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Keira Dott: Students Against Detention activist at Newcastle university
Universities in Australia are supposed to be places of learning about the world and today’s society, particularly how to address injustices, so it makes sense that they are also places where people can mobilise to take action against the parties in power.
Younger students are the generation with the power to create a future free from the fascism and capitalism that create and enable xenophobic policies, such as the detaining of refugees and asylum seekers in offshore detention centres.
Therefore, I believe it is essential that students mobilise and take action against the detaining of refugees.
One of the roles students can play in the #bringthemhere campaign, is to ensure that their university isn’t employing or investing in any companies involved in detaining refugees and asylum seekers, such as Wilson Security.
If they aren’t, that’s great, but there need to be policies/or formal agreements in place that prohibit the university from employing or investing in companies involved in detention. If their university is doing this, then it’s the obligation of students and staff to campaign for their university to terminate their investments or contracts.
These campaigns help to destroy the social license of companies involved in detaining refugees, while also affecting the company financially. It also raises awareness on campus and in the wider society of the injustice of detaining refugees and asylum seekers and makes Australia’s offshore detention centres less socially acceptable to the whole of society.
[SAD successfully forced Newcastle University to cut its ties with Wilson Security last year.]