Political censorship on campus

March 2, 2005

Stuart Munckton, Sydney

On February 23, members of the Resistance socialist club at the University of Technology, Sydney were prohibited by David Redden, a representative of the UTS Union, from leafleting students and selling Green Left Weekly at the front entrance of the main UTS building. Resistance members staffing an o-week stall were also forced to either remove, or cover-up T-shirts bearing the slogan "Unfuck the world!"

Resistance members were campaigning against the decision by the Howard government to send more Australian troops to the Iraq war.

Amber Pike, a Resistance activist and women's officer at the Kuring-gai UTS campus, said: "This is a huge attack on freedom of speech. Universities are supposed to be a place for the free flow of information and ideas. UTS has a strong history of activism; students have always had the right to express their political ideas through leaflets and T-shirts. To be told what you can or can not say on a T-shirt, or where you can or cannot distribute political ideas is an outrage. It is important to stand up to it so it doesn't become entrenched or spread."

To send a message of protest to the UTS Union against attempts to limit freedom of speech for UTS students, email <unionoffice@uts.edu.au>, phone (02) 9514 1444 or fax (02) 9514 1636.

Duncan Meerding reports from Hobart that on February 21, members of the socialist youth organisation Resistance discovered that their Tasmania University mural — displaying the popular youth slogan "Unfuck the world" — had been defaced, with the expletive having been removed.

The removal of the expletive was carried out by the Tasmanian University Union, of which the Resistance campus club is an affiliate. Resistance activists have pointed out that while some people may be offended by the word "fuck", others are (more) offended by the present state the world.

From Green Left Weekly, March 2, 2005.
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