CSU members join ‘Books not bombs’ protest
Members of Christian Students Uniting (CSU) were among those students protesting the Turnbull Liberal Government’s recently announced fund for Australian weapons manufacturers.
Held at Sydney University’s New Law Lawn on Wednesday 21 March, the protest had the tagline “books not bombs.” Students called upon the government to scrap the $3.8 billion fund in favour of increasing funding to education.
CSU’s Nicho Tjoelker was one of the event’s speakers.
“Malcolm Turnbull spat in the face of Australian students when he cut a staggering $2.2 billion from education”, he said.
“Our government has decided to put Australia’s future on the shelf and instead put weapons of war in the hands of millions of people around the globe for profit.”
Mr Tjoelker drew a link between CSU’s understanding of the gospel and the group’s stance against the proliferation of arms and in favour of increased education funding.
“2000 years ago, Jesus himself was executed by a militaristic state on a cross in the town garbage dump. Christian Students Uniting believe that education, critical thought, and scholarship are crucially important.”
The Turnbull government has argued that the new fund will make for more jobs in Australian manufacturing.
Foreign minister Julie Bishop has said that Australia would base its arms trade on “strategic concerns” and would negotiate sales subject to treaties and on “a case by case basis.”
The announcement had bipartisan support, but was opposed by crossbenchers and the Greens. The move has also been condemned by Christian leaders.
Image by Koky
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor