Josh Pallas: NSWCCL condemns the actions of far right extremists
Over the past week there have been ugly scenes of violence and hate perpetrated by far right Christian and neo-Nazi extremists against the queer, and particularly trans, community. NSWCCL condemns these actions unequivocally and stands with the queer community in their push for stronger human rights protections in the face of rising hate. Violence has no place in our politics and must be unequivocally and universally condemned.
NSWCCL will continue to stand up for the right to freedom of belief and religious expression. But religious belief does not, and should not, afford the right to be violent, express hate, or discriminate against any other group within society. All mature democracies will see conflicts of rights from time to time, but we will never support the right to discriminate against another group within society on the basis of religious belief.
Women's Agenda: Jail term for climate activist Deanna “Violet” Coco’ quashed
Climate activist Deanna “Violet” Coco’s 15-month jail term imposed last December has been quashed due to the 'false fact' and 'false assertation' that the NSW police had added to their case against the 32 year old climate activist regarding an ambulance had been obstructed due to the protest.
Coco was sentenced to 15 months prison in December for blocking a lane of traffic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge with a hired truck in April 2022 — making her the first person to be imprisoned under the new anti-protest laws, which were passed by The Coalition with Labor’s backing in the same month.
NSW Council for Civil Liberties president, Josh Pallas, called the police’s actions against Coco “shocking”.Read more
City Hub: Judge overturns tough sentences for climate activists
Deanna “Violet” Coco was sentenced to 15 months in prison with a non-parole period of eight months and fined $2500 by Magistrate Alison Hawkins in December 2022. Today, District Court Judge Mark Williams overturned the fine and placed her on a 12 months conditional release order with psychological counselling for the Sydney Harbour offence. For two other minor offences, Coco was convicted but no other penalty was imposed, City Hub's Wendy Bacon reports.
In response to the overturning of Coco's sentence, NSWCCL President Josh Pallas said, "A custodial sentence was neither proportionate nor fair, indeed the cost to tax-payer and waste of court time is outrageous. Justice has been done today, but at too great a cost.”Read more
NSWCCL: "Disgraceful" - Both major parties double down on harsh anti-protest laws.
Both leaders of the two major parties in NSW have restated their support for the draconian anti-protest laws they jointly put in place over a year ago. Over 240 civil society, trade unions and religious groups have all joined to condemn these laws which over the last 12 months have resulted in previously unheard of custodial sentences for peaceful, non-violent protest action.
In response to the court decision this week to overturn the custodial sentence against activist Violet Coco both the Liberal Premier Dominic Perrottet and Labor Leader Chris Minns have doubled-down on their support for these harsh and unnecessary laws.Read more
The Guardian: Climate activist Deanna ‘Violet’ Coco’s 15-month jail sentence quashed on appeal
The 15 month sentence that climate activist Deanna 'Violet' Coco was given for blocking one lane of traffic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge for less than 30 minutes back in April of 2022 has been quashed.
Coco, 32, was issued with a 12 month conditional release order on Wednesday after judge Mark Williams heard that she had been initially imprisoned due to the false information that was provided by the NSW police.
She told reporters she would pursue compensation against the police after spending 13 days in prison.
“Obviously we need to continue our right to protest. Protest is such an important part of our democracy,” she said.Read more
NSWCCL: Charges dropped against Deanna Violet Coco
Today in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court activist, Violet Coco successfully appealed the unfair and harsh 15 month custodial sentence she received last December. Judge Mark Williams SC withdrew all but two of Ms Coco’s convictions and sentenced her to a 12-month conditional release order.Read more
NSWCCL: Pressure builds on Perrottet re his anti-protest policy
In the lead up to the poll on 25 March, pressure is building on Premier Dominic Perrottet as the reality of the NSW anti-protest laws sinks in for the broader New South Wales community. NSW Police reportedly told organisers of the weekend’s Sydney International Women's Day March, the School Strike for Climate last week and the organisers of the 2023 May Day Rally that they could not hold these community-based actions in front of Sydney Town Hall if the number of people exceed 2,000 - an arbitrary number that has no legislative or policy basis.Read more
The Mandarin: Human rights model proposes new obligations for public servants
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has put forward a new human rights framework which aims to embed human rights considerations as part of the culture of public administration for policy and decision-making in Australia. This would include a requirement for public servants to consult with people who are either directly affected by policies and laws such as First Nations Australians, children and people with a disability, the Mandarin's Melissa Coade reports.
AHRC president Rosalind Croucher said an ongoing conversation about Australia’s human rights protection system had evolved over the past three years with a view to creating an inclusive and robust legal framework.Read more
Sydney Criminal Lawyers: NSW Police Falsely Claimed that Violet Coco Blocked an Ambulance
NSW civil society was appalled when Violet Coco received a 15 month prision sentence in respose to her taking part in a Fireproof Australia action that blocked one lane of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for 25 mins.
During the hearing, NSW police argued that Coco and the three other Fireproof Australia activists conducting the nonviolent direct action had blocked an ambulance trying to get across this bridge with its lights and sirens on responding to an emergency which had been one of the main arguments against these road-blocking protests.
This allegation has since been redrawn by the NSW police, which prompted NSWCCL president Josh Pallas to release a media statement.Read more
Media Statement: NSW Police forced to withdraw false allegations against peaceful protesters
Today in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court protesters, Alan Glover and Karen Fitz-Gibbon, were sentenced on pleas of guilty to charges arising from blocking one lane of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for about 30 minutes in April of 2022. This afternoon, both received 18 month Community Correction Orders with a fine of $3000 each.
The police’s initial allegation that the protest blocked an ambulance with its sirens on was withdrawn in court. That allegation contributed to the Court decisions last year to impose harsh bail conditions and previously unheard of custodial sentences for non-violent, peaceful protesters who were co-defendants of the people sentenced today.
Magistrate Daniel Riess noted that ‘Violet’ Deanna Coco and Jay Larbalestier has both been sentenced of the “false ambulance assertion” and that “no emergency vehicles were obstructed”. The police have now withdrawn the allegation that the protest hindered any ambulance.Read more