Occupy La Trobe, formed by La Trobe University students to fight cuts proposed to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Services (HUSS), published the statement below from the Stop the HUSS Cuts Collective on August 23.
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We the Stop the HUSS Cuts collective have peaceably occupied the central Agora area of the university in protest of the cuts to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, which set a dangerous precedent for all faculties within and outside this university.
Through this occupation we are also protesting the attacks on our freedom of speech and rights to protest by the university administration, and the threats of exclusion that we have been subjected to for exercising our rights to peaceful assembly. We do not intend to cause disruption or undue inconvenience to anyone, and have and will continue to occupy this space in a peaceful, open and honest manner.
We have occupied the Agora area as a symbolic place for assembly, as it represents not only the heart of the university (which these cuts threaten to rip out) but also a public space for the discussion of ideas and debate, which we value so highly. The threats from the university attempt to stifle our discussion and debate, and we will not stand for such silencing.
We openly invite all students, staff and anyone interested to come and speak with us about the cuts, or any other matter. This is an open occupation and all are welcome.