On a cold snowy night in Newcastle last week, there was a great turnout for our These Walls Must Fall training session. There were students, activists and experts-by-experience on detention in the room – and some were all three.
After equipping people with some basic facts about detention – what it is, who it affects and why its wrong – the session turned to local action against detention.
There were great suggestions made on thinking locally about challenging detention. and we’re looking forward to hearing how people are getting on putting them into action.
A recurrent theme was building on Newcastle’s status as a Freedom City – derived from this year’s 50th anniversary celebrations of Martin Luther King receiving an honorary degree from Newcastle University.
There were ideas around university motions, creative writing competitions on the theme of detention for local schools to take part in, information stalls at local libraries, and lots of thought about how to connect with communities and reach those who may know nothing at all about this inhuman practice done by their government, using their taxes.
We talked about the importance of faith leaders speaking out – as people with moral authority – when someone piped up “But here, the religion is football”. What better way to engage the public in taking action than reaching out through supporters’ clubs and other football networks!
Thank you to Beyond Borders Tyneside and Students for Global Health Newcastle for hosting the session and for such thoughtful and enthusiastic participation.