“Illegal people aren’t a race; they’re people who don’t belong in your country,” disgraced alt-right spokesperson Milo Yiannopoulos declared to cheering students at the University of New Mexico on 27 January.
The rise of the far right has been reflected in student political life everywhere, not just in the US. From the ABVP (youth wing of the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP) sweeping student elections across India, to the Austrian Freedom Party student groups gaining a foothold among students, the far right is seeking to build a base campuses around the world.
Australian universities are not immune. On 8 April last year, students at Melbourne University arrived on campus to find phrases such as “Go home Muslims” and “Islam is not a race” chalked on every available surface.
Fringe groups have been gaining visibility using posters, graffiti and stickers – at Sydney University with outright Nazi-esque slogans such as “Culture stems from race”. Alt-right mascot Pepe the Frog makes frequent appearance on campuses across the country. And the red “Make America Great Again” cap is worn openly by some students (mostly those also sporting Ralph Lauren polo shirts and boat shoes), and not in an ironic fashion.
It is notable that these symbols of hate have mostly emerged on the sandstone campuses, the traditional province of rich students. No wonder, since they have the most to gain by promoting such views.
The goal of the far right is to use the campus environment to build their organisations and promote hate speech.
It will be up to the left on campuses to fight and not let the far right win.
After nine years of ruling for the rich, the Coalition government’s primary vote dropped by more than 6 percent and it lost a slew of seats—and government—in yesterday’s federal election. This was a public judgement of its agenda of tax cuts for the well-off, wage cuts for workers, inaction on housing, cold-hearted neglect of the elderly, and indifference to climate change.
“Attention, MOVE. This is America. You have to abide by the laws of the United States.” This was the ultimatum given through a Philadelphia police megaphone to a group of Black activists trapped in their home in the early morning of 13 May 1985. The house on Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia was surrounded by hundreds of police. Thirteen MOVE members, including five children, were inside.
Striking workers and supportive students at the University of Sydney shut down the campus with a 48-hour strike, called by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), on 11 and 12 May.
Amjad Ayman Yaghi, a journalist based in Gaza, in a moving piece first published at the Electronic Intifada, pays tribute to his grandfather and commemorates ‘the catastrophe’ of 1948.