Message of solidarity against USYD admin from Honduras
11 July 2013
To the university authorities of University of Sydney, Australia.
In the honour of solidarity between the peoples of the world, from Honduras, we learnt of the abuses by police against university students and workers and other people who fight for better conditions at this University. These people had their rights violated: we demand an end to this repression.
We join our voices in calling for the respect of people’s integrity and for a liberatory education.
The workers of Sydney University, have carried out strikes over several days, in the last three months, demanding a collective contract with better work conditions, and have been opposing funding cuts for the university sector.
Many people who have participated in these protests have been attacked for political reasons; they have been attacked in many different ways by police, by riot police and by security guards.
On 26 and 27 March, 6 people were arrested and beaten by the police. The police took 3 to the police station (including a student), against whom they threw false charges, and prohibited these from entering the university grounds, as well as applying bail conditions to them. On this occasion they held 2 of these arrested for 5 hours; they beat others, and attacked people with cameras.
Against the two they kept on the 26th, they captured them again on the 27th for visiting the pickets, who spent another 26 hours each in the police cells, and with additional charges.
On 14 May, police beat several comrades in the pickets and a person suffered fracture in a leg and another was left with wounding to her internal organs.
On 5 June / the police and security guards arrested more than 11 people at around 10 in the morning (Australian time). They were detained for between 2 and 7 hours. Several were left with more false charges and bans. Witnesses say that the police mobilised with photos of people whom they wanted to capture and beat up.
As such, the people whom subscribe together in this solidarity statement; we demand for the false charges to be dropped and stopped, including of > assault police, assault security guards, hinder and resist arrest, offensive language, trespass, and disobedience.
We also demand for the police to stay away from university grounds.
Education in any part of this planet should be towards transformation, with views towards development and to freedom.
And we sign this letter because reaction before any injustice in any part of the world, is a duty.
Kenia Irías – Honduran lawyer
Adriana Espinal – Social worker
Cintia Espinal – Student
Iris Mencía – Writer
Cesar Lazo – Writer
Felipe Acosta – Drama theatrist
A Joel Villalta – Art student
Alex Reyes – businessperson
Dilcia Angulo – Student
Adela Banegas – Teacher and art student
Adriana Villalta – Teacher
Lucy Pagoada – Quesada
I am deeply perplexed by the consistent decision by some on the Left to use at best misleading statements and at worse, total lies, to personally attack its critics. For instance, in response to my general criticism of the actions of the SRC council in terms of non-attendance and largely ineffective and irrelevant motions, Harry Stratton in his Letter in the last Honi Soit of semester, decided to personally attack my involvement with the SRC Council this year. True, I have unfortunately not been able to have been physically present in three meetings so far, but at every stage I have appointed a proxy (who contrary to Harry’s accusations has in fact been present) to exercise my vote in the council. Beyond that, despite my alleged absence, I have proposed motions attempting to limit the length of student elections, altering the position of student interfaith officer, and called for reform of the National Union of Students. The last motion ended up passing with bipartisan support and substantially changed the way the SRC funds the NUS.
Beyond that, in response to Alex Dore’s criticism of coverage of the strikes, Ishtiaq Rahman decided it was appropriate to spend an entire letter during the StuVac edition of Sound and Fury utterly defaming Alex’s character with multiple outright lies and spurious implications; such that SULC under Alex never apologized for the comments Jones made (it did), that he managed the supposedly ‘reviled’ Will and Grace campaign (he didn’t, and even if he did, the only reason it was reviled was due consistently disproven accusations of cheating by the left and this very publication), that he consistently violated USU regulations last year in opposing the formation of the Small Government society (there is no official basis for this claim whatsoever) and that he is responsible for the alleged potential accusations of every single of the 250+ SULC members at meetings at other universities. Some might call these accusations harsh; I call it lying.
I think it’s telling that criticisms of the actions of the SRC Council, and Alex’s of the strike are being met with largely personal attacks and ultimately totally false misrepresentations of reality. I sincerely wish that student politics was more mature than just fallacious mud-slinging, but evidently Harry and Ishtiaq prefer to make attacks on character rather than actually address the substance of our arguments.