Band banned for politics
HOBART — On August 24, Hobart College band Mr Mukhole played at the school's assembly. Before the band started to play, the lead singer, Bryn Heathwood, explained the band's name and reason for existing.
As Heathwood later explained to Green Left Weekly: "Mr Mukhole [is] a general term used for peoples or companies that want to treat people inhumanly and destroy everything on the planet, just to make a profit. We believe people and environment should become before profits, economy or 'defence'. [Governments] work because people are arguing and divided; governments rely on disorder.
"Being at one with the environment could be the biggest thing we might have to 'relearn'. The idea of the big house and the big car, the need for possessions, we need to unlearn these things."
After the assembly, an assistant principal told Heathwood that Mr Muckhole would be "black banned" from playing again, and said that his speech was "immoral".
"The school inviting the defence force to participate in recruitment sessions is immoral. Saying that society today is not equal or perfect should be applauded, not suppressed.", Hobart College Resistance activist Linda McRae told GLW.
Heathwood explained that the band had been offered a grant from Gunns Ltd and they refused it, although it was part of their school assessment. "[The people who don't care are the people] I wanted to get the message across to", he said.
To help defend free speech at Hobart College, phone Linda on 0439 624 553.
Students condemn course cuts
SYDNEY — Students at the University of Western Sydney's Bankstown campus met on August 25 and condemned the implementation of the Undergraduate Course Review, which is resulting in course and subject cuts and underfunding.
Sixty students met to discuss the effects of the review and passed a motion against it. The students' demands include: no courses to be cut or moved from Bankstown; the university continue to fund all subjects, including those with less than 16 students; the university publicise all 19 courses it intends to cut in 2005; and the university not hand over student fees to "UWS Connect", a private company that is not accountable to students.
Sarah Alamein, a student at the meeting, told Green Left Weekly: "What they are trying to do to our education is disgraceful. It is making access to higher education in the western suburbs of Sydney harder. They are turning our education into a commodity. It is disgraceful to think that while the federal government cuts $25 million from the funding of our university, it is spending more on blowing up people in Iraq."
Students will meet on September 1, on the lawn outside building one at 1pm. For more details about the campaign, please phone Megan on 0419 117 606 or email <email@example.com>.
Occupation protests homophobia
WOLLONGONG — On August 26, a group of 16 students began an occupation of the Belmore room at the University of Wollongong in protest against a spate of homophobic attacks during the university's annual Sexuality Week.
Members of the Allsorts Collective, which, along with the Student Representative Council, organises the week, have been subjected to verbal abuse and acts of vandalism. According to Annaliese Constable, women's representative for the Allsorts Collective, homophobic abuse is a regular occurrence at Wollongong University but has generally gone unreported.
Henry Collier, honorary fellow at the University of Wollongong's commerce faculty, supported the students' action, saying: "There is no place in our community for homo-hate... Some months ago, the university executive led by Professor Sutton condemned discrimination and violence against Muslim students on our campuses. That action was proper and correct. All legally constituted groups demand and deserve the same protection."
UWA gives students 'choice' of full fees
PERTH — On August 23, the University of Western Australia's senate voted in favour of Vice-Chancellor Alan Robson's controversial plan to introduce full fee-paying places for domestic students next year.
The UWA senate voted 14-7 to support full fees, despite the opposition of the UWA Student Guild, the UWA Postgraduate Student Association and the UWA Academic Board.
Ninety students marched from the UWA Student Guild building to the senate meeting room as part of a protest organised by the UWA Education Action Network for the day. The EAN has called on students to rally again at 12.30pm on August 31 at the Oak Lawns to protest the senate's decision.
The proposal for full fees was pushed by Robson as a "choice" for students who missed out on getting into UWA because of high entrance scores. The decision means that students could be paying up to $60,000 for a degree, a "choice" financially out of reach of most poorer students.
The senate decision follows on from the April 26 decision to increase HECS by 25%.
FTA will hurt workers
PERTH — On August 26, 60 people attended a public forum held at Fremantle's Kulcha Centre on the Iraq war, the US-Australia military alliance and the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement.
Oganised by the Western Australian Greens, the forum was addressed by WA Greens Senate candidate Rachel Siewert, Socialist Alliance Senate candidate Ian Jamieson as well as representatives from the ALP and the Democrats.
"My vision is that Australia becomes a strong player in promoting peace, security and human rights protection throughout the world", Siewart told the forum.
Jamieson called for an immediate withdrawal of Australian troops from Iraq. He noted that while "economists are debating the possible size of the economic benefit to Australian bosses flowing from the FTA, it is clear that working people, both in Australia and the US will suffer under it".
From Green Left Weekly, September 1, 2004.
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