NSW Council for Civil Liberties committee member Stephen Blanks yesterday told a hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in regard to The Criminal Code Amendment (Prohibition of Nazi Symbols) Bill 2023 (the Bill) that the legislation didn’t “go to the heart of the problem”.
Mr Blanks argued criminal law was only one of the required tools to prevent Nazi ideology and wouldn’t be enough on its own. Freedom of expression does not give licence to individuals to engage in expression which engenders hate and incites violence. He said the proposed legislation must iron out any doubts over people who might be displaying Nazy symbols for educational purposes or other reasons who weren’t about promoting hateful ideology.Read more
NSW Council for Civil Liberties President, Josh Pallas, appeared before the Senate Committee on Education and Employment Legislation yesterday. The Bills being considered are sponsored by Senators Pauline Hanson and Matt Canavan. They suggest that States should not be able to restrict freedom of movement from State to State of any Australian citizen and they suggest that employers should not be able to ask an employee to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
In our view, the Bills in question, unreasonably and disproportionately protect the unvaccinated at the expense of the rights of other members of the community. Based on the generally accepted medical science, the Bills are incompatible with human rights.Read more
The Guardian: National ban on Nazi salute and insignia would help prevent far-right radicalisation, Asio says
Australia’s domestic intelligence agency Asio has welcomed a Coalition bill to ban Nazi symbols including the Sieg Heil salute, telling a parliamentary inquiry it would help prevent recruitment and radicalisation by far-right extremists.
The Victorian Government announced thay would implement a ban of the salute after a group of men from the National Socialist Network repeatedly performed the salute on the steps of Victoria’s parliament last month. This prompted shadow attorney general, Michaelia Cash to introduce a federal bill.Read more
The Australian government has agreed to release the full findings of the Double Six tragedy where a Nomad N-22B aircraft crashed and killed 11 people in 1976.
Australia's Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Sydney yesterday decided to allow the release in its entirety of Australia's reports on the tragedy. This followed a request made to National Archives of Australia (NAA) by the former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Harris Mohd Salleh.Read more
In a recent submission to a review of anti-discrimination laws, the Presbyterian Church of Australia argued for the right to exclude students from leadership positions, such as school captain, if they were having pre-marital sex or in a same-sex relationship arguing that "They would not be able to give appropriate Christian leadership in a Christian school which requires modelling Christian living", AAP reports.
The NSW Council of Civil Liberties said the proposal seemed punitive and would have a chilling effect on student morale.Read more
A meeting of the nation's various data and digital ministers resulted in the release of a communique on the 24th of February, asserting the urgency of implementing a national digital identification system which would make it easier for 'citizens to deal with the government', Paul Gregoire reports.
The 2014 Financial System Inquiry report found that many Australians are likely to object to a digital ID system due to privacy concerns, as it could be perceived as a digital version of the unpopular Australia Card initiative, which was rejected in 1987.Read more
NME: NSW Police say “aggressive” and “offensive” music is prohibited at Royal Easter Show, not rap in general
Organisers of the Sydney Royal Easter Show have clarified their stance on rap music being banned at this year’s event, claiming their intentions had been misconstrued upon the ban’s announcement.
Brock Gilmour – chief executive of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, said that rap music could in fact be played at the Easter Show, so long as it abides by the condition that it’s “quite pleasant and [does not contain] offensive language”. He also stressed that NSW Police had no part in establishing the ban, with the RAS having made that decision independently; the board’s president, Michael Millner, reportedly expressed support for it.Read more
Police and Easter Show organisers have attempted to walk back an apparent ban on rap music at this year’s carnival, characterising it as a crackdown on offensive language and aggression rather than an entire musical genre, SMH report.
Drill, a darker and grittier subgenre of rap, has long been targetted by NSW Police, along with its Sydney practitioners. On Wednesday, however, Royal Agricultural Society of NSW chief executive Brock Gilmour said organisers, not police, took the decision to prohibit music that contained offensive language or “aggressive tones”. He said he did not want mums, dads and children hearing swear words at a family event.
NSW Council of Civil Liberties president Josh Pallas said it was an example of the over policing of marginalised communities. “In a way it’s thought-policing because rap music is just another instance of free expression,” he said.Read more
Both major parties doubled down on their support for anti-protest laws after receiving news last week that a District Court judge had overturned a 15 month prison sentence given to activist Deane Violet Coco last year, City Hub's Wendy Bacon Reports.
The NSW Greens however have vowed to continuing pushing for the repeal of the laws, including in any balance of power negotiations while climate activists occupied Perrottet’s office and the City of Sydney repeated its call for the repeal of the laws and an end to police harassment of protesters.
Josh Pallas, President, New South Wales Council of Civil Liberties issued a media release thanking the City of Sydney.Read more
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.