When three NSW police officers turned up unannounced at rights activist Seth Dias’ home on 26 October to drill him about whether he’d be attending a protest this week, they made “explicitly clear” that they’d switched on their body cams before asking a list of questions, Paul Gregoire writes.
This intimidatory tactic is nothing new for state law enforcement officials. They’ve been paying activists pre-rally visits for years now. However, over recent months, it’s been on the increase, and over the past week, the reports of these impromptu calls nationwide have gone through the roof.
The real clincher in the Dias incident is not only were officers trying to scare him off, but they also stressed that new anti-protest laws mean that if he was to show up to the protest, he knew nothing about, and obstruct a road, he’d be liable to up to 2 years in prison and/or a fine of $22,000.
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