There’s a major greenwashing event taking place in Australia. After decades of attacking the climate movement, the Liberal Party and the Murdoch press have—so they tell us—finally seen the light, jumped aboard a newly minted “green and gold” bandwagon, and set course for “net zero by 2050”.
The right to attend meetings, to speak in them, and to read the minutes. They’re hardly the most radical demands. But they are causing a student politics skirmish at RMIT university, where left-wing students are campaigning to democratise the Labor Right-dominated student union, RUSU.
Three years ago, Greta Thunberg initiated a new international movement: school walk-outs drawing attention to the need for urgent climate action. In Australia, these walk-outs became enormous protest marches—some of the biggest ever protests that have taken place in this country. There’s another march scheduled for May 21. taking aim at the government’s planned “gas-led recovery”.
In early October, the Liberal government pushed through their “job-ready graduates package”. This “reform” is one the most significant attacks on higher education in Australian history.
When activists took part in a car cavalcade protest calling for the release of refugees detained in a hotel in Melbourne’s north, Victoria Police used new powers to fine participants a total of nearly $50,000 and charged an organiser with “incitement”.
Students are under attack in Australia. Fee deregulation has been put back on the table by the Turnbull government. Campuses are being “restructured” – a euphemism for large staff and course cuts.