By Vaarunika Dharmapala
PERTH — Chanting "Stop the cuts — enough is enough!", "Education for all, not just the rich" and "Students united will never be defeated!", almost 700 students rallied here on May 15.
This lively and militant "student poverty" rally was the first in a national week of action demanding an end to cuts to education funding. The march began at the Esplanade and wound its way to Forrest Place, where students heard several speakers and held an open mike.
Julia Perkins from the Community and Public Sector Union highlighted the need for worker and student struggles to unite. Sandra Penrose from the National Tertiary Education and Industry Union brought a message of support from the academics, and encouraged students to support the May 29 action, when academics and university staff will stop work to demand a 15% pay rise.
Although it began to rain, students braved the cold, wet conditions to march on the Liberal Party offices and present their demands. However, they faced a wall of police, and received no response to requests that a representative from the building address the rally.