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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 38, Number 25. 2nd October 1975

Trotskyite replies to "gross falsification"

Trotskyite replies to "gross falsification"

Dear Bruce,

I wish to reply to the two falsifications printed in Salient's comments on the presidential elections. These are where you claim that (i) my "little activity in the bursary campaign was often spent in attempts to split it" and (ii) "he opposes the tour but also opposes Hart".

Firstly, I fully endorse Hart in its campaign to stop the 1976 tour, particularly its programme of education and protest activities aimed at stopping the tour. To say otherwise in Salient is a gross falsification. In 1972, for example, I was heavily involved in organising a thousand strong march on South Africa Freedom Day, in co-operation with the local Hart and Care groups in Auckland. Again in 1973, I helped to organise a successful mid-day march from Auckland campus to commemorate Sharpeville Day, and oppose the tour.

In 1973 the Young Socialists were opposed to the antics of disruption that Hart adopted but they are clearly no longer part of Hart's approach. In supporting what Hart is planning for 1976, members of the Young Socialists and the Socialist Action League participated in Hart's recent regional conferences held across the country.

Secondly your claims on the bursary campaign Young Socialist members in Wellington, and in Auckland, participated with many other students in building the bursary demonstrations held in the first term, by helping with leaf letting, paste-ups, placard-making, etc. In Christchurch the Young

Socialists were involved in a fight to force the Students Association to organise actions around the bursaries issue. Thus the Young Socialists, both nationally and locally were solid supporters and builders of these marches

If Bruce Robinson isn't referring to this then presumably he is referring to our endeavours to get the Students Association to carry out actions after the STB was announced and its inadequacies seen. If Robinson calls that splitting, he's crazy. What better place than the SRC to discuss how students should respond to the bursary announcements. If making proposals that some of the elected leaders of the Studass disagree with is termed "splitting" by Robinson it only shows up his strange attitudes — if you criticise the leader, you must be wrong, if you want to raise something for discussion, you are out to split the organisation. The only effect Robinson's comments will have is to inhibit students from discussing or criticising present Studass policy a development which would be unhealthy for both students and the Association

Yours fraternally,

Ian Westbrooke