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To the Vice Chancellor of The University of Sydney: Refuse to allow cops on campus

This petition had 537 supporters

Dr Spence,

As you are aware, a number of students and staff were substantially injured during Tuesday's protests, some quite seriously. You must stop inviting the riot police onto campus.

One student had his leg broken and is currently awaiting surgery. Other students and staff seem to have cracked ribs and one has a broken nose. Several students and staff members were trampled. Many others were shoved, grabbed, bruised or struck. These unprovoked attacks on protestors were nothing less than outrageous.

Another student was put in a potentially life-threatening situation when a police officer strangled him for nearly two minutes. He went without air for a minute and a half and has had to seek medical attention.

The danger with something like strangulation is damage to the hyoid bone, which is susceptible to fracture. Thus prolonged, forceful pressure against the neck is incredibly dangerous and can lead to asphyxiation. Permanent damage from oxygen deprivation can occur within a matter of minutes. One and a half minutes without oxygen is a long time in terms of respiration, and cerebral hypoxia (reduced oxygen supply to the brain) begins to set in rapidly.

Despite your rhetoric, the argument that the riot police bring order to the campus is transparently absurd. All footage and testimony shows that the police have been a force for violence and disruption.

One student also came close to suffering an epileptic fit. Despite repeated requests the riot police refused to help them, which is a clear indication that the riot police are not there for our safety.

All of these assaults and indignities could have been avoided if you did not allow the the public order and riot squad on campus. The university has the right to exclude police from campus and should exercise it.

What is more, none of this was a once off or a bad day. Several protestors were arrested and assaulted with extreme violence during the previous strike. Despite clear video footage and testimony, trumped up charges against them have still not been dropped.

We are terrified that someone will suffer a more serious injury than a broken leg next strike day or protest.

We call on you, Vice-Chancellor Spence, to take responsibility for the safety of the university community, respect our right to protest, and cease allowing the police onto Sydney University grounds.

The undersigned

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