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Hobart in flames as Uni mass eviction sparks revolution

HOBART, TASMANIA — Following yesterday’s revelation that many residents of UTas’ Hobart City Apartments would be denied tenement in 2019, sales of whiskey bottles and oily rags have spiked.

An email distributed to current residents acknowledged the “challenge the housing market presents” and suggested exploring “the streets” for housing in 2019.

“Young people keep bombarding my office with complaints about student rights,” a spokesperson told Togatus. “Apparently they think we’re some kind of university. I keep telling them ‘we’re in real estate, not teaching’, but it doesn’t seem to get through to them.”

Tim Barrel, a resident of the Hobart City Apartments for two years, told Togatus that the events had radicalised him.

“Yesterday, I was just some guy eating chicken and drinking alone in my apartment,” he said, his face obscured by a balaclava. “After reading the email from UTas, I realised I was an anarcho-syndicalist.”

When asked about what he was going to do once his lease ended, Barrel said, “establish a commune on the 14th floor and seize what’s rightfully ours from the parasitic landlords.”

Barrel isn’t alone. Rose Yates-West, an honours student living on the 5th floor, told Togatus that while she didn’t like politics, she was making an exception.

“Please, call me Rosa,” she said. “What UTas is doing is completely unacceptable. The economically vulnerable class of students are time and time again burned by the oligarchical moneymen of the UTas political establishment.”

By late Tuesday, students had assembled barricades in strategic sites across UTas campuses statewide.

In a controversial response, the University employed Pinkerton agents to disband student protests. This prompted swift condemnation from politicians and business leaders.

“Not on,” Scott Morrison said in a brief statement. Morrison is apparently Prime Minister of Australia.

The use of strikebreakers lasted only a few hours. After images of Pinkerton violence circulating on social media were widely condemned by local media, the University made a statement distancing the institution from the attacks.

“You may have seen or heard in the news of an unfortunate campaign encouraging Pinkerton detectives to brutally suppress protests. This does not align with our University values and the thugs were recalled as soon as we were made aware,” the University told reporters early this morning.  

Vice-Chancellor of UTas, Rufus Black, declined several requests for comment. An anonymous source told Togatus that he boarded a jet bound for the Cradle Coast Campus Wednesday morning where “no-one would know who he was” to avoid roaming bands of revolutionaries in Hobart.

UPDATE: In a press conference late Wednesday addressing student unrest, UTas clarified intentions behind the initial eviction letter.

“The University is committed to a diversity of experience among our students. The University is currently engaging in discussion with student leaders in how our returning students can experience homelessness in a positive way that will better reflect our values as Tasmanians. The University is passionate about helping our students participate in authentic student experiences that encompass a range of learning opportunities.”

The UTas spokesperson concluded the statement with two minutes of quiet singing alone, after failing to convince the crowd to participate in the national anthem.

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