The University of Queensland’s unambiguous support for the military industrial complex since the 1970s is still apparent 50 years later in the 2020s. On Wednesday 16 February, during O-week, a local group, Wage Peace, disrupted the UQ’s engineering department. However the rest of the campus was business as usual with corporate tents filling the area between the Main building and Sir Fred Schonell drive. Rock riffs pealed off across the sporting oval as students safely made the transition from high school to tertiary education.
In the early 1970s UQ students and staff responded by joining the anti-war movement outside the University and participated in the Vietnam Moratorium Campaign. The University regiment headquarters were raided and files of new CMF soldiers destroyed. Someone tried to firebomb DuPont (the makers of Napalm) offices in nearby Toowong.
As the threat of new wars mount in the Ukraine and the South China sea and old ones continue in neighbouring West Papua, student disregard for these worrying events was evident, at O-Week at least. Refugee Solidarity Meanjin leaflets were tossed carelessly on the ground near the JD Storey Administration building.
Yet, down in one of the engineering buildings, Wage Peace led by Margie, Larysa, Christine, Miriam and others held a two hour long lecture and tutorial on the truth of weapons companies’ involvement in universities. Their message was that State Capture was repurposing of the University into an institution which serves the military industrial complex. No one was listening … not there anyhow. Perhaps that was not the intention. Engineering students have always behaved like troglodytes, at least they did in the 1970s, throwing water bombs at any marchers who happened to go by.
Boeing attack-helicopters are in West Papua shooting at farms and towns. The group states that Boeing just sold $40bn worth of jets to Indonesia.
“It’s not too hard to disrupt: just a foot in the door; ex-students (alumni), students with friends (is all you need)” – a spokesperson for #WagePeace said, perhaps hopeful that others may follow. It is too early to tell, but there is no evidence of this, nor will there be any reaction until people are directly affected and, even then, only to the extent that they are affected.
State Capture Report and Lecture
UQ’s Boeing Institute is a KILLING Institute. It’s an example of state capture.
Yesterday coincided with the release of the Australian Democracy Network’s report written by Michelle Fahy, Scott Ludlam and Felicity Ruby. It includes a case study on the weapons industry in Australia.
Share our action on Twitter or Facebook!
We know some of you are Twitter people and some are Facebook people. Please go to your preferred platform and share our action. Here’s a tweet but there are more at @wagepeaceau. And at there’s more at UQ’s Student news page. We’d love to help you do these sorts of “foot in the door” disruptions.