SMH: ‘Nobody is above the law’: Minister stands by anti-protest laws that sent niece to jail
NSW government minister Alister Henskens has stood by the state’s anti-protest laws that sent his own niece, Deanna Coco, to prison for up to 15 months, declaring “nobody is above the law”.
Henskens, the Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, voted for legislation in March that made obstructing roads or transport routes an offence carrying up to two years’ imprisonment, SMH's Michael Koziol reports.Read more
WSWS: Climate change protester jailed for 15 months in Australia
Last Friday, a young woman who briefly blocked one lane of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a protest over governments’ refusal to halt climate change was jailed for 15 months and then denied bail for an appeal, WSWS's Mike Head reports.
NSW Council for Civil Liberties president Josh Pallas condemned the ruling, pointing out: “Peaceful protest sometimes involves inconvenience to the public. But inconvenience is not a sufficient reason to prohibit it.”Read more
Radio Skidrow: Anti protest laws and activism with NSW Council for Civil Liberties President Josh Pallas
Josh Pallas, President of NSW Council for Civil Liberties, discusses the recent jailing of environmental activist Violet Coco under the NSW government's anti protest laws with Colin Hesse from Radio Skidrow.
For more information, listen to the full interview.
City Hub: “It’s time to be the crowd” Knitting Nannas tell protest against jailing of climate activist
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet may be pleased that a Sydney magistrate jailed protestor Deanna ‘Violet’ Coco on Friday but he is out of step with international and Australian human rights and climate change groups and activists. City Hub's Wendy Bacon reports.
On Monday, protests were held in Sydney, Canberra and Perth calling for the release of Coco who blocked one lane of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for half an hour during a morning peak hour in April. She climbed onto the roof of a truck holding a flare to draw attention to the global climate emergency and Australia’s lack of preparedness for bushfires.Read more
National Anti-Racism Framework Scoping Report Published
The Australian Human Rights Commission has launched its initial scoping report for a National Anti-Racism Framework.
In March 2021, the Commission released a proposal for a National Anti-Racism Framework in response to enduring community calls for national action after heightened experiences of racism and racial inequality in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal contained guiding principles, outcomes and strategies to begin a national conversation about anti-racism action.Read more
SNAP PROTEST - Today 1pm - Free Violet Coco. Protect the right to protest.
Peaceful protest should never result in goal!
1pm today, 5 Dec
Parliament House Sydney
More information here.
NSWCCL Statement: Peaceful protest should never result in gaol!
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties is shocked to hear that Violet Coco, a Fireproof Australia protestor, was sentenced to 15 months in custody with a non parole period of 8 months for engaging in peaceful protest.
We understand that she was charged with offences of disrupting vehicles, interfering with the safe operation of the Harbour Bridge, possessing a bright light distress signal in a public place, failing to comply with police direction and resisting or hindering police. All of these charges arose from her blocking one lane of traffic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge for approximately 25 minutes.Read more
Guardian: Wherever you stand on Violet Coco, her jailing raises the stakes for climate protest
Peaceful protest should never result in gaol time. The NSW Council for Civil Liberties was shocked to hear that, that Violet Coco, a Fireproof Australia protestor, was sentenced to 15 months in custody with a non parole period of 8 months for engaging in peaceful protest.
It is outrageous that the state wastes its resources seeking gaol time and housing peaceful protestors in custody at the expense of taxpayers. Protestors from Fireproof Australia and other groups have engaged in peaceful protest in support of stronger action on climate change, a proposition that is widely supported by many Australians across the political divide and now finding themselves ending up in prison. Peaceful protest sometimes involves inconvenience to the public. But inconvenience is not a sufficient reason to prohibit it. It's immoral and unjust.Read more
InnovationAus.com: Cops used hacking powers six times in first year
Since 2001, we have seen an extraordinarily intensive period of legislative activity on law enforcement and intelligence gathering powers – possibly unrivalled in any other liberal democratic nation. We have seen the ‘anti-encryption’ Assistance and Access Act and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) Amendment Act expanding the role and powers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. We have seen the extension of ASIO’s extraordinary detention powers, which were due to expire in September 2020, until March 2021. And in 2020, we have seen the introduction of the International Production Orders Bill to allow sharing of data with foreign law enforcement and security agencies.Read more
City Hub: Sydney council calls for the repeal of harsh anti-protest laws
City of Sydney councillors have unanimously called on the NSW government to repeal anti-protest laws passed by NSW Parliament in April this year.
The new laws, passed with support from both the Coalition and Labor parties, ban protests on a wide range of infrastructure including major roads, bridges, tunnels, public transport and infrastructure facilities.They were passed in response to climate protests that disrupted traffic. Despite both major parties supporting the laws in the parliament, CCL applauds Labor Councillor Linda Scott and two Liberal councillors Lyndon Gannan and Shauna Jarrett who voted to support this motion.Read more
2022 End of year drinks!
Thanks very much to the ArtHouse Hotel for hosting our end of year drinks this week. It was lovely to catch up and reflect on the year and celebrate the beginning of our 60th year anniversary in 2023.
