The Worker Student Alliance, which was formed by Melbourne Maoist communists in 1970, became a relatively powerful force in the student youth movements of Melbourne and Adelaide. Its members supported Australian independence from large world powers such as the United States and the Soviet Union. Its activities were also heavily centred around protesting Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Its activities and influence waned as Australia withdrew from Vietnam and the influence of student movements generally declined.
The donor of this badge Barry York writes:
I was a member of WSA. It formed as a result of the huge strikes in
1969 in support of Clarrie O’Shea, the imprisoned tramways workers’
union leader (and communist). WSA put great
fear into the heart of the
ruling class—well, okay, maybe it didn’t but I sure wanted to think
so at the time! We were certainly a vilified left-wing organisation.
Maxwell Newton’s rag used to describe us as ‘terrorists’ (which we
weren’t—we were communists).