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Talk: Censorship, Anarchism and Underground Publications 1969-1973: Revisiting Tharunka to Thor

Date and Time: 
Sunday, July 23, 2017 - 2:00pm

As part of our 40th birthday celebrations, Jura is pleased to once more host a talk by radical journalist and researcher Wendy Bacon. Wendy will give a presentation, followed by discussion.

From 1970 to 1973, NSW police issued more than forty summonses and made several arrests over the contents of the UNSW student newspaper THARUNKA, and its successor underground papers THOR and THORUNKA. The charges alleged obscenity and indecency. Wendy Bacon and John Cox between them served three weeks in prison during two trials. The publications drew participation and support from students, Sydney libertarians, radical activists, writers, lawyers and others as they waged a relentless campaign against the authorities.

The campaign contested the idea of obscenity and the legitimacy of the legal system itself. The newspapers campaigned on the war in Vietnam, Aboriginal land rights, women’s and gay liberation, and the violence of the criminal justice system. By 1973 the censorship regime in Australia was broken. Nearly all the charges were dropped.

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