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Staff and students speak out against campus surveillance

Protestors spoke out against the recently uncovered pattern of University surveillance practices.

Protestors took to campus today to express their rage towards a series of documents revealing extensive surveillance of campus activism by the university and police. 

Lamenting the brutal treatment and mishandling of students and staff at education protests last year, Former SRC Education Officer Jazzlyn Breen said “it’s clear that, in management’s eyes, the duty of care to protect students ends when those students’ political interests do not align with the profit-making interests of the university.” 

She also noted that police officers that come onto campus don’t just do the bidding of the University, but “the bidding of the racist, colonialist state of Australia”. 

Mikaela Pappou, of the National Union of Students (NUS) Executive, reflected on how a riot squad broke up a small organising meeting of less than 20 students last year, despite minimal advertising on social media platforms. 

Pappou said that education activists will “not stop until education is free again”. 

Nick Riemer from the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) commended students and staff for taking a stand against the “outrageous and unacceptable” collaboration between University and police. 

“At the moment, the university is engaging in intrusive, unnecessary and racist action and surveillance against staff members who are working on China, under the pretense of an interest in national security.”

Concerningly, Riemer spoke of how his own students were “terrified” to come onto campus last semester because of the intense police presence on campus. 

Riemer congratulated both the SRC Legal Committee for undertaking the investigation, and the EAG and student activists that continuously put work into organising and campaigning.  

A march then kicked off from outside the Anderson Stuart Building to F23, where a series of chants were heard and Deaglan Godwin, SRC Environmental Officer, told protestors to “trust in the collective action of staff and students.”