25.9 C
Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Ending dissent: jail time for peaceful protests

Latest News

‘Hollywood’ drug squads over the top

I guess we have to thank Hollywood for the enduring myth that a black-clad squad of elite 'blokes', preferably with cool helicopters, from the capital are needed to crack down on really serious crime in hick parts of the country like Mullumbimby.

Other News

Facebook fails

Adrian Gattenhof, Mullumbimby American spoilt brat Zuckerberg may have done adults around the world a great favour with his screamy...

Spots for kids circus nearly full

Mullumbimby’s Spaghetti Circus kicked off its first term with a record number of enrolments and there is much fun to be had following a difficult COVID year.

Date change – Kerry interviews Zoe Daniel

Journalist Zoe Daniel's conversation with Kerry O’Brien regarding her new book, Trumpland, has been rescheduled.

Tweed mayor and rail trail

Richard White, East Ballina I watched a Facebook video of Mayor, Chris Cherry, addressing a meeting, organised by the Northern...

Loveday wins All Shorts second year in a row

Filmmakers travelled from where COVID allowed this weekend to be part of the 30th birthday celebrations for Flickerfest in...

Community bar – not

Liz Levy, Suffolk Park I couldn’t believe what I was reading in The Echo: a plan to turn an ‘iconic’...

Story & image Dr Liz Elliott

New police-state laws have recently been passed by the Turnbull government, with support from the ALP. Actions that could harm the ‘reputation’ of the government on matters political, ecological or economic can now be prosecuted as serious national security offences.

Reputation, a subjective notion, is to be mandated as ‘government = good’. Orwellian indeed.

This from a government that scaped in by a tiny majority, whose record is dithering on important matters, like climate change and education, while acting expeditiously on matters to benefit centralised and corporate rule.

Prison of truth

This means that peaceful blockades of coal operations or exposing the truth about Nauru could carry prison sentences of up to 25 years. 

Anti-war protestors can also be prosecuted. Already individual anti-mine protestors have been fined $5,000 while mining corporations could also be fined the same amount.

Fiefdom of Oz

This is part of a sequence of laws designed to turn Australia into a minerals/banking fiefdom. It seems as if they are foreign influenced, as similar laws have appeared in other countries lock step, often under the banner of national security. Even more mysteriously, these laws are supported by the formerly noble ALP.

There is no current emergency, yet governments everywhere enact stepwise, pincer movement containment laws to suppress possible dissent.

Earlier this year we were handed the ‘Bail-In’ laws, wherein ordinary depositors can be fleeced to pay for bank speculation, and then the attempt to tie up charities and civil organisations so they cannot make political statements. Unions have already been tied up in red tape. No discussion in media or debate in parliament!

Australia seems to be designated as a quarry, with compliant locals accepting foreign workers, and then off to war whenever the US petro-dollar calls.

Think this won’t happen soon? The Turnbull government just authorised the gaoling of ‘Witness K’ and his lawyer for exposing Howard government actions spying on the East Timorese so as to steal oil reserves.

Rights charter

How can rulers get away with this? One major reason is that Australia has no Human Rights Charter. Thus refugees can suffer in hellholes, and whistleblowers be jailed, and the courts have no way to constrain despotic politicians. Our constitution is brief, and addresses only property, religious and state freedoms and has an ‘implied’ freedom of political communication.

In the US and most other democracies, courts can challenge decisions that threaten vulnerable people, privacy and freedom of speech. The Dutch have enshrined the ‘right to have a habitable environment’.

On Monday 16 July, 80 people gathered in Mullumbimby Civic Hall to establish a Human Rights Charter. A similar group is meeting in Lismore, and it is hoped more areas will follow.

After drafting a Charter based on Gillian Triggs’s rewording of the 2006 Victorian Charter of Rights, and circulating it amongst the 80 people, the document will be presented to local residents by a door-to-door campaign such as the successful ones of the anti-CSG movement and the Bernie Sanders campaign in USA.

Area by area we may reverse this governmental intention to stifle us, the very people who legitimised government. Your basic rights are at stake!

Updates can be found online at www.ngarainstitute.org.au.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. check oz off my bucket list. randon drug stops, dogs, uncaring of koalas, this. You guys are passing us by in the u.s.. Ithought it was bad here.
    Might as well stay here.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Local fisherfolk caught in the parking fine net

FIsherfolk have been caught in the net of parking fines designed to stop travellers parking up for the night on the Tweed Coast Road and they are seeking help to access their beaches at night without fines.

Family Court scrapped

Despite overwhelming opposition from Australia’s family law specialists and advocates, the federal Liberal-Nationals government and cross benchers scrapped the Family Law Court and subsumed it into the circuit courts last week.

Cavanbah centre gets a taste of 3×3 basketball

The Byron Beez basketball team in collaboration with the U League hosted a 3x3 tournament at the Cavanbah centre at the end of January that attracted 30 teams.

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault acquitted

Magistrate Michael Dakin has ordered a common assault charge against a former Byron-based policeman be dropped after an altercation involving a naked youth in Byron Bay three years ago.