The UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) has arranged an international campaign called a “day of solidarity”, urging students across the world to show their support for refugees, migrants and international students.
Today, students across the nation have been abandoning their studies, holding rallies, talks, demonstrations and stunts against the increasing anti-migrant rhetoric that has saturated the media, as well as the growing number of UK policies that discriminate these minorities.
The NUS-led campaign has seen students of both further and higher education institutions walkout from their classes. The movement has already gained a following on social media through the use of the hashtag #students4migrants, and the University and College Union, the Academic Workers’ Union and the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) have also expressed their support.
#students4migrants because education, art, western culture, and common decency hasn’t been destroyed enough. pic.twitter.com/cyAiGczHMX
— Ben Kremling (@BenKremling) November 17, 2015
Students from the London School of Economics (LSE) have staged a mock border control point to represent a desire for a world without borders. The institution’s student union is also encouraging students to participate in a day of voluntary work for charities that support refugees.
“With the highest percentage of international students in the country, the impact of a large number of participating LSE students should be tangibly felt.” says Damien Kemfack, international students officer at LSE’s student union.
Students at the Royal College of Art (RCA) have also been involved in the protests, demonstrating outside the Kensington headquarters of British tabloid, the Daily Mail.
Students from Royal College of Art are marching to Daily Mail HQ now to say stop the demonisation #students4migrants pic.twitter.com/O27mKs7Qso
— Shelly Asquith (@ShellyAsquith) November 17, 2015
Miloslav Vorlíček, co-president of the student union at RCA says: “The Daily Mail is noted for a long history of anti-immigration headlines. We hope to shine a spotlight on this paper’s activities. Who knows, we might even convince one or two of its employees to walk away from the dark side!”
Participants of Tuesday’s demonstration hope to send a message to the British government, showing that students across the country overwhelmingly reject the current climate of discrimination and racial injustice towards foreign migrants, as many are concerned that the anti-migrant sentiment will continue to increase if the problem is not addressed.
Alex Norman, international student rep at the NCAFC, says: “The demand for free education is empty if it is not inclusive of migrants. We cannot solve the migrant crisis and anti-immigration rhetoric by making small changes, we can only put it off. We have to have clear demands for the destruction of borders, free movement and full support for migrants.”
Image via Shutterstock.
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