Gallery

Quang demonstration shows UQU’s anti-war heritage

Quang Incident in 4th September 1970 inside the Relaxation Block UQU Complex

Anti-war activists being jostled by security and Uni officials. Secretary Quang is at right.

This photographic record helps demonstrate the UQ Union Complex is an historic place where the University Administration and ‘the radical movement’ came into conflict over actions in opposition to the war in Vietnam.

As a result of this incident 4 students were charged. Two of the defendants (B & D) made the following claims:

“B challenged the basis on which he had been charged on the grounds that the charge is impossible to determine unless the question is put before the whole community. 

On the same point, in answer to Mr. Matthews (for the University), D said: 

“I feel that what was happening could have been dealt with by the Press in such a way to bring disrepute to the radical movement in the community … I  would point out that the radical movement and the University are two distinct entities, the difference being we are right and they are wrong ……”

Anti-war activists detain Secretary Quang from South Vietnam (seated)

In finding the students guilty and issuing suspensions to 3 of them the committee said that they too were opposed to the war but wished to allow Quang his right to free speech. 

From my recollection of the meeting Secretary Quang refused to answer questions from the radicals about which side he took in the Vietnamese war against the French. 

So the University was in effect upholding Quang’s right to be silent the conduct of the war and on the atrocities being committed in Vietnam by the South Vietnamese government and the occupation forces of the US and Australia.

Ian Curr
3 Oct 2019

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