|Monday, February 25, 2019 at 1 PM – 2:30 PM|
Steps of the UQU Offices, St Lucia Campus
The University of Queensland wants to demolish the UQ Union Building, the Refectory, the Relaxation Block, the Forum Area and the Schonell Theatre, replacing them with a centre primarily dedicated to corporate retail.These buildings, constructed in two waves in 1959 and 1969, were architecturally designed for fostering a collective student culture, they were paid for mainly with student money, and the complex is still a student space. It must remain that way, a place where students can control their own affairs.UQ’s disregard for democracy and its history seems calculated. Its plan would trample on the democratic legacy of the thousands of students, staff and others who made this precinct the most important site in Queensland for defending civil liberties and social rights during the autocratic and corrupt rule of Johannes Bjelke Petersen. Not content with awarding Bjelke Petersen an honorary doctorate of laws in 1985, the university now seems hell bent on erasing the very place where democracy, independent culture and critical media were kept alive during his premiership. It’s Joh-style ‘progress’ all over again; the same vision of progress that justified the demolition of the Bellevue Hotel, Cloudland and Her Majesty’s Theatre on the grounds they were ‘old’ and ‘run down’.
It’s an odd position to take for a university courting the alumni dollar. Perhaps in their obsession with anything shiny and new, the money chasers overlooked the philanthropic kudos of preserving and showcasing some of the most politically-significant extant buildings in Queensland. The very buildings where the current Premier and many of her colleagues cut their political teeth.
This rally has been called to say NOT AGAIN. We are a group of current and former UQ students and staff and concerned citizens committed to preserving this site both as a democratic space for students and an important piece of Queensland heritage.
Come to the rally and hear current and former students including Dan O’Neill, Anne Richards and Sam Watson, representatives of 4ZZZ, the Schonell Theatre and the NTEU, and many others … https://www.facebook.com/events/523407931513542