Anya Doan, Misbah Ansari and Ashrika Paruthi – Ethno Cultural Officers, 94th SRC
Week 2, Semester 2, 2022
Last week was a lovely week for ACAR. We got to reunite with friends and members after being apart during semester break. Many of us travelled back home for the first time in almost three years, whilst some have now finally returned to Sydney after being offshore! We also welcomed new members to ACAR during our welcome week stalls.
In contrast to the last, this semester looks like it will be a more quiet and restful time for us.
WE HAVE MERCH!!! Coming very soon! It was a collaboration with our amazing friend Emma Cao. The concept was inspired by old Vietnamese stamps and letters, and the signficance of postal system during the mid to late 20th century, and the illustrations are guided by passages from Anna Tsing’s Mushroom at the End of the World––the book ACAR is reading for our reading groups. The artwork on the merch is actually on display at an exhibition right now! You can go see it at the artist-run space Pari, located in Parramatta. The art collective’s instagram is @pari_ari_.
ACAR will be and encourage all to be on the picket line to fight for staff works conditions and demands on August 17th. ACAR will also be hosting a banner paint with other collectives a few days beforehand for the strikes.
Week 13, Semester 1, 2022
Hooray! ACAR is celebrating the demise of the right! Lib love laugh is officially over, luvs x
In other news, ACAR is organising a contingent for the upcoming staff strike on Tuesday 24th May. Given the working conditions that our staff are subjected to, it is more than important for us to support our staff strike against the university. We have been perpetually encouraging members of ACAR to show up.
ACAR is also working on merch in preparation for semester 2 and its welcome week!! A big shoutout to our artist friends for constantly volunteering to help us with merch and our ACAR Honi edition.
Week 12, Semester 1, 2022
The Autonomous Collective Against Racism has been working tirelessly on increasing cross-collective collaborations. Our ongoing reading groups that aim to illustrate the essence of environmental sovereignty to POC, conducted in collaboration with the USYD Enviro Collective, have been a huge success so far- with a tremendous turnout. Further to this, the movie night, which was held collaboratively with the USU’s Queer of Colours Collective, also went smoothly, and had a good turnout.
Additionally, after weeks of incessant planning and editing of the pitches that were submitted, the much awaited ACAR Honi was released this week. We have tried our best to make it as representative, radical and expressive as possible, with pieces written in diverse languages and art commissioned from artists belonging to different ethnocultural backgrounds, aimed at highlighting the nuances of various cultures from around the world.
Most importantly, we are relentlessly making efforts to encourage as many students as possible to join the pickets and support the NTEU Strikes being held on campus by the USYD Staff. We will continue endorsing the NTEU Strikes and showing solidarity with the participating staff and students in week 13. We would also like to reiterate our solidarity with the continuing Climate Actions of the Enviro Collective.
Week 8, Semester 1, 2022
In the light of a busy semester, the Autonomous Collective Against Racism has been working on merchandise, autonomous Honi, and cross-collective work. We have conducted reading groups on environmental sovereignty for POC with the USYD Enviro Collective. It had a commendable turnout with inquisitive activist inputs which will be continued in the second part of the reading group this week. ACAR has also shown immense solidarity with the enviro and feminist actions in Sydney by participating in the Climate Strike and the National Day of Action against Sexual Assault.
On the current agenda, we are relentlessly working towards planning and editing ACAR Honi with the submissions closing on April 15. With more multilingual pieces and commissioned artwork from an International artist, it is our much-loved project. We shall also see new merchandise soon with radically challenging and refreshing art for all our ACAR members.
Lastly, ACAR is collaborating with USU’s Queer of Colours Collective for a movie night on Thursday 14 April. All QTBIPOC angels are welcome!
Week 4, Semester 1, 2022
As of Week 2 and 3 for ACAR, we have been finalising on our vision for ACAR Honi. We have recently released a call-out form for submissions as well as for the editorial committee. Submissions are relatively low at the moment, so we plan to amplify this opportunity in the next coming weeks. We look forward to beginning the discussion and editing process where we can understand each contributor’s ideas for their submission and how we can collectively curate the publication.
