Support free speech on campus - drop the disciplinary charges against Socialist Alternative
This petition had 537 supporters
On 13 August, the UWA Socialist Alternative club received an email from the UWA Student Guild secretary informing them that their club privileges had been suspended, including the right to put up posters in Guild areas, access funding and hire Guild rooms to hold meetings.
The allegations justifying these measures are a mixture of right-wing opinion ("a student taking offence at the UWA Socialist Alternative Club's t-shirts with 'F*** Tony Abbott' printed"), vague and unsubstantiated insinuation and blatant lies. They also include a complaint about a poster criticising Israel which was approved by the guild, and a complaint of "swearing" made eighteen months after the alleged incident. Such allegations would be thrown out by anything resembling a court, yet the UWA Socialist Alternative club has been judged guilty before a hearing has taken place.
This is a clearly partisan attack on a club of well known and respected activists who have been critical of the current guild office bearers. The timing of this attack, during the nomination period for the upcoming UWA Guild election, demonstrates this.
While students desperately need to stand united in the face of the Liberal government’s assault on higher education the UWA Guild’s attacks on free speech and left wing activism serve only to undermine this campaign.
Therefore, we the undersigned
- Condemn the UWA Student Guild’s heavy-handed use of political censorship
- Call on the UWA Student Guild to drop all disciplinary charges against the UWA Socialist Alternative club
- Call on the UWA Student Guild to lift their suspension of the UWA Socialist Alternative club’s privileges
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