from Alison Ryan
Now the shoe’s on another foot –
The NSW Greens have urged the state’s police minister to pull officers into line, after more climate activists were arrested today, amid growing concern about “draconian” anti-protest laws.
The MPs, Sue Higginson and Abigail Boyd, said climate campaigners and supporters of Blockade Australia continue to be arrested and questioned in alarming circumstances.
“The police operation that is under way throughout NSW today in response to peaceful protestors is a clear warning of how far down the road we are towards a police state,” Sue Higginson told the Guardian.
“The NSW Police should immediately cease using the methods that are on display across NSW today and there needs to be a full review of the processes and procedures that have allowed these oppressive policing tactics to occur.”
Protest is fundamental to a democracy and played a vital role in giving people a peaceful voice outside of law. Removing the right to peaceful protest was a dangerous and draconian step for NSW to take.
“This is yet more evidence of the chilling effect that these new anti-protest laws are having on our democratic right to protest in this state,” Abigail Boyd said.
“I know the people on the coast who have been subjected to this police overreach. These are peaceful residents going about their lives, with their only apparent crime being their desire to see climate justice on our planet.”
That the police now feel emboldened to interrogate people on their doorsteps and pull them over on their way to work simply because of their political opinions should send a shockwave of alarm through our society. This is an assault on the basic principles of our democracy.
The NSW upper house on Wednesday passed Boyd’s call for papers which will see the government forced to release all internal documents regarding the creation and operation of anti-protest laws.
Higginson has called for an investigation into the police operation against Blockade Australia on a Colo property on 19 June.