Greens Condemn Authoritarian Creep in NSW

Draconian anti-protest laws have been rammed through NSW Parliament in less than 48 hours by the Coalition Government with the support of Labor and the conservative crossbench.


People in NSW will now not be permitted to protest unless they are protesting in a state-sanctioned place, on a state-sanctioned topic, with the prior permission of the state.


Quotes attributable to Abigail Boyd:

"We are living in a State where you will no longer be permitted to peacefully gather in places not approved by the NSW government, or to take part in political actions that don't fall within a narrow band of union actions, and where you will need to get the prior approval of the police before protesting.

"We seriously question the constitutional legitimacy of this Bill, which seeks to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate topics of protest, and which can be used to fine people $22,000 or throw them in jail for 2 years for protesting on issues this government finds politically uncomfortable.

"This is a terrible day for our democracy, and the Coalition, Labor and conservative cross-bench should hang their heads in shame. The Greens will continue to fight for the fundamental right to peaceful protest and will not give up until we overturn this dreadful law.

"What has occurred over the last 48 hour in the NSW Parliament will go down in history as one of the most shameful episodes in its long history.


Quotes attributable to David Shoebridge:

"The government has made it clear during the debate that they designed these laws to jail their political opponents, that's not just bad public policy, it's deeply anti-democratic.

"This move to target political and environmental campaigners may well be in breach of the constitutional protections for political communication and we anticipate a court challenge on them very soon.

"The Coalition has form on criminalising protest, having already passed laws to jail people protesting coal mines for up to 7 years. Together these laws represent an ongoing attack on basic political freedoms."

Quotes attributable to Jenny Leong:

"Non-violent protest has always been a cornerstone of democracy. Alongside an independent media, and free and fair elections, it is in fact one of the characteristics of a functioning democracy.

"People are scared of what the future holds. They are desperate. They have tried asking politely and have been completely ignored. And we are in a race against time.

"And yet, this Bill is more concerned with criminalising the behavior of the people who are trying to save us - instead of criminalising the suicidal destruction of the planet," Ms Leong said.


Media contact: Angus Hoy for Abigail Boyd 0416 130 969

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