youth rights

National Union of Students meet to plan fight back, amid controversy

The National Union of Students (NUS) Conference 2014 kicked off at the Mannix College in Monash University, Melbourne last week to decide policy and administrative reform for the next year. They also voted to for the reintroduction of a new series of Office Bearing positions for 2015.

The conference was dominated by Young Labor Right, Student Unity, The Labor Left, National Labor Students, Socialist Alternative and Grassroots Collective. A scattering of independents also attended.

Hunger strike in solidarity with refugees

Twenty-two members of Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance initiated a 24-hour hunger strike in solidarity with the hunger-striking refugees on Manus Island.

The action, held from noon on January 20 until noon on January 21, aimed to draw attention to the plight of 700 refugees on Manus Island.

It was a symbolic gesture that allowed young people from around the country to start conversations with others who were unaware of what was happening on Manus Island at the direction of the Australian government.

Like a zombie that just won’t die: fee deregulation returns

Fee deregulation will be resurrected this year. This gives education activists that general zombie-slayer feeling any sane human gets from fighting a piece of legislation you thought you had killed already.

Last year, fee deregulation was booted out of the Senate, with student boots doing most of the kicking. But it doesn’t want to die and is set to return to parliament, presumably with enough amendments to appeal to the biggest fence sitters.

Sydney police gave no warning before pepper spraying students

Police attacked students with pepper spray during a protest against university fee deregulation in Sydney on February 13.

About 30 students gathered to protest against education minister Christopher Pyne, who was giving the Inaugural Hedley Beare Memorial Lecture at the Sydney Masonic Centre. He planned to “outline the Australian government’s achievements in schools since coming to office”.

Police sprayed students to stop them entering the lecture to take part in an advertised Q&A with Pyne.

Macquarie Uni student association under attack

Macquarie University has suffered a setback in its courtroom battle against seven students associated with the Macquarie University Postgraduate Research Association (MUPRA).

On May 7, the Supreme Court recommended mediation, which was agreed to by both parties. The university also agreed to release MUPRA funds for legal representation in a future mediation hearing.

The mediation hearing is set by May 28, and the verdict will be released in a month, if a result is not reached through the mediation process beforehand.

Deregulation bill defeat: Victorious students face another fight

After nearly four months of protesting, students have helped defeat the Higher Education Reform Bill for the second time.

However, Education Minister Christopher Pyne has promised that he “won’t give up”, indicating that the bill will be put before the Senate once again, with further concessions to crossbenchers.

Members of the NSW Education Action Network (EAN), locked themselves onto the door of the office of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Micheal Spence, on March 16 to pressure him to come out against the bill. As it stands, Spence still supports the bill.

Students take to the streets on budget day


Photo: NSW Education Action Network/Facebook.

Students took to the streets on May 12, budget day, to call for free education and an end to the fee deregulation bill.

United States: No charges against cop who shot St Louis teen

The white US police officer who shot dead Black teenager VonDerrit Myers while off-duty will not be prosecuted, officials said on May 18. The 18-year-old teen was shot 17 times in St Louis in October, six minutes after buying a sandwich at convenience store.

His death exacerbated protests in Missouri state against the killing of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown in the nearby town of Ferguson in August, also by a white officer. Like the fatal shooting of Brown, the details of Myers’ death contained startling inconsistencies.

Federal budget launches new attacks on youth

This is how Tony Abbott explained the new work-for-the-dole measures in the latest federal budget to the Queensland Chamber of Commerce: “That person can do up to four weeks of work experience with your business, with a private sector business, without losing unemployment benefits so it gives you a chance to have a kind of try-before-you-buy look at unemployed people.”

Mexico: Govt blocks missing students investigation; Farmworkers make gains

Mexican gov't blocks investigation over missing students


Demonstrators demanding justice in the case of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students. Photo: Clayton Conn/TeleSUR.

The lawyer representing the parents and relatives of 43 missing Ayotzinapa students criticised the Mexican government on May 14 for stopping a meeting between experts from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and army officials.

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