Support for Sydney College of the Arts occupation grows

August 23, 2016
Martime workers visiting the occupying students. Photo: SCA

Students from Sydney's College of the Arts began an occupation of the Dean's office at Callan Park on August 22 against the corporatisation of their school. Every day more support has been pouring in. On August 24, the Maritime Union of Australia joined the solidarity protest and afterwards was invited in to talk with the protesting students. The occupation is asking for solidarity at the daily convergences at 1pm and 5pm.

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The Maritime Union of Australia joined the rally of support for the student occupation of the Sydney College of the Arts Administration Building.

The MUA Youth Committee has pledged to provide showers for the occupation and WIFI, as management shut this off last night.

"The MUA Sydney Branch unequivocally endorses and supports the occupation of the SCA building in Callan Park", said Sydney branch secretary Paul McAleer.

"The occupation represents the democratic principles of resistance to injustice in all of its forms. The arts are a reflection of our society and it's fundamental that they are supported.

"The MUA Sydney Branch supports the continued occupation as a continuation of the finest traditions of the movement: students and workers coming together to achieve progressive change.

"We will provide personnel and funds to ensure it brings about the successes that these brave and courageous students are carrying out on behalf of the working class."

SCA Masters student Suzy Faiz said:

“Our morale is high. Yesterday, we had a Wollongong art theory teacher taking a class about our occupation, people are delivering meals, bread, chocolate and coffee. Management has cut off our WIFI, but this is not deterring us.

"Neither the police nor university management have requested we leave, and we will continue the occupation until management comes to its senses.

"Our demands remain the same: no staff cuts, no move to Camperdown campus, reinstate the Bachelor of Visual Arts; and that the University guarantees an independent review of SCA's financial and constitutional status”, Faiz said.

The occupiers have sent a video message of support for the NSW National Art School's rally today, because they are in solidarity with the fight to maintain the three unique Sydney art schools.

The MUA has also pledged $1000 to help sustain the occupation and a further $1000 to commission an artwork to be created by the occupiers.

The following organsations and individuals have supported the occupation by visiting, speaking, donating or taking photos of themselves saying "Save SCA".

Maritime Union of Australia — Sydney Branch
The Newcastle University Student Association
Friends of National Art School
National Union of Students
Friends of Callan Park
National Tertiary Education Union
National Association of Visual Art
Melbourne University Education Action Group
Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association
Aboriginal activists Ken Canning and Raymond Weatherall
UNSW Art and Design SRC Council
Greens NSW
Australian artist Mike Parr
University of Western Sydney Students' Association
Nurses and Midwives Association
Join the dots Artist Collective
Socialist Alliance
Sue Bolton, Socialist Alliance Moreland City councillor, Victoria

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