, Edwin Subijano Co-Convenor Movement Against Tyranny (Australia), Dr Meredith Burgmann, President Zimbabwe Information Centre. (complete list is attached)
A delegation to the Philippine Consulate in Sydney is being organised this week to present the statement with signatures. Below is the text of the support statement:
Cancel the deportation of Sr Patricia Fox from the Philippines
We the undersigned Australian People publicly call on President Rodrigo Duterte and the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines to rescind its deportation order on Sr Patricia Fox NDS, to restore her Missionary Visa, and to thank her for her 27 years of kind support to the poor of the Philippines.
We unreservedly condemn the detention of Sr Pat on April 16-17, 2018, and the subsequent 30-day deportation order of April 25, as an arbitrary act of repression against her and against all foreigners who have committed to assist and support the Filipino people in their struggles to live in a poverty-stricken, exploited and violent society.
We are very clear – Sr Pat has committed no “illegal political activity” in the Philippines, and we applaud her decision to fight to have the deportation order overturned or withdrawn. As she has stood alongside the poor farmers, workers and indigenous people these last 27 years, we are proud to stand alongside her now.