The NSW Liberal government has passed draconian anti-protest legislation with the vocal backing of Labor. Rushed through 48 hours after being introduced and less than a week after being drafted, the laws state that protesters who “enter, remain on or near, climb, jump from or otherwise trespass on or block entry to any part of a major facility” will be subject to fines of up to $22,000 and a two-year prison sentence.
Students and staff at the University of Wollongong are locked in an ongoing battle with university management. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a sustained attack on conditions of teaching, learning, and campus services. When the pandemic disrupted the normal operations of universities, bosses seized the moment to launch a restructure named “One-UOW” that will see up to 40 per cent of non-academic staff cut in some departments.
Most of the time, they work producing taco kits and ravioli for supermarkets around the country under the Old El Paso and Latina Fresh brands. But for 21 days in June, about 100 United Workers Union (UWU) members at the General Mills plant in the western Sydney suburb of Rooty Hill took the fight to one of the world’s biggest food manufacturers, and won.
In late 1961, a group of activists founded the South Coast Aboriginal Advancement League to fight against Aboriginal oppression on the south coast of New South Wales. Their successful struggle, largely hidden from the popular record, is an impressive chapter in Australian working-class history.
A recent Federal Court decision to uphold the dismissal of University of Sydney senior lecturer Tim Anderson is a dangerous attack on free speech on university campuses as well as the Palestine solidarity movement. The court’s decision sets a dangerous precedent for academics wishing to publicly express views at odds with those of university management.
Sydney University was the site of a serious police crackdown on 28 August, as students gathered to protest against the latest round of cuts and restructures to higher education. Around 80 police, including mounted and riot squad, swept through the campus, dispersing the demonstration and arresting or fining at least 10 protesters.