Church leaders camp out in Christian Porter’s office in Manus Island refugee protest

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Rev. Chris Bedding

CHURCH leaders who refused to leave the Perth office of Social Services Minister Christian Porter while protesting Australia’s handling of Manus Island, have been removed by police and will face trespass charges.  

Seven people, who are part of the Love Makes A Way movement, entered Mr Porter’s Ellenbrook office just before 2pm on Monday with flowers and muffins.

They began to pray in a circle and insisted they were not interrupting the work of staff, but police arrived soon after to issue move-on notices.

Three men and two women were eventually arrested, and a police spokesman told AAP they would face trespass charges.

The group said their action was taken in solidarity with the more than 400 men on Manus Island, and they urged the Commonwealth to accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 people and bring the others to Australia.

Father Chris Bedding, who remained outside the building, told AAP Mr Porter left the office when the group arrived.

Mr Porter has been sought for comment.

It comes after a protest last week in which two people were removed from a hanging tent four storeys above the Subiaco office of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Cornerstone Church pastor Jarrod McKenna and psychologist Delroy Bergsma spent almost seven hours peacefully urging the evacuation of Manus Island before the Tactical Response Group arrested them.

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