Climate Justice and Western Civilisation

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The student strike for climate justice on 15 March 2019 demonstrated that there needs to be more contemporary issues discussed as part of public education.

Political leaders like Annastacia Palasczchuk and Scott Morrison came out against the student strike. State schools forbade their students to march as a group. For example Brisbane State high school students were told not to march for climate justice and not to go to the demonstration as a state high contingent.

Fortunately this did not stop the students.

I saw a group of 15 State high school students marching as a group.

The response by students in Brisbane and across the country was inspirational. Mums dads and friends marched with the kids. George Street in Brisbane was awash with students carrying placards advocating climate action, our future depends on it.

At the other end of the education system, the University of Queensland has a long history of political activism. This can be divided into three main campaigns:

  1. Campaigns the democratic rights against repressive governments firstly in 1967 when the government banned street marches for the first time. It was concerned about the growing anti-war movement as a result of government sending conscripted trips of 19 years of age to flight and imperialist war in Vietnam. Again in 1977 Queensland government banned street marches, this time to stave off the growing anti-uranium movement. And lastly in 1985 the government declared a state of emergency to deal with workers who had been sacked from the electricity industry from organising to save their jobs from contract labour.
  2. The anti-war campaigns that occurred in the 1960s early 1970s. The focus of organisation was at the University of Queensland union complex which has a strong heritage of Independence critical thinking and political activism.
  3. The campaigns against racism – in 1971 against the apartheid South African rugby to and the smash the axe campaign waste by aboriginal activists from the University of Queensland remove Queensland own version of apartheid.

This program highlights a new generation that is fighting for climate justice and against all forms of racism. The University of Queensland has proposed to introduce Ramsey Centre for western civilisation that promotes a chauvinist view of Australian history.

On 21 March 2019 I attended the forum at the University of Queensland to hear students and staff criticise a proposed history of western civilisation major that is to be funded from outside University by the right wing think tank. Both students and staff made a connection to the racist attack on Muslims in Christchurch on 15 March 2019 where a person espousing similar views attacked and killed 50 innocent people at two mosques in that city.

I interviewed hey Elyse Fenton from the national tertiary education union about the campaign. I recorded some of the debate from the forum.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2019-03-22-at-6.02.02-pm.png
Student strike for climate justice Brisbane 15th of March 2019 George Street Brisbane Photo by Lachlan Hurse

Andy and Ian interview students from Schools strike for climate justice and forum protesting the introduction of Ramsey history of the western civilisation at the University of Queensland.

Ian speaks with Elyse Fenton from the National Territory education union.

We listen to speakers from the Ramsey forum at UQ:
Jeff Rickertts Priya De Professor Or UQU Pres. Georgia Milroy
Alex Asher Elyse Fenton (NTEU rep for casual staff)
And other unknown speakers.

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Notes by Ian Curr

Christine Johnson – The dream before
Rita Martinson – Soldier we love you
Dusty Springfield – Windmills of your mind
Jumping fences – Yo Vengo a Ofrecer Mi Corazón

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