Anti-VSU rally at QUT

We are now entering a period where there is a crisis of language and crisis of meaning.

Free trade does not mean freedom but rather the dominance of industrial superpowers over smaller nations.

Welfare reform does not mean improvement rather it means abolition of benefits.

Work flexibility means bosses screwing workers.

The Government is very cleaver in their use of language they say they have abolished the unfair dismissal legislation. Just imagine if they were forced to say they wanted to stop the fair dismissal legislation.

It is important for students to become members of unions in order to protect their rights at work. French students and workers recently brought France to a halt and overturned their government trying to introduce what the Liberals have got away with here.

Similarly the Government says it wants to ensure voluntary student unionism.  This is a cover for their desire to cut the number of students who are members of student unions.

Why does it want to cut the numbers of students in unions?

Essentially because student unions provide a potential source of power to relatively powerless individual students. The reason we support student unions are very similar to why we support industrial unions. Individuals cannot fight injustice by themselves and that is why we must organise. The government is organised.

The government has an agenda. That agenda is to silence any criticism. We must organise to ensure that no student is discriminated against.

The Guild supplies many services which students would not be able to afford if the guild disappears:

  • Access to legal advice
  • Educational officers to intercede on students’ behalf when they feel they have been dealt with unfairly
  • The Guild supports many clubs and associations which are all part of academic life
  • The Guild runs the child care centre – without that many would not be able to come to uni.

My Union, the NTEU, does not want to see university life impoverished by a Government that confuses cutting economic costs with social advancement.

This government does not care that on the way to riding roughshod over your interests:

  • child care services will be abolished,
  • sporting organisations will be weakened,
  • counselling and health services will be destroyed,
  • student’s access to legal services will be obliterated.

VSU will undermine your group strength – your voice – your education – your access to justice.

The Howard Government juggernaut does not care because it wants absolute power – absolute power for the rich who run the Liberal hierarchy.

If you want to know how you will be treated look at what they did with Cornelia Rau and Vivian Solon Look at what they are doing to asylum seekers from West Papua. Look at what they are doing to Indigenous Australians Look at what they are doing to Single Parents and Disability Support Pensioners. Look at what they are doing to you.

If you don’t fight you lose.

19 May 2005