Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ozpolitic: VSU

Well it was bound to happen. Students yesterday protested against the federal laws making membership of students' associations voluntary. What was surprising was the number of police at the protest - it looked like a 100 or more from the riot squad! A little over the top perhaps - reports say there was only 400 protesters. Possibly the number of police is related to the fact that the Young Liberals staged a counter protest. 24 arrests were made.

Another odd thing about the protest was that the NSW Police tried to stop it - you'd never have known this if you read the Police media statement which included this statement "Police are respectful of peoples’ right to peaceful protest and their democratic right to free speech." Sure, but only the ones that the courts don't ban?

2 comments:

Pamziewamzie said...

very interesting, that students in your country campaign for compulsory membership (At Auckland we had 3 referendums, all supported voluntary)

I'm on the exec for AUSA at Auckland University, will pass this news on :)

backin15 said...

Pamziewamzie, I'm not an Australian - I'm a former NZUSA president. I remember at least one of the referenda at Akl. I actually think the referenda approach is a sensible one though I'd prefer that, at least initially, all students were members (with clear and transparent provisions for people withdrawing).