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Thursday 22 may 2014 29

Press Release: Howard Cup Protest

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Tonight, the Sydney University Liberal Club’s John Howard Debating Cup was subject to a violent riot by a fringe group of students on the extreme left.


Now in its fifth year, the John Howard Debating Cup is a chance for mainstream students to engage in civil debate about important issues concerning modern Australia. It brings together eight universities from across New South Wales. 


“I’m sure all Australian students stand with me in condemning this unprovoked and violent riot,” said Sydney University Liberal Club President, Alex Dore.


The Sydney University Liberal Club condemns all forms of violent protest.


The extreme left students’ chants of “Chris Pyne fuck you, Pyne is a wanker” is offensive and has no place in civil society. Two windows were smashed as violent protestors sought to storm the building, overturning tables in their path. 


 “This riot was organised by the usual suspects from Sydney University’s extremist rent-a-crowd, who have nothing better to do than to disrupt civil debate with their militant tactics."


"The contrast could not have been more stark between civil debaters inside and violent protestors outside”


Police handled themselves with the utmost professionalism. 

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Neville Wran served as Premier of New South Wales from 1976-1986. Although he served for the Labor Party, he started his political career as a member of the Sydney University Liberal Club.

Mr Wran joined SULC as a law student at Sydney University and served on its Executive in April 1946.

Alongside then President Ted McWhinney, an an Executive member, Mr Wran ran a formidable - albteit unsuccessful campaign - to oppose SULC's affiliation with the Liberal Party.

Ted McWhinney
Ted McWhinney

However, bolstered by a 1945 address by Sir Robert Menzies, the Club did in fact affiliate. This prompted the resignations of both McWhinney and Wran.

Although Mr Wran served for the Labor Party, he is a SULC alumnus who contributed to our early history and our thoughts are with his family.

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