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NTEU rally deemed legal

The rally will protest recent university cuts.

After fighting for their right to protest at the Supreme Court of NSW today, the NTEU has received approval to conduct a socially distanced rally against recent University cuts.

This decision to legalise the rally was made in the midst of attempts by NSW police to prohibit the socially distanced protest. 

The Job Ready bill which was passed in Parliament last week will see the fees for disciplines like English and nursing heavily reduced, with degrees like Law and Economics to double in cost. These changes have come in tandem with drastic job losses and significant underpayment of casual employees.

The increased presence of police on campus has marred recent university-based actions. 16 students were fined during an occupation of City Road, which followed a suite of 20-person decentralised protests. This followed another shutdown of the National Day of Action rally where a contingent of over 70 police horses and riot police swarmed the University grounds and issued a formal move on order before the rally could begin. 

The decision is a small win for the NTEU, whose attempts to instigate actions, along with other activists have been charged and fined for exercising their democratic right to protest. 

On the decision, Damien Cahill said, “first of all, the decision by the Supreme Court is a great victory for the right to protest in NSW. It doesn’t restore the right to protest for everyone but it’s a step in the right direction. The NTEU supports the enforcement of physical distancing as an appropriate public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic but that can’t come at the expense of the right to protest, which is an essential part of democracy.”

The rally is scheduled to take place in Victoria Park, tomorrow at 12pm.

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