NSW: Where free speech requires police approval or costs $5500
Wednesday July 02nd 2008, 6:32 am

You have GOT to be kidding me.

Protests need our blessing, say police

Joel Gibson, Jano Gibson and Linda Morris
July 2, 2008

POLICE have told organisations planning to campaign during World Youth Day events they need to have placards, banners and T-shirts pre-approved or risk losing their protest “rights” – even those groups representing victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

The State Government faced a public backlash yesterday after the Herald revealed laws had been quietly introduced to prevent people “causing annoyance” to participants in the huge Catholic event which will climax with the Pope’s arrival in Sydney in two weeks.

During a meeting with two leading victims groups yesterday, senior police said protesters would also have to include details of their planned messages.

Protesting without police clearance could result in demonstrators being charged under extraordinary new powers which came into effect yesterday. […]

OK, let me see if I have this right.

1) Morris Iemma spends millions of dollars of public money on throwing a party for a certain denomination of a religion, without consulting the taxpayers.

2) The taxpayers represent dozens of religions… and it’s highly likely some would not be afforded the same consideration.

3) Now Morrie has moved to suppress public dissent on the matter with the force of the NSW Police, again without consulting the citizens.

And guess what? He can… whether the suppression was requested by the Catholics or whether the rather coincidentally Catholic Mr Iemma merely volunteered to surrender our flimsy few free speech rights of his own volition.

This whole World Youth Day (month?) thing stinks to high heaven- and should go before ICAC, sooner than later.

It’s no wonder the NSW government are opposed to a constitutional Bill of Rights, where citizens have some opportunity through the courts to enjoin government from abuse of power- and do so in a timely fashion.

Imagine how complex it would be for government to abuse power if we did have a constitutional Bill of Rights.


4 Comments so far
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I suspected NSW would further become a police state that stifled protest ever since the initial APEC laws were drafted, however this is just downright pathetic.

Comment by Dan 07.02.08 @ 1:00 pm

Yeah, Dan, me too. If there was any doubt about whether we need a constitutional (not statutory) Bill of Rights, it’s doubtless now.

It’s more than pathetic- it’s dangerous to democracy when government can do as they want, against the will of the people and top it off by making protest illegal.

Comment by weez 07.02.08 @ 2:12 pm

In case there was any question what the people of Sydney think about this garbage…

Getting 90% of more than 10,000 Australians to agree on anything is a big ask. You can rest fairly well assured that the voters are not going to eat this shit. I’m terrified that Batty O’Farrell may have a fairly good chance at winning government at the next elections.

Comment by weez 07.02.08 @ 2:15 pm

Bring back the inquisition, the rack, burning at the stake .. THAT should show these upstart heretic protestants who’s still in charge ..

Comment by Davo 07.03.08 @ 12:26 am

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