On Thursday, a group of Ballarat People travelled to Melbourne for the Rally to save TAFEs in Victoria. A number of us are on the Save TAFE Ballarat Committee - and that includes Miss Eagle. We massed outside the State Library in Swanston Street, moved along Swanston Street and up Bourke Street to Spring Street which brought us out directly in front of Parliament House.
For those who don't do rallies and demos in Melbourne, I must tell you what a wonderful venue Parliament House is for such events. It has tiers of broad steps. Sometimes people are on the steps, sometimes - especially when there are thousands as ours were - the whole intersection is closed off. The design of the steps gives our friendly police somewhere to line themselves to prevent enthusiasts from dashing up the remaining steps to storm Parliament itself. Conversely, the steps are great because friendly, supportive pollies can come out to greet us and support us. You will see photos of them carrying their placards at the very top of the steps ... where the rest of us weren't. I think perhaps a parliamentary venue being designed at this point in history might not be designed in such an accommodating way for protest!
Two comments on this report -
- it ignores that community people such as me were present; people who have no connection with TAFE except that we are supporters and don't want them destroyed.
- It puts the numbers at hundreds. This is a vast underestimation. I believe there were in excess of 1,000 people with a possibility of getting on or close to 2,000. Some have estimated 4,000 which could be possible. And some enthusiasts have said 6,000 - but I suspect not.
The Campaign continues....
On September 6, the Victorian Parliament is spreading itself around Central Victoria. It is not just visiting but actually holding sittings in Bendigo and Ballarat. Bendigo is playing host to the Upper House - the Legislative Council of Victoria. Meanwhile, the Legislative Assembly is coming to Ballarat.
The Ballarat SAVE TAFE committee intends to ensure a warm, warm welcome for our State legislators and defunders of youth and further education. Details of the Ballarat Sittings are on the link above - including bus timetables from Ballarat Railway Station to the Mount Helen campus of the University of Ballarat. The rally is scheduled for Thursday 6 September at 1pm at the Mount Helen campus.
To be confirmed:
Could Networkers please provide advice of what is planned for Bendigo?
We had people at a wonderful public meeting held recently in Geelong. If Networkers in Geelong see this post, could you please advise what is happening in your area?
I believe, but have yet to re-confirm, that two Save TAFE campaign shuttle buses will be running a continuous loop to and from the Ballarat city centre. There will be two locations for departure from the city.
Any information you may have on meetings, actions, protests in regional Victoria could Networkers please email misseaglesnetwork(at)gmail(dot)com
Join the campaign to Save TAFEs:
TAKE IT TO TED!!!