The legal right to protest is fundamental to our democracy. Protests hold governments to account and make our country better. While the powerful few are able to write cheques or call their friends in high places, protests are how the invisible or ignored can become seen and heard by government. Only after tireless, sustained protest did Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people win the right to vote, did LGBT+ people achieve marriage equality, and did unions secure the eight hour work day.
Right now, during COVID-19 health restrictions, the right to protest is vital for minority groups and supporters who continue to rally against state violence and injustice. Historically, overturning injustice of this kind requires incredible public momentum and visibility, which can only be sustained through protest. Since colonisation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have fearlessly fought for an end to police violence, discriminatory laws and the structural racism that locks them out of justice. The pressure is building on governments here in Australia to finally act on what First Nations people have been calling on for decades: an end to Black deaths in custody and an end to police violence.
The Right to Protest Action Group aims to provide support to protest organisers and protestors who wish to exercise their right to protest.
Register as a protest observer.
Find/contact a protest observer to come along to a protest or provide legal assistance.
Arrested or issued with a fine?
Here are some resources to assist those seeking legal advice/representation and with self-representation.
More on this action group coming soon.