Detention4Detention – Solidarity Action

Detention4Detention 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.

Many Catholic, independent and government schools around the country have participated in a Detention4Detention action with the simple aim of expressing solidarity to those in detention. It centres around students voluntarily giving themselves a lunchtime detention to acknowledge the suffering experienced by children just like them in immigration detention.

How is a Detention4Detention run?
This activity is easily adaptable your school context. You can find a space in the school yard, gym, auditorium, amphitheater – anywhere a large group of students can gather and which is visible to the broader school community. Often schools invite speakers to talk at the event, including someone with lived experience seeking asylum to give a clearer sense to students of the struggle that many people face.

Schools can also show videos, read out passages or prayers, play songs or have performances. It is often worthwhile to have some period of silence for students to sit and reflect.

Planning your Detention4Detention

When designing your Detention4Detention, you might consider:

  • Beginning with a personal testimony of a refugee or migrant about their experience
  • Beginning with a reflection, prayer or relevant passage
  • Having participants hold candles
  • Having participants tape their mouths during action
  • Having a range of posters, signs or placards can be help by participants or displayed around the circle
  • Printing flyers to hand out in public
  • Showing videos, playing songs or reading a prayer
  • Having students, staff and other speakers talk to the group

Check out some photos from previous Detention4Detentions: