A concerning new precedent has been set for how university managements can deal with student activism.
Students from the Education Action Group (EAG) have been organising to support staff at the University of Sydney, who are fighting attacks on pay and working conditions.
The EAG created large posters to inform students about the strike, which has been organised by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) for 13 September. The posters, urging students to respect the picket and encouraging them to get involved, were put around the campus Thursday morning.
However, management deemed the posters “damaging [to] the property of the university” and directed campus security to harass those who were seen with them.
One security guard entered the Student Representative Council building – the first time campus authorities have done so – and confiscated the remaining posters.
The fact that campus security was able to steal materials kept in a student institution is a blatant attack on student rights. It’s a way of cracking down on campus protest and is an attempt to undermine the staff strike by hindering student solidarity.
Campus security guards increasingly police many aspects of student life. We need to fight back against the encroachment on our right to organise politically at the university. This means rejecting the presence of these forces on campus and recognising that they don’t serve students or staff – they do the work of the university bosses.
Management isn’t going to get its way this time, however; the NTEU will be helping the EAG to print more posters so that activists can continue to publicise our solidarity with university workers in the lead up to the strike.
All supporters are welcome to join the picket line at the City Rd entrance, from 7 am on Wednesday 13 September.
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.