Standing in Solidarity – Action Ideas & Resources
There are many different actions your school can take, these are just some ideas. The most important thing is that the action is meaningful for your school and that you email CAPSA at least one image or video of the action to be used for media purposes. Please email email@example.com
Detention 4 Detention
This is a popular action for students to show solidarity with children in immigration detention in Australia by taking a voluntary lunchtime detention. Students then give messages to those in detention. There are a lot of resource to support this action and is a regular action taken by Edmund Rice schools.
End Child Detention Coalition Poster
Catholic Mission Media Release
ERA for Change website (great selection of resources, some facts outdated)
- Powerpoint with great photos from 2014 action
- Info powerpoint
- Detention4Detention worksheet & solutions
Circle of Silence
This action was initiated by Franciscans in Toulouse in 2007, as a form of silence, non-violent, protest against injustices suffered by immigrants. The group of students, could be 10-100, involved would have a short reflection beforehand. Typically someone with lived experience as a refugee shares a personal story and their reflections on being a refugee.
Then students and staff from one large circle, concentric circles or multiple circles around the campus. They stand for 30 minutes – 1 hour in complete silence. They can be standing around a candle. Be holding a banner. Have tape over their mouths. A select few students and staff are on the outside handing out fliers and talking to students and staff who come past.
The idea is cut through all the rhetoric about refugees and acknowledge, simply, that we are all human.
You can read a beautiful account of this event in Malta here, one from Spain here, and one from Liverpool, England here and find a detailed description of the action here.
Jump Up & Down 4 Kids
An initiative of Sydney Catholic Schools. It involves getting students and staff to jump and down for kids being held in detention and more generally in the immigration system. You can film or photograph this and add it their collection of schools.
2015 Media release for campaign event
‘Jump’ video – Jacinta Gulisano (X-Factor)
St. Mark’s Primary School jumping
School photo with banner
This action is quite simple and can be tailored to your school. Get as many students and staff as possible to hold a large banner (printed or make by students) on the oval, in the auditorium, and take a photo. Send it to us and we’ll add to the montage of action images. Our official hashtag for the day is #Solidarity4Refugees – so you could use this or others:
Sydney Catholic Schools say #freethechildren
RCH say ‘Detention Harms Children’
St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne – ‘Let’s fully welcome Refugees’
Mackillop College, TAS say ‘Let Them Stay’
The Cage sleep out
The Cage has traditionally been an action to raise awareness around homelessness and what it might be like to be trapped in a life of poverty. Recently, The Cage has come to symbolise the symbolic and real walls facing those living in Australian detention centres. A small group of students choose to sleep out in the cage for 24 hours to raise awareness, write messages of support to those in detention and talk to their classmates about the issue.
St. Bernard’s College – The Cage for Homelessness
Refugee Realities workshop
A simulation activity of what it might feel like to go through the process of seeking protection. Students gain insights into the complexity of filling out forms in a language they don’t understand, taking only 3 of their possessions with them and the injustice that often follows refugees. Note this workshop has previously been charged for and so not all resources are freely available.
Passages – UNHCR – awareness game
SBS – Exit Australia simulation
Play against All Odds simulation
Hold a forum or speaking event
Many organisations have speakers programs to give insight into the real lived experience from people seeking asylum and refugees. There may be organisations in your local area you could contact for this. It could involve getting a number of speakers to be involved in a forum and students asking questions. Some organisations with Speakers programs include:
Jesuit Social Services Speakers Program
This program is operating in the Melbourne area.
RCOA has a speaker program for schools in Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
The ASRC offers a Schools program in Melbourne.