Thursday, April 01, 2004

The RMIT occupation

Marooned in the 'burbs at work, this is still going, AFAIK (it certainly was when I walked past at about 8 last night). Obviously, the ever-incompetent RMIT V-C Ruth Runkin didn't foresee that her office (not on campus, but in an adjacent swanky office tower) could become a target for a sit-in on a student national day of action. Who would have thought? Maybe blame it on another one of those pesky, $50m software glitches, eh Ruth?

For whatever reason, today's Age barely mentions the overnight (I'm assuming) RMIT sit-in. Like there's more important news. A mafiosio killed in a pokies parlour - who cares? (I mean, part from the fact that the bullet(s) didn't do the favour of a JFK style rebound, by also going through the torsos of a few of the zombies playing the machines nearby, quite possibly using money stolen from their workplaces to do so).

As it is, the Age's mention of the RMIT sit-in is buried within this story. "Melbourne University is poised to increase HECS fees by 25 per cent " - you don't say?

In related news, over at Catallaxy Files, Andrew Norton seems to be begging for a defamation writ with this one:

"[NUS Education Officer Paul] Coates has been involved in organising violent protests for years, though he is normally careful to let other people do the dirty work"

Speaking as a lawyer who knows very little about the underlying facts that Norton is presumably relying on here, it seems that Norton has let his prejudices go way too far with this one. In particular, for Norton to prove the truth of every imputation even in the above sentence (and there are others just as damning) would require Paul Coates to be about on the level of an al-Quaida terrorist - and I very much doubt he is.

Update 2 April 2004

The RMIT occupation would seem to have ended late in the evening of 31 March. Note this report of police violence against protesting students and journalists.

While the former have long been considered fair game by Victoria’s corrupt, thuggish police force, the fact that the report of violence, and its all coming from the police side, is found in the tabloid Herald-Sun suggests that the police may now have succeeded in making quite a few enemies in the wider community.

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