Refugee Rights Officers’ Report: Week 12, Sem 1, 2017

Kelton Muir de Moore, Jess Whittall and Caitlin McMenamin

It’s been a successful semester for the Campus Refugee Action Collective as more Sydney Uni students than ever in recent history have become active in the refugee campaign, fighting to end the injustice of offshore detention of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru. There was a record contingent to the national Palm Sunday rally with over 80 students arriving an hour before the rally to assemble en masse and march together as a block and join the rally of thousands. Students energy at the rally led from the front with passionate chanting reflecting the politics of the day, decrying Trumps bombing of Syria and our governments continued involvement in the wars of the Middle East and consequential refugees. The collective has published another bulletin this semester updating on and analysing refugee politics over the past 6 months, smashing the narratives that both major parties push in an attempt to gain votes and racially scapegoat from their unpopular neoliberal policies. Over 60 students attended the first of 5 meetings this semester on an intro of how to be an activist, and dozens more have joined the collective since in activity protesting to #SaveSaeed blockading Villawood and the Immigration department and #SackDutton. We’re looking to have more students join us next semester and will be setting up regular meetings (every 2 weeks) and some social events to build an even more organised, educated and active collective. We organise to fight for refugee rights and against the racism that originates through our government and media’s scapegoating of refugees for the ills of Australian imperialism and neoliberalism.

Note: The Refugee Rights Officers were not due to submit a report this week but have done so as they missed submitting in past weeks.