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Civil disobedience

Major Marion Weymouth

Barry Gittins spoke to Major Marion Weymouth on 9 January 2015 about her tenure as territorial social justice secretary; her lessons, her liaisons and her legacy.

Speaking of social justice, one young man, the honourable Captain Craig Farrell, chose to join in a civil disobedience action with other Christians through the ongoing Love Makes a Way campaign, and duly got himself arrested...
In terms of this country’s abuse and neglect of refugees and asylum seekers, I think everyone’s aware that Australia has slowly been going down a road of degeneration. We are not doing well. It affects us all, and unless we find a voice and speak out we will stand guilty and complicit.

Craig took the action and he didn’t do it in isolation, or on the spur of the moment. He did it with a real and abiding understanding of the grassroots need of that civil action to promote awareness of the issue and encourage a change in policy. LMAW has been around for a while, and now more than 100 Christians have been arrested now, and I believe their actions have contributed to the release of many asylum seeker children from detention centres, with the weight of ill mental health that impacts the detainees. Our vision as followers of Christ would be to have everyone out of those centres. 

I saw Craig and his fellow protestors at the court in Geelong before their appearance, and it reinforced my understanding that this is not just an avenue for young people. Anybody of any age, of any colour or standing in the community. Anybody with a heart can join such groups.

We shouldn’t do it randomly, just to be a noise and pestilence… we can do it with the object of pushing for change, which is done best in partnership. We need to connect wisely, otherwise we’ll get carried away with the genuine drama. The risk we have to avoid is doing this kind of action for its dramatic potential, for the sake of the drama. We need to intuit our motivation and cultivate our passions for change in the most effective manner.