Stand Together to Support Refugees

If We Don't Stand For Human Rights, What Hope Do We Have?
 
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Stand up against Australia’s violation of International Human Rights Laws by detaining the Men, Women and Children in Off-shore Detention Centres indefinately.

Our Cause

This site exists because we need to stand up for what we believe in and for one another, in a time where there is no enlightened or ethical leadership in any position of power in the government, and we have a media which, for a variety of reasons, is largely failing to inform us properly and supports a status quo with a mandate for secrecy.

In such a time we have the duty to stand up and speak about wrongdoing and abuse of power. We must protest using whatever means we have.  We must write letters and send emails, make phone calls and sign petitions. We must stand together and we must stand alone. And most of all, we must take care of one another. We must advocate for those who are abused or impoverished or disadvantaged.

In such a time and such a world, hope is an act of resistance.

#doyoureadme came about because we need to be able to recognize one another; that is, people who have hope, people committed to doing what they can, as often as they can, as best they can for one another, and for the world we live in. But most of all, people prepared to stand up and be counted.

Buying one of these T shirts means you have donated to a fund designed to help refugees and asylum seekers. Wearing one is a signal to the world that you have compassion and hope, and that you will not be silenced.   

Front of the T-shirt

The T-Shirt Project

This T shirt idea came about in part because I was fined by security guards for standing quietly with a sign asking people doing their Xmas shopping to think about the refugees – men women and children – on Manus and Nauru who were enduring their 5th Christmas in Detention merely for seeking asylum. I was fined by security guards who then called the police and threatened to arrest me. I was astounded to find that a person standing alone with a sign, selling nothing and asking nothing, was illegal.

In fact, as far as I can understand the fine, it was not illegal, and I have let the council know I will not pay the fine. I am awaiting my summary hearing. I will wear this T shirt when I state that I am not guilty. Then there will be a court case. I hope everyone who buys a T-shirt will wear it on my court date, in some public space.

On that day, I will be glad NOT to stand alone.

How You Can Get Involved

Buy a T shirt for yourself

Buy a T shirt for someone else.

Wear your T shirts with pride.

Engage with people who ask why you’re wearing it.

Inform yourself and stay informed.

Call your local politicians from time to time to ask about new matters

show them that you are persistently engaged.

Speak out when there is an occasion for it, even if it is among friends and family.

Back of the T-Shirt

The Amount of Money Raised for Refugees on Manus and Nauru So Far

T-shirts sold in support of refugees

Transparency is Truth

– The story of this project and the people involved in it.

This project is 100% not-for-profit.

For this T Shirt, any money raised is being donated to the Crowd Funded Project advertised on Chuffed to raise money for the legal fees for the men on Manus Island. Every T shirt includes a $30 donation, which will go wholly and directly to this fund.

The people involved in the T shirt project have all volunteered their time and expertise to support a cause that they all believe in and stand for. The only actual cost will be the T shirts and the screen print and postage, and even these prices have been lowered for us.

You can read about the people involved below.

Isobelle Carmody

Isobelle Carmody

Australian Author & Brains behind the T-Shirt Project

Isobelle has been standing in public with a sign protesting the detention of refugees and asylum seekers offshore for one hour every day for more than six months. She began doing this because she was sick of sitting at home feeling sad and helpless. She wanted to make a statement and she wanted to make it in public. What has struck her over and over again during this period of protest is how often people show signs of approval -thumbs up, empathetic smiles, mouthing ‘I agree’ but making sure no one else sees what they do. Often not realising people beside them are doing the same thing.

She wondered sometimes what would happen if people realised how many of us feel the same way. What power there would be in that visible solidarity. The T-shirts came about after an incident while she was standing one day in Australia just before Christmas.

Whilst quietly standing in a busy city mall, holding a sign expressing her feelings about Australia’s Politician’s treatment of Refugees in off-shore detentions centres, she was issued a fine.

As far as she can understand this bylaw, she does not feel her action transgressed it. She was not advertising or promoting anything, she was not making any noise or importuning passersby, and she was not handing anything out or soliciting donations. The security men had no response but to reiterate that she must leave because she was infringing a bylaw.  When she refused to leave, saying she had not done any of the things in the act she had been shown, they fined her. She wrote to the Council to let them know she will not pay the fine. She will contest it. She has so far received a letter telling her to await for her mandatory hearing date. She is awaiting it.

In arguing with the council security men, Isobelle asked would she have been fined if she was wearing the words on a T shirt. Many people made the same comment: If she had been wearing a similar text written on a T shirt, would the same fine have been issued? What about on a balloon. On a dozen balloons, and how big was a balloon allowed to be? Was there a bylaw for that, too?

