Thousands protest for Manus evacuation

Thousands of Australians have protested across the country calling for the federal government to end its offshore detention policy.

Demonstrations were held in Sydney and Melbourne, expressing ‘solidarity’ to the men held in the Manus Island Detention Centre, which closed in October.

Earlier this week Papua New Guinea authorities stormed the detention centre and removed the remaining refugees and asylum seekers who were refusing to leave the facility.

The men have now been moved to alternative accommodation, ending a tense three-week stand-off.

The UNHCR said it was ‘deeply disturbed’ by the forcible removal.

Labor MP Shayne Newman says the fault of the situation on Manus lies ‘squarely in the hands’ Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison, Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton.

‘Who have failed to find adequate arrangements for third country resettlement options,’ he told Sky News on Sunday

‘If Labor was in power we would have been calling on the Americans to expedite the US resettlement arrangements, and we would be sitting down with the NZ government… to make sure people would be resettled in NZ’