10 February 2014

¡No pasarán!

I was very much taken by the following letter published in the letters column of today’s edition of The Age:

Making a mockery of the courageous

Our PM's use of the phrase ''you shall not pass'' to define his policy of turning people seeking refuge back to sea - surely a crime against humanity - is also a travesty against historical rhetoric. Mr Abbott may think the phrase comes from The Lord of the Rings, but more famously it was a challenge thrown down by the Spanish leftist Dolores Ibarruri, ''La Pasionaria'', in July 1936, as Franco's forces besieged Madrid: ''No pasaran!'' (''They shall not pass!''). To use this noble charge as rhetoric in our inhumane and illegal border ''war'' makes a mockery of the desperate courage of those who seek refuge.

Marguerita Stephens, Clifton Hill

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