† Around Australia, thousands of students (seemingly concentrated in Melbourne and Sydney) went on strike and rallied and marched today, in protest at the cuts ($2.3 billion) by the Federal government to the tertiary education sector.
Their protests will of course be ignored — but may constitute a step in the right direction. In any event, at the University of Sydney, police attacked a picket, breaking one man’s leg in the process.
Some folks have issued the following statement on Facebook in response. No doubt there will be further accounts and reflections in the days and weeks ahead. (Note that the University inter alia appears to have become a focus for recent ASIO snooping.)
“An Open Letter to and from the University of Sydney community,
One student had his leg broken. Another was choked and went limp. Several students were trampled. Many others were shoved, grabbed, bruised or struck. These attacks on peaceful protestors were nothing less than outrageous.
All of these assaults and indignities could have been avoided if Spence did not allow the riot police on campus. The university has the right to exclude police from campus, and in the past it was very rare for the cops to come on campus for this very reason.
We condemn Spence. If the university allows riot police onto campus, it is complicit in their violence. The argument that they bring order to the campus is transparently absurd, all footage and testimony shows that the police have been a force for violence and disruption (there is an old quip: the riot police are aptly named).
Copy and paste this as your status in solidarity with those injured.”
† This is re-blogged from everyone’s favourite Australian #anarchist #trot-spotting #antifascist blog, Slackbastard.