NSWCCL in the media

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.

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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. 

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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”.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Green Left: Josh Pallas: 'fight for the right to protest as if our lives depended on it!'

NSW Council for Civil Liberties President, Josh Pallas recently made a presentation on anti-protest laws and the right to protest at Ecosocialism 2022 on a panel titled "Winning our right to protest and building the environment movement" in Sydney (October 9).

It's great! Watch the full video

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The Guardian: Labor faces resistance in push to expand police access to GPS data in missing person cases

NSWCCL spokesperson Stephen Blanks, spoke to The Guardian about the introduction of the telecommunications legislation amendment (information disclosure, national interest and other measures) bill to parliament today. 

The changes will allow emergency services more opportunity to apply for a warrant to request location triangulation data from phone companies to find missing people at risk. 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”.

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City Hub: NSW Labor sticks to supporting harsh anti-protest laws

NSW Labor maintained its support for harsh NSW anti-protest laws at its state conference last weekend, disappointing a broad coalition of civil liberties and environmental groups.

A motion by the Australian Services Union to scrap the laws was defeated by a majority of conference delegates. If it had passed, Labor would have taken a policy to repeal the laws to the state election in March 2023.

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Perth Now: Privacy fears over American data swap deal

There are serious fears the privacy of everyday Australians could be in jeopardy under a data-sharing deal with the United States.

An intelligence treaty between the two nations will soon allow law enforcement agencies to share information. The agreement will give officers rapid access to US-hosted data to fight terrorism, child exploitation and human trafficking.

But NSW Council for Civil Liberties President, Josh Pallas said the agreement would gravely undermine privacy.

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