Security demanded that they shut down their stall and leave because some students had complained that the T-shirts were ‘offensive’ and ‘made them feel unsafe’, according to Lauren Hargreaves, Campus Engagement Development Officer.

The student activists stood their ground until Security physically took their stall and threatened to call the Police. The Head of Campus Security informed them that he was personally ‘offended’ by the T-shirts and that they were being shut down because the students wore them.

Jordan Humphreys, a student activist at Macquarie involved in the incident, said: ‘Macquarie University have shown a complete disregard for the civil liberties of its students. This is a case of freedom of speech. Your rights cannot be violated simply because other people find your point of view offensive. I think Tony Abbott’s racist, sexist and homophobic views are offensive in our society. Tony Abbott said that in regards to homosexuality, ‘I feel a bit threatened’. Already the Liberal government has announced cuts to funding for Aboriginal legal aid.”

Cat Rose, the National Queer Officer with the National Union of Students, said, ”Universities should be a place where people are free to be critical of the government and express dissent with injustice and inequality. Those who run Macquarie University think otherwise. This isn’t the first time activists have had problems at the campus. In the lead up to the National Day of Action against the cuts to higher education funding, Security at Macquarie University threatened to call the Police on students handing out leaflets about the issue.”