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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 21, September 6, 1976.

Support for Trade Unions

Support for Trade Unions

The next motion, moved by Peter Aagaard, was one of support for workers rights. A boilersuited Aagaard, in a commendable impersonation of the Red Threat, explained that the purpose of the motion was to give the Association some general policy in this area, where it has previously been lacking. Several people spoke to the motion, and the usual arguments about Government interference and restrictions, and the possible extension of these to Students' Associations, were put forward. After a division, the motion was carried overwhelmingly.

Next came a motion about contributing to a Black Power defence fund. It seems that a Black Power gang went to Upper Hutt to fight a rival gang. Nothing happened, and they came back. One of their cars, a stolen one, crashed on the way back and another car was stopped by the police shortly after. Weapons were found in the car. They were charged with unlawful assembly, and the motion, moved by Mr Hannan, said that we recommend a $100 donation to a fund for their defence, and it was passed. Now why, I hear you asking, should we support a group of armed, violent thieves? On princple, of course, why do we do anything?

Putting all cynicism aside, though, (which I find harder to do the longer I stay at varsity) the 'unlawful assembly' these people were accused of resulted from their being stopped by the police. In order to make the charge stick, the prosectution must argue for a wide interpretation of 'unlawful assembly'. If the defendents are convicted, it will set a precedent, and the wide interpretation may include pickets and demonstration marches and other such gatherings. To stop this, the defendents must have a good defence counsel, which requires money, which is where we come in. So as well as aiding the aforementioned armed, violent theives, we may also be saving our own skins at some future date. If you're still not convinced, then do something about it.