Campus Watch Cracks Down, Huge Protest in Response

OUSA held a huge protest against Campus Watch intimidation on Wednesday 28th May, 2008. Watch the video (in two parts) and see for yourself just how large the protest crowd was. The University and the media would like to minimise student concerns about Campus Watch and Police on campus, but students will make their voices heard!!!

Part 1

Part 2

Recent events on campus have taken a turn for the fascist as Campus
Watch has begun targeting and persecuting students who smoke cannabis. On Wednesday 21 May, 2008 a Campus Watch member harassed and physically intimidated one a student as he was taking a short study break outside the library. The student was studying frantically to get some assignments done and to start looking at their exams and had merely popped out of the library for a five minute break to smoke a joint. The Campus Watch employee told the student that they would have to go see the Proctor, that their file would be handed on to police and that they would be arrested. Because of the psychologically traumatic nature of the intimidation by Campus Watch, the student in question was very shaken up and no longer able to concentrate. Now the student has to take further time out of their busy study schedule to go and see the Proctor.

Furthermore, on Mon 27th May, 2008 the same Campus Watch member saw another student smoking cannabis on the Union Lawn and immediately went and got the Campus Cop, who promptly came to the Union Lawn and arrested the student for cannabis possession. That student had considerable time taken out of their study day as they were interrogated, taken to the police station and formally charged. Needless to say the second student was quite shaken up as well and found it very hard to concentrate during the most important study time at the end of the semester. And the student now also has to take time out of their study schedule to go to court and to comply with any sentence that is handed down.

Otago NORML spokesperson Abe Gray says, "These actions by Campus Watch are completely unconscionable and we can see that now that Campus Watch feels that they are here to stay, they are beginning to show their true colours. Campus Watch is not here to help students or keep them safe, they are here to intimidate them and force them to fall into line or face punishment. They are becoming the Dunedin Gestapo. For the past years we have seen Campus Watch stand idly by as students are assaulted, raped, and murdered and the campus is trashed by drunken rioters. They say they don't have the resources to stop these things from happening, yet they choose to divert their precious resources toward persecuting and intimidating high achieving students who pick up rubbish on the Union Lawn out of good conscience. Campus Watch sits by and allows the drunken hordes to run rampant but cracks down violently on peaceful cannabis smokers. Campus Watch is not contributing positively to the University environment and they need to be sent a very strong message that these type of actions are unacceptable"


The whole student body came together, as 400+ students showed solidarity for the arrestees and let Campus Watch know that the students, who pay their salary, don't want their fees being used to turn the campus into a police state.