On Monday, January 5, 2009, law-talking guys acting on behalf of the $1,000,000,000 business The University of Melbourne were able to convince a bloke in a funny wig that property belonging to the University was better off in the hands of the same authorities who had kept it empty for the last three years than it was students requiring emergency housing (Student squatters lose legal fight, Kate Hagan, The Age, January 6, 2009). As a result, men in uniform with guns are expected to descend on the property and to evict the occupants. In a superb act of timing, unimelb’s VC, Glyn Davis — who in addition to a fat salary receives free accommodation on-campus — has released the following worthy statement:
From the Vice-Chancellor: Students Of Sustainability
The University of Melbourne Voice
Vol. 3, No.10, December 8– January 12, 2009
Universities are places for generating ideas and finding real solutions for problems facing society. At its best, education is a conversation across generations about shared concerns.
That is clearly seen in our increasingly climate-change-affected environment, where concern about issues of sustainability – for our world and closer to home, our country, state and city – regularly cross generational divides. How we handle our environments, built and natural, are matters for those who will inherit this planet…
In teaching, we see undergraduate students keen to design or manage the world in which they live, to tackle the changing demands and challenges constantly being thrown up in our built and natural environments.
The lesson currently being taught homeless students: get off my fucking property!
[See also : University continues to seek squatters’ cooperation to fuck off University premises, Media Release, Monday, January 5, 2009.]
Members of the Student Housing Action Cooperative (SHAC) have also released a statement:
“The University won their case against SHAC in the Supreme Court meaning they can now order the police to evict us when they choose. The University has given us a new deadline to get out 12 midday (Wednesday). We are not leaving and are calling on all our supporters to come to SHAC and help us resist eviction. We do not know if the police will actually be coming on Wednesday afternoon but we are going to hold a mass emergency rally out the front. We are anticipating that a lot of media will be attending. Please pass this message on to your networks. If you want to help defend SHAC against eviction you are welcome to sleep over at SHAC. Please BYO bedding.”
- The Student Housing Action Cooperative (SHAC) are a group of students who have formed together to take action on student housing affordability. As well as raising awareness and petitioning universities and government we have recently taken possession of four double story terrace buildings that have been vacant for three years. The property – situated at 272-8 Faraday Street, Carlton – is owned by the University Of Melbourne and we are currently in negotiations with them to have it turned into a student run housing co-operative.