In addition, ACAR has just hosted its first reading group this year. We have decided to alternate between autonomous and non-autonomous reading groups. This first one was non-autonomous and we read excerpts from The Annihilation of Caste by B. R. Ambedkar and a relevant contextual text. The turn-out was great as we had participants from other collectives as well as other universities. We plan to continue having reading groups of hybrid attending options of in-person and online to garner even more participants.
ACAR has been active and in communication with other ethnocultural collectives from other universities as well. Last week, we had a meeting with UTS’ ethnocultural collective. An important discussion we had regards the recent proposals to immigration schemes which will heavily impact and disfavour international students and their rights in Australia. Conveners of ACAR and UTS ethnocultural collective plan to inform and discuss with our collective about potential actions that can be taken against this, cross-collectively. Another idea we spoke about was crafting a petition for a BIPOC Safe Space on campus as this is non-existent at our university. And given the recent reports of racial harassment on campus/in classes, we feel that this is crucial action to take and must be discussed further.
A main objective of ACAR this year is to strengthen the system of support and connection within the collective. As such, we have been focusing on planning and organising intra-collective events and activities, and our weekly meetings have been dedicated to brainstorming restful and recuperating activities. On our list so far, we have casual catch-ups, movie nights, cooking/food making.
Aziza Mumin, Bonnie Huang and Kritika Rathore – Ethno Cultural Officers, 93rd SRC
Week 2, Semester 2, 2021
ACAR community space for people of colour of any level of political education, who also organise left-wing anti-racist activism. We understand these current circumstances are really difficult, and although we will be online, please do not be discouraged to join if you are new, we would be so happy to see you!
We also condemn the Berejiklian Government’s increased use of police scare tactics in LGA’s that have a large migrant demographic—many of whom are people of colour that have war or police-related trauma.
Over the winter break, ACAR has been working on the Asian on the Margins – Stories Campaign in collaboration with the Asian Australian Project. It is a social media campaign that aims to share and uplift the stories of the Asian community in light of the increased incidences of racial discrimination and assault worldwide. To submit your experiences with COVID-related discrimination, or stories of empowerment, please enter through the Google Form.
Following the campaign, we will be hosting an online panel later in the semester to discuss these issues. Make sure to follow the campaign socials @aapxacarstoriescampaign or like our Facebook page to keep updated.
Despite being in lockdown, this semester will still be an exciting one! We will meet weekly to organise or to do reading groups/film screenings as a way to educate ourselves. The group is autonomous, meaning that it is only open to people of colour, but we hold non-autonomous events open for allies as well!
Week 13, Semester 1, 2021
Since our last report, ACAR has been busy with putting together the ACAR’s annual autonomous edition of Honi Soit which was published last week. We highly encourage everyone to read it. Although the ACAR Honi for this year has been published, we will still be putting together Zines this upcoming semester and anyone who wants to contribute is highly encouraged to do so.
ACAR recently attended the coronial inquest for Bailey Mackander (who died in custody) at NSW Coroner’s court. He was treated brutally before his sad demise. While the guards/correctional officers continued to lengthen the court proceedings by claiming penalty privilege, the proceedings were made to go off-record. We will continue to build for the upcoming inquest in July, work with ISJA, and build student contingents for the event in support of the family. Meanwhile we need you to ask “Is Australia post-colonial yet? Because indigenous communities are still dealing with imperial issues.”
Over the winter breaks ACAR will be going to Bankstown poetry slam. We are also planning to hold lunch events at indigenous owned restaurants and compile a list of indigenous owned businesses in order to pay our respects and rents (a brief version of this has also been added to the ACAR Honi).
