Fighting racism at Melbourne University

August 13, 1997

Fighting racism at Melbourne University

MELBOURNE — Strategies for students fighting racism will be discussed at a student general meeting (SGM) to be held on August 13 at Melbourne University.

There is strong opposition to racism and the racist ideas of Pauline Hanson amongst Melbourne Uni students. Within two weeks, more than 450 students signed a petition calling for an SGM to discuss ways to fight racism and to make decisions on student union policy on racism.

The Resistance Club began collecting student signatures three weeks ago, and the petition has drawn a lot of support from students.

Resistance has been actively involved in building the anti-racism campaign on campus. Emma Murphy, a student activist in Resistance, says, "The petition for the SGM has been a good way to involve more students in the campaign against racism".

The SGM will call on the student union to publicly declare Melbourne Uni a "racism free zone" and proposes that students vow to protest if One Nation, Hanson or any other racist figures attempt to hold meetings on Melbourne Uni. A supplementary motion will be put to support the Fighting Racism conference in Sydney, September 27-28.

The protests outside One Nation meetings have helped to build opposition to Hanson and racism. The SGM aims to turn the anti-racist sentiments into collective action that students can take at places where they study and work.

Resistance believes it is necessary to publicly oppose and confront Hanson's racist ideas, Howard's racist policies (cuts to immigration, Abstudy, attacks on native title) and all other forms of racism.

"By having visible numbers of people opposing racism, exposing Hanson's racist garbage and explaining that migrants and Aboriginals are being scapegoated for the real causes of unemployment — that is, the Liberal government and big business's attacks on wages and living conditions — we can defeat Hanson and racism", Murphy said.

The SGM will be held on August 13, 1pm, North Court, Melbourne University.

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