GreenLeft: Human rights, union and environment groups call for anti-protest law repeal

37 civil rights, union, and environmental organisations, together with the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL), are calling on NSW Labor to repeal the draconian protest laws first introduced two years ago.

Premier Chris Minns has been asked to conduct a public inquiry into the laws which have been said to create a “chilling effect on civil movements and social progress”. 

The laws in question, amendments to section 144G the Roads Act 1993, criminalise “serious disruption” to prescribed bridges and tunnels as well as all “main roads”, with a max penalty of $22,000, or two years in jail, or both.

NSWCCL said protest is a “fundamental democratic right” that allows us to “express our views, shape our societies and press for social change”.


An open letter, calls on Labor to commit to making the review publicly accessible, “right to protest cannot and should not be scheduled merely for a ‘departmental’ review”.

Lydia Shelly, NSWCCL president, has stated “Everyone should have the right to gather and convey political messages in non-violent protest. This right is essential to our democratic system of government.”

Groups supporting the open review of the anti-protest law include: Young Labor Left, Wage Peace, Australian Services Union NSW (ACT Services Branch); the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union NSW Branch, Socialist Alliance, Redfern Legal Centre, Tzedek Collective, Pride in Protest, the Jewish Council of Australia the United Workers Union, the Nature Conservation Council of NSW and all NSW Greens MPs.

Read the full article.