Rachel Evans

GLW author Rachel Evans

Students protest against fee deregulation bill

Student activists dropped a huge banner from Sydney University’s Fisher Library which read "No cuts, no fees, no dereg. Fightback now!" to raise the alarm about the federal government’s looming attempt to deregulate university fees.

Six students also locked themselves to the Vice-Chancellor's office, to demonstrate their opposition, and called on all university Vice-Chancellors to oppose the bill.

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UTS Vice-Chancellor promises to oppose fee deregulation if petition brought

To date, Vice-Chancellor of University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Attila Brungs has supported Prime Minister Tony Abbott's fee deregulation legislation. Last year he said fee deregulation “could have some positive impacts” and result in “teaching quality going up”.

Arguing that it is positive that students finish their course with $100,000 debt is a hard sell, and Brungs felt the heat as students at UTS signed petitions calling on him to oppose it.

Redfern tent embassy is 'not laying down'

The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) is working hard to defend its right to stay at its current location following being served with an eviction notice from the Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) on February 20.

The eviction orders mobilised a number of supporters and media to defend the site during the past week. So far, AHC head Mick Mundine has not called in police to shut the embassy down.

Thousands march to stop WestConnex motorway

About 3000 people marched through Sydney's inner-west suburbs of Newtown and St Peters on February 1 to show their opposition to the $12 billion WestConnex motorway project.

The project would destroy 80 homes and bulldoze sections of six local parks. Iconic Sydney Park is projected to lose 12,000 square metres of green space.

WestConnex Action Group and Reclaim the Streets organised the rally.

Redfern Tent Embassy remains strong

The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) was established nine months ago. It is a site of resistance to a program to move Aboriginal people out of Redfern led by the Aboriginal Housing Corporation (AHC) and development company DeiCorp. The racist campaign of social cleansing is backed up by Redfern police.

The Tent Embassy has been under sustained attack. RATE activists have suffered verbal and physical assaults and bail conditions imposed on victims that prevent access to the Embassy — all while the perpetrators have no restrictions on their movement.

Forced deportation stopped after Sydney airport action

The planned forced deportation of Villawood detainee Wei Lin on December 19 was successfully stopped at Sydney apirport that day.

A professional athlete in China, Wei Lin has already faced persecution and harassment in China after exposing the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Chinese sport in the late 1990s.

Wei Lin, accompanied by four Serco guards, was handcuffed and masked, and driven to the back of the airport and onto the Air China plane on the afternoon of December 19.

Protests at Villawood against forced transfers

Activists tried to stop the transfer of asylum seekers from Villawood in Sydney to Yongah Hill in Western Australia on November 12 and 13.

Activists heard that 65 asylum seekers would be transferred following on from the forcible transfer of at least 83 refugees from Villawood in April.

Refugees oppose being transferred to remote detention centres because they have less access to support networks, such as friends and lawyers. The friendships they have made in detention can also be destroyed if people are sent to separate facilities.

Queer class struggle hits the big screen with pride

Pride
Directed by Matthew Warchus
Written by Stephen Beresford
Starring Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West & Ben Schnetzer
In Australian cinemas now

If you haven't seen the recently released Pride yet, you need to get to a cinema. It'll moisten your eyes, swell your heart, make you tap your feet and inspire you to join the next pride parade.

Forest protectors protest outside summit

Sixty people, including activists from Papua New Guinea (PNG) and ABC radio presenter Julie McCrossin, protested outside the federal government's Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit on November 12.

The conference featured Liberal MPs Julie Bishop and Greg Hunt speaking to government ministers from the Asia Pacific region.

Westpac still backs Great Barrier Reef destruction

Fifty protesters, and a larger-than life Nemo, protested outside Westpac's Sydney office on November 9.

Organised by Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), the protesters handed more than 15,000 postcards to the bank calling on it not to fund the massive coalmining expansion at Galilee Basin, which would lead to the Great Barrier Reef being dredged to facilitate coal transport. The reef was put on the World Heritage List in 1981.

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