By Peter Robson
BRISBANE — The University of Queensland Student Representative Council has passed a motion condemning the existence of the Cross-Campus Anti-VSU Collective (CCAVSUC), the organising committee for the campaign against voluntary student unionism.
Speakers in favour of the motion alleged that the CCAVSUC was "undemocratic", "potentially violent" and unrepresentative of the general student population. This was despite the fact that the CCAVSUC was set up with the support of students and has attracted many new activists.
"[The CCAVSUC] was three votes away from not supporting a non-violent protest", claimed Alissa McCoun, general vice-president of the UQ Union, who voted in favour of the motion. This outrageous slander refers to a motion, put to the CCAVSUC that stated that the anti-VSU rally on March 31 would be "non-violent", which was in fact carried by a healthy margin.
Further allegations of violence against the CCAVSUC are completely unfounded. For example, at the rally, certain members of the CCAVSUC made the suggestion that the march sit down on the street in order to attract public attention. This tactic of passive resistance can hardly be considered violent.
"The real reason behind this condemnation is the inability of Labor Students to manipulate the CCAVSUC without resorting to obvious vote stacking of the collective", said Andrea Marklew, a Resistance activist from UQ. "A similar, but more bureaucratic, collective was established out of the National Union of Students state conference last year. It only allowed students who had attended two or more meetings and NUS Education Committee members a vote.
"Because this committee was dominated by Labor Students, they were willing to support it but when activists split, Labor students took their bat and ball and went home."
In response, students at Griffith University passed a motion supporting the CCAVSUC at a student general meeting of more than 150 people. The CCAVSUC will continue to meet every week to organise the campaign against VSU. Call Peter on 3254 0565 or Matilda on 3875 7227 for details.