ACAR has also been working with the AAP (Australia Asia Project) to build a campaign regarding the discriminant behaviours of government and society against Asian communities and international students with Asian origin. This campaign will follow the theme of neglect and advocate for actual ‘inclusion’. We will initially start with a stories campaign next semester and encourage POC with Asian background to join, contribute and tell their story.
We will continue to build and support over the breaks, and continue to hold our regular meetings over the following semester. We encourage any POC to get involved and join the Autonomous Collective Against Racism. Join us through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, alternatively you can also email at email@example.com
Week 8, Semester 1, 2021
ACAR has been busy and in the process of putting together our annual autonomous edition of ACAR Honi which will be out in Week 12 of this semester. We are still looking for people who want to contribute content which can be art, written pieces, multimedia pieces, or all of the above. Please get in contact with the conveners to learn more about how you can contribute. We look forward to producing an amazing publication, and can’t wait to see what our contributors come up with!
During our cross-collective film screening of ‘In My Blood It Runs’, we handed out our zine that follows the themes of abolition, decolonisation and anti-racism. It was created to serve as a basic guide to what these themes mean and create a platform for communication, knowledge-sharing and dissemination. ACAR is excited to work on more zines throughout the year with fresh content, to create a sense of community-building for our members.
In the meantime, our members have attended the Stop Black Deaths in Custody rally on the 10th of April. There have been more than 440 Indigenous deaths in custody since the royal commission, with 13,000 Indigenous people in prison on any given night – the highest rate of incarceration of any group of people on the planet. This rally marked 30 years since the royal commission made recommendations regarding Aboriginal deaths in custody.
On Friday of Week 7, we had an inter-uni lunch meetup in collaboration with the UTS Ethnocultural Collective in Chinatown. This was organised to discuss anti-Asian racism and rhetoric, and how we could build together — keeping in mind the rising xenophobia and covid-based racism against Asian businesses. We express solidarity with and support Asian businesses, especially those who have been hit hard by the pandemic.
We are also keen to connect with more international students to work towards an anti-racism campaign. We aim to bring more awareness to the increase of racism and discrimination faced by international students due to the pandemic, and avenues available for them to report cases.
We will continue holding regular meetings and events throughout the semester and welcome any person of colour to join us. If you would like to get involved or keep up to date with the collective, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Alternatively, you can get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Week 4, Semester 1, 2021
ACAR stands in solidarity with, and send our love to, the grieving families and communities who have been affected by the deaths which have occurred over the last few weeks. There have been three Indigenous deaths in custody and a racially-motivated mass shooting in the United States. It is important to keep in mind systemic racism is closely linked with gender and class, and that these are only the reported instances of racial violence. We must dismantle the settler-colonial state system. We aim to work more closely with ISJA to make sure Indigenous issues are fought for, and to build for greater awareness around COVID-related racism through social media campaigns.
We have had three meetings so far; including a working bee/banner paint for the vigil held for those who have fallen in Myanmar. We hosted a inter-uni picnic with UTS Ethnocultural Collective and UNSW People of Colour Collective on the 19th of March to discuss plans regarding the commencement of more cross-uni collaborating and organising this year.
ACAR is organising a film screening on the 31st of March alongside the Women’s, Welfare, and Environment collective. ‘In My Blood It Runs’ is a documentary about the inheritance of resistance and resilience, it celebrates love and learning. We will be handing out our zine that follows the theme of abolition at the screening. This is in anticipation of April 10th, ASEN event against black deaths in custody.
Planning for our autonomous edition of Honi Soit is underway. We are currently looking for expressions of interests to join our editorial team or make submissions to be published, please get in contact with the convenors to learn more about how you can contribute!
We are keen to welcome any person of colour to engage with the collective who hasn’t yet. We intend to have weekly events moving forward (access will be available to those studying remotely via Zoom), like our Facebook page (Sydney Uni Autonomous Collective Against Racism) and join our Facebook group (ACAR: Autonomous Collective Against Racism) to get involved! We’re excited to see and facilitate the growth of ACAR!