NSWCCL in the media

The Project: Do search laws in NSW need to change?

Our president talks to The Project about search laws in NSW in the wake of the recent tragic attacks in Sydney involving knives.

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GreenLeft: Human rights, union and environment groups call for anti-protest law repeal

37 civil rights, union, and environmental organisations, together with the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL), are calling on NSW Labor to repeal the draconian protest laws first introduced two years ago.

Premier Chris Minns has been asked to conduct a public inquiry into the laws which have been said to create a “chilling effect on civil movements and social progress”. 

The laws in question, amendments to section 144G the Roads Act 1993, criminalise “serious disruption” to prescribed bridges and tunnels as well as all “main roads”, with a max penalty of $22,000, or two years in jail, or both.

NSWCCL said protest is a “fundamental democratic right” that allows us to “express our views, shape our societies and press for social change”.

 

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CityHub: Government forced to conduct public review of NSW’s anti-protest laws

The NSW Government confirmed this afternoon that there will be a public review into the state’s anti-protest laws after overwhelming public pressure.

This comes after 37 organisations and over 1000 individuals signed an open letter and petition demanding the review, and for it to be conducted transparently with the opportunity for public scrutiny.

In 2022, the NSW Government passed legislation to prevent protesting on major roads, bridges, tunnels, public transport and infrastructure facilities. This amended section 144G the Roads Act 1993 which criminalises serious disruption by entering, remaining on or trespassing on prescribed major bridges and tunnels, to include all main roads.

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Sydney Criminal Lawyers: Civil Society Demands NSW Government Revoke Authoritarian Antiprotest Regime

The first of April marked the two-year anniversary of the NSW government’s draconian antiprotest regime, which has effectively stamped out unsanctioned civil disobedience actions that cause public disruptions in order to raise public awareness to drastic issues not being addressed by government.

Two years on from this a coalition of civil society groups led by the NSW Council for Civil Liberties has formed, calling on NSW premier Chris Minns for a transparent review of these laws. The coalition includes Australian Democracy Network, Redfern Legal Centre, National Justice Project, Wage Peace, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, the Australian Palestine Network, the Maritime Union of Australia, APAN and the Socialist Alliance, along.

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Echo: Anti-protest laws under review

With a review of the 2022 anti-protest laws currently in progress, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties is urging the NSW Labor government to incorporate public submissions into the process and ensure it is conducted with transparency.

NSWCCL have stated: "The right to protest is a fundamental democratic right that allows us to express our views, shape our societies, and press for social change. In NSW, and nationally across Australia, it is under attack"

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Media Statement: The Council cautions politicians against using language that seeks to divide

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) strongly condemns the recent remarks made by the Leader of the Opposition, Peter Dutton, linking a pro-Palestine protest to the tragic events of the Port Arthur massacre. Such statements not only lack factual basis but also dangerously conflate unrelated issues, leading to misinformation and unwarranted associations.

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Media Release: NSWCCL calls on the State Government to enable prisoner voting rights

Today, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties is appearing before the NSW Electoral Matters committee to call on the Committee to recommend that the current restrictions on prisoners right to vote in the NSW Electoral Act be removed.

The Council strongly believes that any exclusion of a person’s right to vote is a grave curtailing of the right to participate in a healthy democracy. This has a de-facto consequence of creating “tiers of citizenship” and does little to assist in the rehabilitation of incarcerated people when they have served their time.

The Council is also concerned about the disproportionate impact that the current restrictions on prisoners’ right to vote has on First Nations communities.

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Media Release: 34 organisations join together to demand open review of NSW Anti-Protest laws

The right to protest is a fundamental democratic right that allows us to express our views, shape our societies, and press for social change. In NSW and nationally across Australia, it is under attack.

In April 2022, the NSW Parliament passed legislation to prevent ‘illegal protesting’ on major roads, bridges, tunnels, public transport and infrastructure facilities. The new legislation amends section 144G the Roads Act 1993 which criminalises causing serious disruption by entering, remaining on or trespassing on prescribed major bridges and tunnels, to now include all “main roads”. Offences carry a maximum penalty of $22,000 or two years in gaol, or both.

The legislated review of the undemocratic “anti-protest” law is scheduled to take place after 1 April 2024 and will be carried out by the Department of Roads and the Attorney-General’s Department - the NSW Government has so far refused to commit to the review being open to the public and transparent. The right to protest cannot and should not be scheduled merely for a “departmental” review. 

The diversity of the organisations that have signed the open letter is significant. It evidences the grave concerns that are held by civil society organisations, unions, faith bodies, environmental and human rights organisations.

READ our open letter HERE.

READ our petition HERE.

 

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CityHub: Nineteen arrested at Port Botany after blocking arrival of Israeli cargo ship

Recently 19 individuals were arrested by police at Port Botany during a protest against the arrival of an Israeli cargo vessel responsible for transporting weaponry and resources for the Australian defense force. This protest was organised by the Palestine Justice Movement and Trade Unionists for Palestine. There were hundreds in attendance at the protest on Sunday evening, which finished with a march towards the primary access point on Penrhyn Road.

According to NSW Police, the protest was unauthorised, and some individuals disregarded police instructions.

The 19 individuals arrested were transported to Surry Hills Police Station and subsequently charged with offenses including obstructing roads or paths, failure to comply with police orders, and and remaining “near or on [a] major facility causing serious disruption”.

Those arrested were served court attendance notices to appear at Downing Centre Local Court in early May.

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CityHub: Calls for transparency on Australian visa cancellations

The recent reports of the Australian government cancelling Australian visas of Palestinians fleeing Gaza mid flight has sparked calls for transparency.

Figures from the Department of Home Affairs show that the Australian government granted 2,273 temporary (subclass 600) visas for Palestinians with family in Australia between October 7 and February 6 this year. But there are reports of Palestinians having their visas cancelled mid flight or upon arrival to the airport. The reasons for the callelations are currently unclear. 

Since the beginning of the Israel Palestine conflict more that 31,000 Palestinians have been killed. Visa cancellations have left Palestinians stranded.

There is an injured 23-year-old man stuck in an Istanbul airport after his visa was cancelled en route to Australia. He cannot return to Egypt or leave the airport without a valid visa.

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