Victoria University management has repeatedly refused to answer the various charges laid against it by Workers Party activists Heleyni Pratley and Joel Cosgrove in response to the management imposing a two-year trespass order on them.
“This draconian trespass order was imposed on us for the crime of participating in a protest against substantial fee rises,” say Pratley, a former student exec member, and Cosgrove, last year’s student president.
Two students have also been charged with serious misconduct for participating in the protest, at which a few eggs were thrown at university councillors.
“Protesters annoy Vic; they get in the way of its smooth business operation, that’s why they put any protesters in a box guarded by security guards,” say Pratley and Cosgrove.
“Every year Victoria University receives hundreds of millions of public funds and claims to be the critic and conscience of society as well as the focus of a wider community. Yet when challenged on their behaviour they ban and attempt to silence anyone who disrupts their corporatist agenda. They’ve trespassed us because VUW cannot stand being called to account. Now they’re setting up kangaroo courts to punish the students who participated.
“The university is intentionally refusing to answer any questions about their actions, to silence any discussion, because what they did is indefensible and they know it,” say the pair.