Hundreds rally to oppose Tasmania's repressive anti-protest laws

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Today in Hobart’s City Hall, 900 people rallied to oppose the Tasmanian Government’s protest legislation.

Speakers included Richard Griggs, Tasmanian President of Civil Liberties Australia, Vanessa Bleyer, Lawyer and President of Environment Tasmania, Ruth Langford, Tasmania’s Aboriginal Centre Secretary, Rodney Croome, Gay Rights Advocate, from Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group, Greg Barns, from the Australian Lawyers Alliance and Bob Brown, Environmentalist.

Bob Brown, stated, “Will Hodgman may jail me to take away my freedom in order to settle an argument he cannot otherwise defend. Paul Harriss may take my property. Eric Abetz may confiscate my pension. But like so many others here, and so many more beyond this City Hall, I will not be bullied or cowered by their brutal strategy.”

Ruth Langford, Tasmania's Aboriginal Centre's Secretary, stated, “This Bill aims to regulate protest activity conducted on a ‘business premises’ or ‘business access area’.  For Tasmanian Aboriginal people, our place of business is our Country.  When the mining and forestry machinery come to destroy our ‘place of business’ where is the legislation to protect us from potentially ‘invasive and destructive activity’?  

It appears that this legislation will not provide for the Aboriginal Community’s interests, only the interest of elite private companies who gain their profit from our Country’s resources." 

Rodney Croome, Gay Rights Advocate, stated “Peaceful protests move society forwards, protest is the sign of a healthy democracy and a healthy society.”

Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager, The Bob Brown Foundation stated, “Today is the beginning of what will be a significant campaign in Tasmania’s history to protect democracy.  Citizen’s stood united today, a coalition of twenty organisations united to oppose the repressive law and urge the Legislative Council to reject it outright.”

Supporting organisations, Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania. Australian Lawyers Alliance, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, Australian Education Union, Bob Brown Foundation, Civil Liberties Australia, Climate Action Hobart, Community Legal Centres Tasmania, CPSU Commonwealth Public Service Branch, Environment Tasmania, The Greens, Markets for Change, Sea Shepherd Australia, Still Wild Still Threatened, Socialist Alliance, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Tasmanian Gay & Lesbian Rights Group, Tasmanian University Union, The Wilderness Society, 

 

Media contact

Jenny Weber  0427 366 929


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