Glass invited all candidates to submit a statement about why they’re running in the Guild elections and why you should vote for them. This statement is being published as received from the candidate.
Hi, my name is Rowan and I’m running for CIESJ Councillor in the 2023 Guild elections. I’m a member of Socialist Alternative running with Left Action. Left Action is an activist ticket that wants to put the fight for student’s rights at the forefront of our work, and build left wing campaigns against every injustice of the system of capitalism. I’m running in this election because we need a student union that will use its platform, and the resources of the guild in order to fight for students rather than cosy up to the university administration.
This year, activists from Left Action have been involved in every campaign to stand up against bigotry and the right, starting with UK transphobe Posey Parker, who toured Australia back in March. Our protest outnumbered the Far-right on the day and made clear that transphobic hate is not welcome here in Brisbane. We organised speak-outs on campus against the housing crisis that has been hitting students acutely, with some landlords increasing rents by more than 20-30%. Left action activists have been at the forefront of the campaign against AUKUS, the $368 Billion deal the Australian government signed with the US military, to build more tanks, bombs, and weapons of death and destruction. Most recently, we’ve been supporting striking retail workers in Brisbane’s Mint My Desk store, who have walked off the job twice now to demand better conditions at work. Among the workers were QUT students employed part time, many were paid cash in hand well below the minimum wage. Left action stands with every worker demanding better conditions and higher pay at work.
We stand up for these issues, because the rich and powerful will never give us what we want unless we fight for it. Student unions in Australia have a history of radicalism, and fighting for student’s rights going back 50 years to the battles for free speech and against injustices like the Vietnam War. Left Action wants to revive the fighting spirit of student unionism at QUT. At a time where the cost of living continues to skyrocket, where the housing crisis is out of control, and the planet burns from the climate crisis; we need an activist student union that’s willing to fight for students.