The Courier Mail (CM) is preparing a story, likely a beat up (let’s be honest), on Semper Floreat about two of the articles in our latest print edition. The University and the Student Union have been approached by a CM journalist describing our hypothetical guide to safe shoplifting and a story about police abolition as, respectively, a “how-to guide for criminal activity” and as “defamation against the Queensland Police Service”.
We stand by our decision to publish the hypothetical safe shoplifting guide, entitled “The Subtle Art of Shoplifting” (see the piece below), as helping hard-done-by students in a world where cost of living is on the rise. Increasingly, people are forced into impoverishment and homelessness, while the ruling class, governments, and corporations, enjoy the fruits of the working class’ stolen labour.
We provided the CM with correspondence from the original anonymous author:
A poll in UQ Stalkerspace, posted by former editor-in-chief Rowan Evans, at 5:48pm and with 235 votes showed 55% of the group’s members support our decision to publish this article, while only 25% voted “not cool”.
Some of our more wizened readers may even recall the controversial 1995 reprint of a Rabelais (La Trobe’s student newspaper) article entitled “The Art of Shoplifting”, and the attempt at state suppression which ensued. We contend that the art is a *subtle* one, but otherwise pay homage to our forebears.
We also of course stand by our decision to publish the piece entitled “Abolish the Police”. Since 2020’s Black Lives Matter movement, many students at the University of Queensland support abolishing and/or defunding the police, in general, and Australian police are no exception to this rule. Minorities of diverse backgrounds (ethnic, gender and sexuality, and political), and – in particular – Indigenous peoples, are disproportionately targeted, incarcerated, and brutalised, by our police.
We’d like also to remind our readers that this is the same Courier Mail who bullied and cajoled universities all over Australia about the Ramsay Centre, and regularly proclaim free speech dead on campuses.
It would be hypocrisy of the highest order for the same rag to now turn on an independent, student-run paper for exercising our rights to free speech and a free press.
We will not be lectured by this mob of jackals on responsible reporting, now or ever.