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"Right" to protest in Australia

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AsiaOilDude View Drop Down
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  Quote AsiaOilDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: "Right" to protest in Australia
    Posted: 21/October/2011 at 21:05
Well I see Melbourne Occupiers have been dragged off. What's interesting is how we have no explicit right of protest (as we have no bill of rights). For those interested in this topic I found this to be an easy to read document;
http://www.activistrights.org.au/cb_pages/our_rights.php

PS: Please, I'm not starting a political discussion, I am only interested in the legalities of 'right of assembly, 'right of free speech (which is limited in Australia) and 'right - or duty - to protest'.




Edited by AsiaOilDude - 21/October/2011 at 21:08
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QuoVadis View Drop Down
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  Quote QuoVadis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21/October/2011 at 21:27
Yes, if we ever do become a republic, you can bet your last gin and tonic on it that such things will not be enshrined in the document.
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AsiaOilDude View Drop Down
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  Quote AsiaOilDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21/October/2011 at 22:31
Certainly not the right to bear arms or defend one selves from the tyranny of government.
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  Quote MickOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/October/2011 at 00:04
And the better we will be for not having that one as a part of any bill of rights.

AsiaOilDude View Drop Down
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  Quote AsiaOilDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/October/2011 at 12:49
I see Sydney has been cleared out. What "bugs" me if how it is the police commissioner who determines how long or how legal these protests are. Unelected official determining democracy much? It looks like OWS (in Australia) don't have a lot of public support anyways (due to high employment and generally reasonable banks) in Australia. It also looks to me like they have no legal advisers or bad advice!
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boony View Drop Down
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  Quote boony Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/October/2011 at 14:57
Originally posted by AsiaOilDude

It looks like OWS (in Australia) don't have a lot of public support anyways (due to high employment and generally reasonable banks) in Australia. It also looks to me like they have no legal advisers or bad advice!


I attended the first OWS protest in Sydney. One of the organisers said that the Police had given them "permission" to stay until 4.30 after which it would become an "illegal" occupation and they would be removed. She then went on to explain that the "permission" the Police provided was nonsense and just an attempt to appear to be in control. Probably not a lawyer but I think someone with some experience in organising protests.

They could probably use a lawyer to help their protests....

MartinO View Drop Down
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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/October/2011 at 15:26
It appears to me that the main problem that occurs with these sort of protests comes from the owners of surrounding businesses who have their operations disrupted.

I guess their argument is along the lines, "We pay our rates, and taxes, and if the protest is allowed to continue, we are unable to operate, and hence lose money."

I don't think that protests as such are a problem, just look at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy from years ago in Canberra. Many wanted it closed but it ended up staying for ages. However it did not disrupt business. I guess many politicians wanted it closed, but a few pathetic efforts came to nothing.
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QuoVadis View Drop Down
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  Quote QuoVadis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/October/2011 at 17:37
Absolutely and the pollies and coppers are gonna pull that one out of the back everytime.
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boony View Drop Down
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  Quote boony Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/October/2011 at 18:04
Originally posted by MartinO

I guess their argument is along the lines, "We pay our rates, and taxes, and if the protest is allowed to continue, we are unable to operate, and hence lose money."


As the OWS protest is outside the RBA building it will just print some more money if it loses any business ...

AsiaOilDude View Drop Down
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  Quote AsiaOilDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/October/2011 at 00:01
Thanks for the sensible replies. I do think some of the issues OWS are raising are relevant, particularly along the lines of 'democracy disenfranchisement', (which I take to mean that individuals no longer feel in charge of their destiny and their rights as citizens are now second to corporate entities that pay lobbyists who curry favour with politicians).
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khon View Drop Down
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  Quote khon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/October/2011 at 00:37
Citizen's right has been diminishing for decades. The only right remains is "silence".
Personal opinion only, should not take it as legal advice

AsiaOilDude View Drop Down
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  Quote AsiaOilDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/October/2011 at 01:30
Pezza would have you think otherwise... (at least in NSW where he/she presumably serves as a LEO of some sort).
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AsiaOilDude View Drop Down
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  Quote AsiaOilDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/November/2011 at 21:12
An interesting quote from today;
"Occupy Sydney spokesman Ben Peterson said the police response was disappointing.

"We're very disappointed police have turned up with mobile holding cells, horses, riot squad just around the corner," he said.

"If police try to move on a lawful public peaceful assembly, then that's a travesty on their part."

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/chaos-at-occupy-sydney-protest/story-e6frfkvr-1226186659495#ixzz1cpAnyVCS
"

Seems he doesn't know his law. There is no right to protest in Australia. Frankly I'd support a protest for a bill of rights in Australia any day!
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Cabal2 View Drop Down
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  Quote Cabal2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/November/2011 at 22:09
In Victoria, s 16 of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities provides that every person has a right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association. It's pretty toothless in practice, though.

I think the strongest rights we have, nationwide, are just the traditional common law rights that are protected by specific legal doctrines. For example, a police officer grabbing someone and dragging them off without lawful excuse might give rise to an action in battery and/or false imprisonment. The way the common law protects rights is sort of "negative" rather than "positive" - i.e. it's unlawful for people to disturb or interfere with you unless they have a legitimate excuse, and the range of legitimate excuses can be restricted to provide for freedom of assembly, etc.

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