"New anti-protest laws are set to be brought on for debate in the upper house next week and Tasmanians cannot let our right to peacefully protest be taken away.
The right to protest is fundamental to a robust and healthy democracy and should be enshrined by our political leaders rather than curtailed. From land rights, the environment, equality and workers rights, peaceful protest has been an integral part of Australia and shaping our nation’s healthy democracy.
Our Foundation has always been dedicated to non-violent protests to defend our incredible environment and the majority of Australians back us. We call on the Legislative Councillors to support a vibrant democracy and vote against the anti-protest law," said Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager, Jenny Weber.
"Police already have numerous powers to remove and charge people defending forests from destruction. Activists can already face jail terms for non-violent action. Any new laws, such as these new anti-protest laws are unnecessary, harsh and excessive. This bill before parliament is likely to amount to a breach of international human rights principles due to the very broad definitions of “business access area” and “prevent, hinder or obstruct”. The proposed draconian laws could be used against workers striking against poor conditions, against those who fight for social justice as well as the environment. They just go too far.
Today in Tasmania’s parliament Minister for logging destruction, Guy Barnett, is peddling mistruths about our Foundation’s impeccable record on safety and non-violence in all we do.
Protests have traditionally protected Tasmania’s outstanding wild places, including the Franklin, Styx Valley of the Giants, Recherche Bay and the wildlife rich native forests around the state. Our special places and tourism icons that contribute to the economy and wellbeing of all Tasmanian’s have been protected by citizens who protested.
We are launching a public campaign for the next week including a letter writing campaign to MLCs and a snap rally on Parliament Lawns next Wednesday to call on the Legislative Council to vote this Bill down," said Jenny Weber.