Lara Sonnenschein and Lily Campbell
Hello all! Thanks for looking to read our first Honi Soit report of the year. My name is Lily, and my co office bearer who will write here in future is Lara. We work as the elected Office Bearers to lead and collaborate with the Education Action Group, a campus based collective affiliated to the Student Representative Council.
The EAG has a long and proud history of fighting back against government and campus cuts. In 2014, the EAG worked with the National Union of Students to organise a mass student campaign against Abbott and Pyne’s plans to deregulate university fees. Just last year, the EAG organised the Students Support Staff Strikes campaign, raising awareness of the strike on campus, why students shouldn’t go to class and mobilising for picket lines. If you want to join the fight to defend your education and fight for better – join us! Our next meeting is on Wednesday at 5pm in the SRC, Level 1 Wentworth.
On Thursday of O week the EAG headed down to Turnbull’s office to protest against the hypocrisy of a $2.2billion cut to higher education, whilst Australian arms manufacturers get $3.8 billion in handouts. It was a lively protest that blocked an intersection and the road and involved many first year students who were new to activism. We took plenty of homemade placards and an EAG banner to the event.
Our first project for semester one is building a protest on campus on March 21 under the slogan ‘Books not Bombs’. Nationally, the Turnbull government has shown that its interests lie in funding weapons to destroy lives, rather than funding education, health care or welfare. On campus, courses are being cut, whole degrees slashed, units are disappearing. At the same time, the university vice chancellor maintains strong links to the fascistic Trump administration and holds millions of dollars worth of investments in weapons companies. Help us spread the word about this protest! Leaflet your classes, put up posters, share the event on facebook (search ‘student protest – fund books not bombs’). We also now have stickers and tshirts for this protest! Come grab some at the next meeting.
Furthermore, the EAG has decided to be a broad activist collective this year, meaning we want to also help build and organise around other issues. Coming up in May is a protest organised by the group that organised Invasion Day against Black Deaths in Custody, which we encourage all students to attend in solidarity.
Looking forward to a radical year – please contact myself or Lara with any questions, queries or quandaries about education activism. We can be reached on facebook, via the src and mobile phone if asked nicely.