Students from the University of Queensland are calling on university authorities to remove the statue of a colonial-era Australian slave, saying it will no longer be tolerated on the university campus.
Key points:Rival groups have been protesting for the past week about the statue, erected on the campus in 2016The group has said it will hold a demonstration at the university on Monday evening to protest the statueRival protests, which began in November, have been peaceful, with no serious injuries reported, the group’s chief executive, Lee Williams, told the ABC.
“We have been calling on the students and the faculty to remove this statue.
It is offensive and in breach of the constitution.
It will be removed,” Mr Williams said.”
If they don’t, then the people of the community can go out and protest.”
He said the group would hold a protest at the campus on Monday at 6:30pm (AEDT) in response to the university’s move to remove it.
“The rally will be at the intersection of George and Caulfield,” Mr Williamson said.
The statue of Australian slave Sally Miller was erected in 2016, but it has since been moved to another part of the university.
The university has since released a statement stating the statue is not “in any way a representation of any group of people” and that it was erected by the University’s College of Liberal Arts in response “to the ongoing concerns of the Aboriginal community”.
Students say the statue was erected to honour the enslaved people of Australia.
“There are many reasons why the statue should be removed, but most importantly it does not represent our history.
It does not reflect our heritage and it does nothing to reflect our aspirations as a community,” Mr Taylor said.
Mr Williams said the statue had been a “symbol of oppression”.
“If you look at the history of Australia, we have been enslaved for a long time, we’ve had the same history,” he said.’
A very sad day’The group’s president, David Tait, told ABC Radio Melbourne that the removal of the statue could lead to “a very sad night” for the students.
“It’s a shame that this has happened, because we’re a very proud and honourable university, it’s the only one of its kind in Australia,” he told the station.
“As a university, if you want to be respected, if it is a place of learning, you have to be respectful to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.”
He also said the university would be “saddened” by the decision.
“I think that the university is sad about this,” Mr Tait said.
He said there was no chance the statue would be removed within the next six months.
“This is about history and about what it means to the people who live in Australia today.”
So, in the interim, the university will have to work with the students, the faculty, the staff and the community to ensure that this statue does not come to the campus.
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