Then she thought of a T shirt, which could also be sold to raise funds. But it needed to be a really good T shirt with a beautiful font, so that people would want to wear it again, so as not to waste the world’s resources. (Or theirs). And finally, it would need to be ethically sourced. She mooted the idea on her Facebook page and immediately had over a hundred offers to buy such a T shirt, sight unseen.  Touched and encouraged, she came up with some words, workshopped them with her daughter, a song writer, and her partner, a poet, then she approached her brothers.

 

Hi, this is Isobelle. I am writing this directly because I want to be able to properly thank and praise the people who helped me, even as I tell the story of this project.

Matthew Carmody

Graphic Designer & Isobelle's Brother.

My brother Matthew was the first person I turned to. He is a brilliant cutting edge graphic designer, who has been in the fashion industry for more than a decade, and who has a passionate interest in design on all levels, including the design of space. His fashion specialty is text as art. He was unthinkably busy in his job, and he grimaced at all the words I sent, wanting less to work with. I pared and he compromised artistically, because it was for me, and because he understood that out was for a specific cause and also a larger cause. The words had to be right. He came up with a design. I asked if it could be distressed. He distressed it. I asked if the font could be made large and small as on my protest signs. He resized it.

Ken Carmody

Artist, Graphic Designer & Isobelle's Brother.

My brother Ken was next to help. Ken is an artist and a much sought after and incredibly patient tertiary graphic design teacher. I begged him to complete the art as Matthew had no more time, and he said no problem. I wanted the fists to be turned into open hands, I wanted the hash tag tattoo removed, I wanted the colour to be sea green. I wanted the colour darkened a bit over one section. I wanted a word change, a re-arrangement of words. He finished the artwork calmly and competently as ever.

Dan Carmody

Business Owner, Activist & Isobelle's Brother.

Finally, there was my brother, Dan.  He has been involved with animal rights for years, and, with, his partner Helen, runs an ethical fashion label called Animal Lovers. Animal Lovers also produced a dentist-designed bamboo toothbrush (Total Clean Eco Toothbrush) the ethical product will be part of a soon to be launched initiative . The initiative is called SURF (Socially United Responsible Fundraising), which offers ethical funding solutions. In an eye-blink, he had located a screen printer who offered very cheap good ethically produced T shirts, and who offered to waive the set up screen print cost, because the T shirts were for a good cause. They lent Dan a pile of sizes so we could do a shoot and see what the quality was like. I co opted friends and family who happened to be about for the shoot so we could show what the T shirt looks like. Dan also sent me a size chart.

Firlie Greening

Director, Green Sprout Websites

Meanwhile, a wonderful facebook friend had approached me to offer herself as a free website designer for the Tshirt project. She even sent me links to two amazing sites she had designed, just to show what she could do! Firlie Greening and her partner Peter Reiters, set up Green Sprout Websites as a change of life venture that would enable them to drive their own careers. Their business helps other businesses to grow and expand online by building and optimising websites for with clear purposes and digital marketing strategies. 

I was amazed and grateful that she would offer her valuable time to help me. This incredible site is the result. Firlie worked incredibly fast and graciously, given she is dealing with a tech-illiterate who is fussy, despite this being a charity project. I sent her a million pictures by dozens of emails fired off at unthinkable hours, and clumps of typo studded text. Ken forwarded her the art; my lovely, ever patient PA Heather, worked with her to set up the easiest way to take payments (keeping it as simple as possible) and a facebook page just for this project, and I edited the text for the site. I cannot thank her enough, both for setting this lovely site up, even to paying for the domain name and hosting herself, and for her ongoing help in running and operating it.

It will continue to be a work in progress as the T-shirt project grows.

Full Moon Screen Printing

I’d like to thank Full Moon Screen Printing for their help; for lending us the T shirts for an impromptu photoshoot, for printing off one T shirt so I can say ‘not guilty’ in whilst wearing it, and for waiving the set up costs for screen printing.

Anonymous

At this point, a wonderful anonymous donor gave me enough money to pay for a hundred T shirt run, as a buffer. Because it takes a little while for money to cycle through, and sometimes you don’t know what will crop up. And you have to book your run with a printer. I am very grateful for this cushion.

Postage

Finally, we had to think about postage. Dan found we could get postage for anywhere in Australia for $7.44, for one Tshirt, but that would involve a plastic bag. We didn’t want that, so he offered to donate 100 recycled cotton paper envelopes. And he would try to source some more.

That is everyone who has helped to this point.

The site will include a list of all who buy a T shirt, unless you ask not to be named, because I want to acknowledge you, too. At the end of this run, I will also add all of the financial details for this project to this thread.

This is a non profit venture run by totally idealistic dreamers.

Buy a T shirt and join us.