WA church leaders ‘armed with flowers and muffins’ to be charged with trespassing
A group of church leaders protesting Australia's handling of the Manus Island crisis are set to be charged with trespassing after they conducted a sit-in at Social Services Minister Christian Porter's Perth office.
Pastors and priests, believed to be a part of the #LoveMakesAWay movement, entered Mr Porter's Ellenbrook office just before 2pm on Monday.
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.
A spokesman from the #LoveMakesAWay movement said the action was taken in solidarity with more than 400 men on Manus Island.
"These church leaders affirm a commitment to nonviolence and demand compassion and justice," he said.
"They are not interrupting the work of the office and brought flowers and muffins for staff."
Three men and two women were eventually arrested and a police spokesman confirmed they would face trespass charges.
Father Chris Bedding, who remained outside the building, said Mr Porter left the office when the group arrived and the church leaders were walked to the nearby police station.
The group said their action was taken in order to urge the Commonwealth to accept New Zealand's offer to resettle 150 people and bring the others to Australia.
The action comes after police removed two men, understood to be a pastor and a mental health practitioner, who had been suspended four storeys above Julie Bishop's Subiaco office last week.
Officers abseiled from the rooftop to take the men from their makeshift hanging tent back to the ground just before midday.
The men were also arrested and charged with trespass.
– With AAP