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PinkNews: Protest outside funeral of homophobic cardinal George Pell to go ahead despite police intervention

LGBTQ+ activists in Sydney, Australia will be allowed to protest outside the funeral of homophobic cardinal and convicted sex offender George Pell, following attempts by police to block their march, PinkNews' Joe Ali reports. 

NSW police sought to obtain a court order which would have stopped protestors from gathering, citing section 25 of the state’s Summary Offences Act, but have since announced it will not attempt to stop LGBTQ+ campaigners.

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ABC News: Cardinal George Pell protest to take place at same time as Sydney funeral after compromise

A dispute between NSW Police and LGBT activists over a rally coinciding with Cardinal George Pell's Sydney funeral has been resolved after the route of a peaceful march was altered, ABC's Jamie McKinnell reports. 

The group Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR), planned to hold a march from Hyde Park alongside St Mary's Cathedral on Thursday morning which prompted NSW Police to apply to the state's supreme court for an order to prohibit the event due to 'public safety concerns'. 

After discussion, Mr De Brennan, who was representing NSW Police, told the judge an "in principle agreement" for an alternative route had been reached, which went "up to College Street but not on it".

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The Latch: “Pell Go to Hell”: Cardinal to Be Buried in Sydney But Protestors Won’t Let Him Go Quietly

The late Cardinal, George Pell, Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic and one of the most powerful people in the Church, is set to be sent off into the great beyond on Thursday. This will be his second funeral, after the one he already had in the Vatican, presided over by Pope Francis, the Latch's Jack Revell reports. 

The Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR), is organising a “Pell Go to Hell” march to be held at the same time as his requiem mass on Thursday.

NSW Police sought a court order to prevent the protest from taking place, citing “safety concerns,” however they have since said that a compromise has been reached with the protesters. CARR’s march will now walk to College Street but not up it.

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The Guardian: Protest outside George Pell’s funeral to go ahead after police back away from attempted ban

NSW police have backed away from an attempt to ban an LGBTQ+ campaign group from marching on the street outside George Pell’s funeral, ahead of the cardinal’s service at St Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday, The Guardian's Rafqa Touma reports. 

Instead, an “alternative route has been agreed,” barrister Sebastian De Brennan confirmed to the supreme court on Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement, the president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Josh Pallas, said the NSW police court order was “not a genuine attempt to preserve public safety”.

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Media Statement - Planned peaceful protest disrupted by NSW Police

“The application in the Supreme Court today to have the Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR) planned protest on Thursday declared unlawful by NSW Police is not a genuine attempt to preserve public safety. It’s motivated by a desire to prevent the memorial service following the death of Cardinal Pell being affected by protest activity.  In reality, this is a case of the NSW police trying to do tone-policing,” Josh Pallas, NSWCCL President, stated.

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The Conversation - Reaping what we sow: cultural ignorance undermines Australia’s recruitment of Pacific Island workers

The cracks in Australia’s labour market have deepened since borders closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.  In response, the Federal Government has offered more work visas under the Pacific Australian Labour Mobility Scheme (PALM), allowing farmers to recruit more workers from Pacific Island nations, including Timor Leste. By the end of 2023, it is expected that 40,000 temporary migrants will be working on Australian farms.

The PALM scheme is seen by many Islanders as an opportunity to earn good money, build new skills, send money home to family and shape a better future. However, Australia’s workforce woes are causing a mass exodus of Pacific Islanders from their home nations which is putting pressure on Pacific Island development prospects.

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SBS: MTC facing accusations of gross negligence overseas.

The Management & Training Corporation (MTC) is the US based private prison operator currently running Nauru Regional Processing Centre. The $69 million contract held by MTC equates to approximately $750,000 per day to oversee the detention of just 111 refugees and asylum seekers.

The auditor-general is considering an investigation into a $69 million four-month contract granted to MTC Australia, to run "garrison and welfare services" for asylum seekers in Nauru. Its parent company has been accused of gross negligence, fraud, and has settled multiple cases where it was accused of being responsible for deaths.

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The Saturday Paper: Australia misses anti-torture deadline

Australia risks being placed on a human rights blacklist by failing to meet another deadline to implement an international anti-torture agreement.

The UN’s Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (Opcat) was ratified under the Turnbull government in December 2017, but Australia has since requested two deadline extensions to meet its obligations.

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HRLC: No further police powers once public drunkenness is decriminalised: Day family statement

This statement has been reproduced from the Human Rights Law Centre website at: https://www.hrlc.org.au/news/2023/1/16/day-family-statement

The Victorian Government has made a formal decision not to give Victorian police any new powers to arrest or lock people up in police cells once public drunkenness is decriminalised in November 2023.

The decriminalisation of public drunkenness was first recommended by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody over 30 years ago. Following extensive advocacy by the family of Tanya Day, the Andrews Government committed to decriminalising public drunkenness in August 2019 at the outset of the coronial inquest into their mum’s death.

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SBS News: 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup - Australia's Human Rights record on the world stage.

International sporting tournaments have always been a means of bringing the world together. The 2022 FIFA men's World Cup prompted the world to closely scrutinise the significant human rights breaches in Qatar, including its treatment of migrant workers, women and those of the LGBTQI+ community.

