Students protest LifeChoice stall at O’week Clubsland
Words by Nicholas Birchall
Yesterday (27/2) a protest was staged by several university students from the Socialist Alternative, against the presence of the ‘LifeChoice’ club at AUU Clubsland. LifeChoice has been surrounded by controversy since its approval by the AUU Clubs Committee last year, primarily due to its negative views on abortion.
The protest occurred around 11:30am in the Hub Central, near LifeChoice’s stall. It quickly drew the ire of AUU staff, who requested that the protest be moved outside. On Dit have since clarified with AUU staff about their request and action. We were provided with the following comment:
“After receiving complaints about the protest in the Hub, members of the Socialist Alternative were spoken to by AUU staff and a request was made to move the protest outside of the Hub and away from club stalls. This request was made so that clubs looking to sign-up members in the Clubsland space were not further impacted by the protest and the disruption it was causing. As a student-led organisation the AUU supports the right of students to protest on issues and matters that are important to them and we encourage respectful debate.”
Around 12:15pm, the protest ceased, with its participants voluntarily leaving the Hub. On Dit spoke with Ana Obradovic, a member of Socialist Alternative who took part in the protest. She offered the following comment:
“There needs to be a political challenge to LifeChoice, and the only way that is going to happen is with a fight on the ground.”
Ms Obradovic further condemned the AUU’s conduct, indicating that the protest had not negatively impacted other stalls participating in Clubsland, and that the AUU’s response was unfairly stifling political debate on the matter. Ms Obradovic further implored all to attend the International Women’s Day March occurring Friday next week (6/3).
While LifeChoice’s president Michael Brohier was not available for comment, On Dit spoke with several members of the club who said that the response from students had been ‘positive’ and that they had several students sign up to the club. On Dit was then directed to LifeChoice’s mission statement.
O’week festivities continue.