By Maria Voukelatos
SYDNEY — On May 13, 30 people gathered to picket the Indonesian Trade and Promotion Centre here. This was one in a series of pickets organised by Resistance and Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET).
The picket emphasised solidarity with Indonesian and East Timorese students. Naldo Rai, a student from the East Timorese community, spoke about the importance of solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor in the coming period.
Nick Harrigan from the National Union of Students spoke about the links between the anti-voluntary student unionism campaign in Australia and the solidarity campaign. He pointed out that both the Indonesian and Australian governments are attempting to silence their most consistent critics by abolishing student organisations.
With East Timorese students beginning to organise in Dili once more, and the VSU legislation being passed through the Australian House of Representatives on May 12, strong solidarity campaigns are crucial.
The international day of solidarity with Indonesian and East Timorese students on May 22 and the anti-VSU national day of action on May 19 will highlight the theme of students' right and ability to organise against oppressive governments.