We look forward to a productive, active and fun-filled series of events next year, the highlight of which will be our annual dinner in October 2023! More details to follow......Read more
SMH: ‘Like martial law’: When police got the green light to take a truncheon to COVID-19
In the Supreme Court on Tuesday, the NSW government conceded two COVID-19 fines were invalid and withdrew 33,000 more of them. The NSW Council for Civil Liberties remains deeply concerned about the special powers given to the police allowing the issuing of fines which clearly added to the financial burden already placed upon individuals and businesses facing hardship due to the pandemic. Jordan Baker reported today in the Sydney Morning Herald that an independent report found, governments’ COVID-19 response “sometimes looked ... more like martial law than humanitarian relief”.Read more
Australia: Alarming conditions in-country and in offshore detention centres
During its 75th session, on 15 and 16 November 2022, the Committee Against Torture considered Australia's sixth periodic report. The country rapporteurs were Ms. Ilvija Puce and Mr. Erdogan Iscan.
The country delegation was led by Simon Newnham, Deputy Secretary, Integrity and International Group, Australian Attorney-General’s Department. The review took place less than a month after the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) had decided to suspend its visit to Australia as it faced obstructions in carrying out its mandate under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), to which Australia is a party. Several places of detention could not be visited by the SPT, and relevant information and documentation were not provided by the authorities upon request.Read more
Nationals make themselves irrelevant by not supporting a First Nations Voice to Parliament
The National Party propose on their website that "We believe in freedom of speech, movement and philosophy; freedom of religious activity, association and assembly; and equality and justice for all before the law." Therefore it is understandable that commentators and advocates for a First Nations Voice to Parliament responded with confusion at the Nationals decision yesterday not to support and First Nations Voice to Parliament. Noel Pearson in a powerful interview on Radio National this morning said the party are "writing themselves off for the future."
Young people overwhelmingly support a First Nations voice to Parliament. Young Australians voters, including those in regional Australia are voting more progressively on issues on social issues and climate change with younger people recently surveyed by JWS Research showing the strongest support for Voice is among 18 to 34-year-olds. The National Party risks losing the youth vote in the regions with this shortsighted and premature decision.
Co-chair of the Uluru Youth Dialogue Allira Davis, said that young Australian voters will be the driving force behind a successful referendum due to their willingness to accept change and strong desire for society to progress.
“Everyone needs to watch out for the young people,” she said. “Look at the climate action groups - they're led by young people. Marriage equality was led by young people. Young people are so progressive and want change and want to see change within their communities, whether it's First Nations or minorities.Read more
Josh Pallas: ‘Strike Force Guard’: suppression of climate protest threatens us all
Peaceful public assembly is not unlawful in NSW. Capsicum spray is intended to be used as a ‘last resort’ for police. Instead, it’s increasingly used as ‘crowd control’ at peaceful protest events, in a clear breach of police’ guidelines.Read more
City Hub: Danny Lim released from hospital, “violent” police response condemned
Iconic Sydney protester, Danny Lim, has been released from hospital after suffering a fractured skull due to an attempted arrest in the QVB which left the 78-year-old thrown to the ground in an attempt to remove him from the shopping complex.
Protestors gathered outside the Surry Hills Police Area Command yesterday to voice outrage over Lim’s arrest. Signs at the protest read “Stop NSW police brutality”, and “CVN’T hit Danny Lim”.
Now questions over the unnecessary force employed by NSW police against the peaceful protestor have arisen. Both the Greens and the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) have expressed their concerns over the violent response to protestors.Read more
Submission: Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2018
The Australian Government has asked Professor John McMillan, AO, supported by the Attorney-General’s Department to undertake a statutory review of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 operation and compliance over the first three years since commencement. The review commenced on 31 March 2022 and is to be completed within one year, followed by a report to be tabled in Parliament.Read more
NSWCCL applauds unanimous resolution from City of Sydney to protect the right to protest
At Monday's meeting City of Sydney councillors came together with unanimous support for a Motion protecting the right to peaceful non-violent protest in NSW.
NSW Council for Civil Liberties applauds this demonstration of support for the fundatmental rights of the community to come together, peacefully, to express their viewRead more
City Hub: Sydney activist and icon Danny Lim in hospital after police attempted arrest
This week, 78-year-old Danny Lim was in the QVB on George Street when police attempted to have him removed from the building. During the arrest Lim was thrown to the ground and sustained an injury to his cheek.
Josh Pallas, President NSWCCL said: Over the past year we have seen police come down hard on protestors before, during and after protests. Yesterday's police violence directed at Danny Lim takes this to a new level. He was not participating in a protest, but is a well known protestor going about his life and was still subjected to violent policing. This ugly encounter demonstrates the depths of the rotten culture in NSW Police related to protest and the expression of dissent. This rotten culture must be called out and brought to an end. While the investigation into the incident is welcome, it must occur at arms length from Police, preferably through the independent LECC.Read more
Dreyfus: Whistleblower and integrity reforms part of ‘crucial steps’ to rebuild trust in government
The federal attorney-general has announced all commonwealth entities will be subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 to tackle corrupt conduct in government.
Mark Dreyfus said this reform would complement the new National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), to match anti-corruption measures with existing safeguards against fraud in the APS, The Mandarin's Melissa Coade reports.Read more