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SCA cut off from Wi-Fi as occupation enters third day

Naaman Zhou reports

Wi-Fi access at the Sydney College of the Arts was cut overnight as an eventful third day of student protest also saw the Maritime Union of Australia pledge $2000 in support of the protesters.

The Wi-Fi was deactivated late last night as protesters continued to occupy the offices of the school’s Dean and administrative staff, in response to the proposed relocation of the visual arts school.

A University spokesperson told Honi the Wi-Fi was shut down as a result of staff “expressing concern about the security of their office space”.

“Use of the University’s ICT Resources including access to its wireless network is restricted to legitimate University purposes only,” they said.

Kelton Muir, an organiser of the protest, denied that the protesters had attempted to compromise the security of the offices or computers.

“None of us have the capabilities to do that, nor the desire. We’re very happy just having internet and there’s no need to do any damage to anything”, he said.

At 1 pm today, representatives of the Sydney branch of the Maritime Union of Australia visited the protesters and pledged $2000 in support, including $1000 in food and supplies and $1000 to commission a painting from the protesters.

On a day of heavy rain, security presence was low and occupiers opened the building for a 30 minute visit and encouraged supporters to observe the peaceful protest.

Muir said the University had not expressed any deadline for wanting them to move out. The University confirmed that they “support students’ right to protest peacefully”.

Muir denied the protest had caused any disruption to the College: “Classes are still running, staff can still teach, there is no obstruction to anything except the relationship to the Dean.”

“Student administration, for students asking questions, is downstairs and still open, functioning and running.” 

The occupation continues.