Deakin student association censors Resistance members for 'Up Yours Abbott' T-shirts

On March 3, Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance members took part in the Market Stall Day as part of orientation week at Deakin University's Waurn Ponds Campus in Geelong, Victoria. Before the office hours of the event started, two Resistance members, both students at Deakin University, were told to change out of their T-shirts which displayed the classic feminist Rosie the Riveter image with the text “Up Yours Abbott”. The students were also told to remove badges and stubby holders with the same image, and stickers with the text “in search of an Abbott-proof fence” on the grounds it was disrespectful to the Liberal student club who had also set up a stall. After changing her T-shirt, club secretary and Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance member Sarah Hathway spoke with members from the Young Liberal and Young Labor club. She told Green Left Weekly: “None of them had a problem with the T-shirts or other merchandise. In fact, they thought they were funny, including the young Liberal. “They were outraged on our behalf and immediately took photos of me holding the T-shirt before posting them on social media.” Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance members then covered up all the anti-Abbott merchandise with “censored by DUSA” signs. DUSA is the Deakin University Student Association that run the clubs and societies on campus. Club president Jacob Andrewartha said: “DUSA officials seemed to have more of a problem with the censored by DUSA signs than they did with the offending propaganda originally. They were also upset that the photo of the offending T-shirt along with a #CensoredByDUSA hastag had gone viral on Facebook.” The next day, Hathway and Andrewartha attended their second market stall event at Deakin's Waterfront campus in Geelong only to be informed by DUSA officials that if their actions were repeated their club would be deregistered. “We were constantly watched all day by DUSA officials to ensure we were toeing the line,” Hathway said. “We decided not to have the fight with them a second day running and instead focused on building our club, but we won’t let censorship and violations of political freedom of speech go unchecked.”