Students Against War win victory against ANZ


Kiraz Janicke, Sydney

During the University of Sydney's orientation week, Students Against War, which has been running a campaign against Australian companies profiting from the occupation of Iraq, planned to picket the ANZ bank's stall. ANZ is part of the Trade Bank of Iraq, an international consortium facilitating corporate exploitation of Iraq.

The Students Representative Council president and other members of the Labor-dominated SRC attempted to persuade activists from SAW not to go ahead with the action, because ANZ was giving the SRC lots of money for its participation in o-week. Activists were threatened with removal by campus security.

When SAW activists made it clear that they would exercise their right to free speech and go ahead with the action, ANZ decided to pull out of o-week.

SAW then held a 50-strong picket of the Army Reserves recruiting stall and the young Liberals' stall on March 3. While the young Liberals jumped about waving placards of PM John Howard and the US, British and Australian flags, Paddy Gibson from SAW spoke about the brutality of the occupation of Iraq and how Australia's Coalition government was trying to politically silence students through its voluntary student unionism legislation.

Resistance member and SAW activist Katie Cherrington said that SAW wasn't targeting the individual soldiers, but is totally opposed to military recruitment on campus, and to students and workers being sent off to fight in a war for profit.

From Green Left Weekly, March 9, 2005.
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