The National Union of Students Education Conference was held over the Winter break at UWA in Perth. After a successful semester of fighting deregulation and the Abbott government, EdCon was a chance for students to get together and reflect on our campaign so far and discuss where to next. Highlights of the conference include a panel with several unionists who stressed the importance of militant and fighting unions, and a protest in Julie Bishop’s office against the Liberal’s plans for higher ed.
One of the final sessions of the conference was dedicated to discussing the next national day of action which will see major rallies in every capital city on August 20. This national day of demonstrations will occur right before the Senate sits on August 26th, meaning it might be our last chance to protest before deregulation is voted on.
While we had a good semester one, we haven’t won yet, so students and our allies need to keep up the pressure against the government. Sydney Uni staff and students will rally on Wednesday August 20, 1.30pm at Fisher Library. We’ll be headed to UTS to join students across NSW in a march to Sydney Town Hall.
But there’s another issue that’s gripped us for the last week, as we write this massacre and destruction rain down in Palestine. Currently around 1,000 Palestinians have been murdered, thousands injured, and tens of thousands made refugees. In a few hours these figures will be surpassed and the numbers of lives annihilated, of hospitals and mosques destroyed, of people driven from their homes will rise even higher.
This latest war has exposed once more the nature of Israeli society, that it is a racist, genocidal state intent on wiping out the Palestinians. All the while politicians and the mainstream media faithfully repeat Israeli propaganda points.
But we reject all that – this is not an even sided conflict, the two groups of people are not equally to blame; it’s occupation, war, genocide. We stand in full solidarity with the Palestinians, we condemn the Israeli state for their war crimes, and we condemn Australia and all the other Western governments for their complicity and support for the apartheid state.
If Palestinians in the face of such horror and repression can stand up and resist, just as they have been, it’s necessary that we do too. In Sydney, the next protest for Palestine is going to be on Saturday August 2nd, 1pm at Town Hall. We urge everyone to come along.
From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!