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.
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
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
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 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