Lauren Lancaster, Drew Beacom, Isabella D’Silva, Deaglan Godwin
Week 6, Semester 1, 2021
Enviro has been very busy over the last 5 weeks.
O-week saw about 450 new sign ups, which led to many fresh faces at our weekly meetings. Zoom constraints and the rain have put a bit of a dent in meeting attendance each week, but we are back in person and organising for a range of big actions coming up.
On Tuesday 30th March we held a successful forum on the anti-gas movement in the Pilliga (north-west NSW), with guest speakers Ian Brown, activist from Gamilaraay Next Generation, Dr Madeline Taylor, a USYD academic specialising on the anti-gas protests and legal challenges of expansion attempts by Santos near Narrabri, and Niko Chlopicki, a UWU rank and file organiser and representative from Workers for Climate Action. Each had a different and fascinating perspective on some of our key focuses as a collective – fighting the expansion of coal seam gas projects and destruction of First nations sites. By the time of this report, we will have just hosted our Mid-Sem Workshop day, upskilling members on design and propaganda creation, clarifying our anti-capitalist, anti-colonial politics and sharing building knowledge for stronger campaigning moving forward. Thanks to all facilitators and attendees.
2021 continues to pack punches, with extreme flooding, torrential rains and heat waves occurring within weeks of each other. This weather is not freakish, it is the expected manifestation of the climate crisis – and will only worsen over time. We must not allow that to happen. We must keep climate action front and centre on the agenda of the government, the university and the radical left. That is why we have been doing stalls, lecture-bashing and having conversations with students all over campus for the last few weeks about radical climate action. We have already amassed over 200 signatures for our petition calling for an SRC-led Student General Meeting, which will bring together a quora of undergrads to discuss the urgency of climate action now. This constitutes part of our building for the major upcoming May 21st Global Climate Strike, headed by School Strike 4 Climate. We urge all students, staff and others to attend this protest, we need everyone in the fight for action. It has never been more important to speak truth to power and demand #nomorebrokenpromises. Join our contingent here: https://fb.me/e/7XD802sWC
Welcome Week, Semester 1, 2021
The summer break has been a busy period for the USYD Enviro Collective. Over the course of the break contingents have been sent to Invasion Day, numerous Gamilaraay Next Generation protests fighting gas exploration in the Pilliga and Narrabri, and an Australian Student Environmental Network (ASEN) ‘say no to gas’ rally. In addition to participating in and building existing campaigns, extensive work has gone into planning for 2021. This has included the production of the Collective’s O-Week Zine ‘Combust’, and hosting a Collective meeting to establish direction for the year to come.
While we strongly encourage the student community to join us at face to face collective meetings, for those who are unable to attend, there will be various options made available. The use of Zoom in collective meetings will be maintained, which will allow students from all over to have a say in the direction of the collective and what the collective should be actively doing in the name of environmentalism. This will allow students to volunteer for various roles throughout the year in accordance with their capacity to fulfil them. Our events and actions will be livestreamed where possible in order to allow those who are unable to attend, to watch and share campaigns that they have worked on. Furthermore, USYD Enviro will be looking to maintain and build upon its social media presence, with an emphasis on building local environmental campaigns and general knowledge sharing. We can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Heading into 2021, we are working with ASEN, Gamilaraay Next Generation and a coalition of other parties to fight against the push for coal seam gas extraction in the Pilliga and Narrabri regions, and the ‘gas-led recovery’ more generally. Greta Thunberg has also called for an international day of action on climate change on March 19 and the collective will aim to work with local environmental organisations to help build a solidarity campaign. Additional campaigns for later in the year will be discussed within the Collective.