University Students around Australia protested impending plans to increase HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) fees by up to 25 per cent in a day of national action on 31 March. This is part of the conservative Federal Howard Government plan of winding back access to University Education.
Student protest in Melbourne occupies RMIT Vice Chancellors Office
In Melbourne 1,500 students marched through the streets, and up to 100 students invaded and occupied the Vice Chancellor's office of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) (Photos 1, 2, 3). In Sydney students from universities converged on the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and attempted to confront the Vice Chancellor about the impending fees increase. Instead, they were met with an unnecessary and heavy-handed police reaction, with pepper spray being used indiscriminately and without warning on shocked and unsuspecting students (photos. Brisbane Students staged a Sit-Down at an Intersection To Stop HECS Increase. A nation-wide electronic sit-in held before the protests had mixed success.
[Melbourne IMC | Sydney IMC | Brisbane IMC | Perth IMC]