Fighting Racism on Campus – Protesting Barry Spurr

This week we organised a protest against Barry Spurr following revelations by New Matilda, which exposed the professor as a bigot-extraordinaire. His vile comments are absolutely reprehensible and should have no place on a university campus. Organising a snap action was important in letting Spurr and the university know that students unequivocally reject his views and demand his dismissal.

Outside the office we removed and tore up the academics name card. In its place, we pinned the more accurate “Barry Spurr, Professor of Bigotry.”
Chants of ‘Racism? No way! We got Barry banned today!’ echoed down the halls of the John Woolley building where Spurr has been intricately crafting his hate-speech for the last two years (at least) as a tenured professor at Sydney University.

International Students’ officer for the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association Maral Hosseinpour addressed the rally to condemn the government in their ongoing racist fear campaign, “They are building a wall of racial hate, xenophobia and misogyny to divide us and rule; to teach us and our children to hate and suspect immigrants and asylum seekers; to hate and harass women wearing Hijab in public; to hate and deny indigenous culture and to humiliate and discriminate against women and sexual minorities.”

[The government] are sending out calls demanding to ‘say something if we see something.’ Yes, we fucking see something, and we will say something, so loud and clear that everybody including Professor Spurr can hear and appreciate its rhyme; say it loud, say it clear; racists are not welcome here!”

Mid-rally we found out that Spurr had been suspended and banned from campus. To celebrate our victory, we engaged in our own “whimsical linguistic games,” with a poetry recital. ‘The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock’ by the academics favourite T.S Eliot was adapted by student protestor April Holcombe into the “The Hatesong of Barry Spurr,” ending with the resolute:

“Streams of hatred fill your odious argument

With insidious intent
To read you surely overwhelms digestion….
Oh do not ask, “What is it?”
With our answer, we come visit.
In his room the students come and go
Barry Spurr: his job no more, my, no.”

Given that this is our last report for the year, we’d like to acknowledge what a brilliant year it’s been for the student movement. We successfully rallied in our thousands, turned our campus into no-go zones for Liberals and are a whisker away from defeating deregulation. Sydney Uni has been one of the key campuses around the country for the the campaign, and we’re proud to have done our part to contribute to the revival of such defiant and vibrant national student movement.

Thanks to everyone who has marched, chanted, and chased Tories alongside us this year, it’s been a pleasure.
In solidarity,

Ridah & Eleanor.

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