Eyes now turn to Australia and its co-host New Zealand, who are to host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. Australia will understandably face scrutiny in relation to its own human rights violations as the juggernaut of this football festival approaches. 

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Dr Hannah McGlade: Voice will empower us, not undermine Sovereignty

Dr Hannah McGlade, Member, UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues and, Associate Professor at Curtin Law School, in her recent essay explains that recognition of Indigenous peoples by way of the Voice referendum cannot be a ‘cession’ of Indigenous sovereignty. Dr McGlade, with over two decades experience in United Nations Law says "nowhere does the Voice to Parliament proposal suggest any agreement of Aboriginal people to cede sovereignty. To the contrary, the proposal recognizes the right of Indigenous people to be heard on laws affecting our people".

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Submission: Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Information Disclosure, National Interest and Other Measures) Bill 2022

NSWCCL has consistently voiced concerns about the potential for misuse of location data, collected by everyone from telecommunications companies to Google. In our recent submission to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee we note that due care should be taken in widening law enforcement's access to personal data.  

The stated aim of the proposed ammendments to the Bill are to provide police with greater access to location data from phone companies to find missing people at risk of harm. NSWCCL agrees that the timely provision of information to law enforcement is critical to ensuring the safety of vulnerable and at-risk individuals. However, we argue that the current legislation allows disclosure of such information, under section 287 of the act, if emergency services believe “on reasonable grounds that the disclosure or use is reasonably necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of a person”. We do not agree that the appropriate balance between information privacy and the free flow of information has been achieved in the Bill.

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InnovationAus: Govt mulls facial recognition bill reheat

The Identity-matching Services Bill 2019 (IMS Bill) authorises the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) to create and maintain facilities for the sharing of facial images and other identity information between government agencies, and in some cases, private organisations.

The unusual recommendation to entirely redraft the Identity-matching Services Bill 2019 and significantly amend a supporting bill for automating passport data sharing came after expert evidence that the planned expansion lacked necessary safeguards.

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NIT: Report from major international rights group condemns high rate of Indigenous incarceration and deaths in custody in Australia

A major international human rights group has slammed Australian governments, state and federal, for their failure to uphold the rights of First Nations people in its 2023 World Report.

Human Rights Watch highlighted Indigenous youth incarceration among a number of areas of grave concerns in Australia in the report released this week.

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Yahoo News: Virus apps co-opted to fight bikie murder

Bikie boss Nick Martin's murder at a speedway in Perth left police wanting evidence in the form of QR code check-in data from the contact tracing apps of 2,439 fans who attended the December 2020 race, Yahoo News reports. 

A government order requiring people to share information in case of a virus outbreak meant anyone who checked in that day left their name, phone number and arrival time through the SafeWA COVID-19 app or on paper.

Police issued an "order to produce" the details to the state Health Department two days after Martin was shot and killed.

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City Hub: Climate activist Violet Coco freed as campaign to repeal anti-protest laws grows

Climate activist Deanne ‘Violet’ Coco was freed on Tuesday after spending 10 days in Silverwater Women’s Prison, seven of which were in isolation, City Hub's Wendy Bacon reports. 

Coco was the first person to receive a prison sentence under the new laws. Four other climate activists have been sentenced to prison for other protest offences in NSW this year. There are more than twenty other climate activists arrested under the new anti-protest laws who could also face time in prison.

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Sydney Criminal Lawyers: Over 230 Civil Society Groups Condemn NSW Government’s Anti-Protest Regime

More than 230 civil society organisations have joined together to condemn the sentencing of local climate defender Violet Coco in an effort coordinated by Counteract, Wage Peace and other grassroots activists, a diverse coalition of organisations have made known, via an open letter, that they not only condemn Coco’s prison sentence, but further the Perrottet government’s anti-protest regime, which led to this dramatic escalation in punishing nonviolent climate protest.

The signatories include the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW, the Human Rights Law Centre, the Maritime Union of Australia, the National Justice Project, Amnesty, Liberty Victoria, Extinction Rebellion, Pride in Protest and Free Gaza Australia.

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Echo: Climate activist Violet Coco released on bail

Violet Coco was sentenced to 15 months in jail with an eight-month non-parole period for stopping a lane of traffic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in April this year for 25 minutes. She was refused bail pending her appeal to be heard in March 2023 by Magistrate Hawkins on 2 December. The sentence has been labeled as ‘disproportionate’ by human rights advocates and condemned by civil rights groups and unions, The Echo reports. 

Yesterday the refusal of bail decision was overturned by Judge T Gartellman and Violet was released from jail on a good behaviour bond, $10,000 bail and a series of other conditions including weekly reporting to police, and no entering greater metro Sydney except for court

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Green Left: Violet CoCo released from Silverwater, but charges remain

Judge Timothy Gartelmann rejected the Crown’s arguments on December 13 and released climate activist Violet CoCo, on bail, pending her appeal on March 2, 2023.

CoCo has been held in Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre for 11 days.

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Media Statement: Millions say no to jailing of peaceful climate activists

More than 200 organisations, including, CIVICUS, UnionsNSW, Australian Conservation Foundation and Oxfam, as well as prominent individuals representing millions of people across the country have united to condemn the recent 15-month jail sentence for climate activist Deanna ‘Violet’ Coco in NSW and to express concern about increasing repression, including the recent introduction of new anti protest laws in multiple states.

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