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Divestment protestors occupy Australian Council of Superannuation Investors Conference

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 14.23.07Reposting news of this very important action by Divest from Detention activists:

Text of pamphlet distributed at meeting of Australian Council of Superannuation investors annual conference, Melbourne, 10th May 2016.

This morning, 10th May 2016, the Divest from Detention network has targeted the annual conference of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) in Melbourne:

Mandatory detention cannot be risk managed: close the camps
In August 2015, in the wake of HESTA’s decision to divest from Transfield, it was reported that ACSI was “seeking more information” on the situation in the Manus and Nauru detention camps. Just in case ACSI and its member funds haven’t noticed, people are still being raped, illegally detained, tortured and are still dying on Manus and Nauru, all on the dime of some of Australia’s largest super funds. Compensation for illegal detention on Manus Island is likely to run into the millions if not billions.

ACSI claims that through it, institutional asset owners “exercise their collective ownership rights to improve the management of ESG risks and opportunities by Australian listed companies.” Other than action taken by HESTA and NGS Super to divest from Transfield (now Broadspectrum), ACSI collectively and its members individually have spectacularly failed to take any action to divest member funds from the detention industry. ACSI members such as AustralianSuper have even sought to suggest that the power of the funds could be used for good, to make conditions in the camps better. Tell that to Omid Masoumali’s wife. UniSuper have tried to have it both ways, refusing to divest but allowing some board members to mislead members into believing they have done so. ACTU, NTEU: we see you.

So while ACSI has been busily fighting the good fight over pay for women executives on boards, women on Nauru have been imprisoned, raped, denied access to abortion and have been setting themselves on fire. What explains ACSI’s ideological commitment to investment in an industry that by definition does harm but also performs so woefully? Why are you still here??


Be it through SERCO or Ferrovial, a concentration camp contract or an NGO industrial-complex “settlement service”, we will continue to pursue every investor and contractor in the detention industry. This is not a negotiation. You cannot manage this risk. Resistance in the camps will never stop. You should get out with your members’ money while you still can.

Alana Lentin