Greens candidate for the state seat of Lismore, Sue Higginson, has launched a campaign to reverse the state government’s recently enacted anti-protest laws.
The new regulation, under the Crown Lands Management Act, removes the traditional right to peaceful assembly, gathering or protest on public land anywhere in NSW.
Under the new law, any assembly anywhere on public land including parks, town squares, beaches, forests or roadsides can be dispersed at the whim of a police officer or any other authorized official, and people who disobey can be fined on the spot up to $1,100.
Ms Higginson, described the anti-protest laws as ‘an act of revenge against the communities of this region and around the state who have peacefully stood up against invasive and destructive industries.
‘The beaches and forests of this region are internationally recognized for their natural values — they are the great economic and social assets of our region. They are still here today because people have come together to protect them in the past.
‘Under this new regulation, simply gathering in a park to listen to someone speak about community issues, workers or farmers rights, or the environment could become an offence,’ Ms Higginson said.
In 2016, the NSW Government passed new anti-protest laws that massively increased fines for blockade style protests, but this latest anti-protest provision is much more comprehensive. It removes the traditional right to peaceful protest throughout NSW.
‘The Greens are leading the charge against the anti-protest laws and on Wednesday, August 15, Greens MLC David Shoebridge will move a disallowance motion in parliament against the Crown Lands regulation.’
The campaign to reclaim our democracy and wind back the anti-protest laws will continue up to the state election and beyond.
As part of this campaign, Ms Higginson has launched a petition to reverse the laws.
A Lismore protest has been organized outside Thomas George’s office this Wednesday (August 15) at 8.30am on , ahead of the disallowance motion being moved in parliament.
‘From my work as a public interest lawyer I know what good laws look like. These are not good laws,’
‘I am encouraging the community to sign the petition because when it comes to our democracy this is a love it or lose it moment. We all need to stand together now.
Sign the petition online: http://www.northernriversgreens.com.au/reclaim_our_democracy
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/215719892449154/