The Australian state of Victoria has just passed an extremely anti-democractic law criminalizing protest (recall Japan and Spain moved to do the same late last year). For those of you unfamiliar with Australian geography, Victoria is one of Australia’s five states. It is the second most populous and includes the city of Melbourne (a city of four million), so this isn’t some parched piece of land near Ayers rock with more kangaroos than people.
It is very disturbing that this is happening in 2014 in a Western “democracy.” It demonstrates two interrelated social trends. That the “people” are waking up to elite corruption, and the power structure is terrified that their bullshit propaganda is no longer effective. The friendly mask of government is coming off…
By Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:
The Victoria state government in Australia passed a law Tuesday that will give unprecedented amounts of power to police to suppress protests. The Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Bill passed through the Victorian parliament despite heavy opposition within the general population. During the legislative proceedings alone, police arrested four protesters in the legislative chamber’s public viewing chamber for causing disturbances.
“Despite heavy opposition within the general population.” Silly serfs, you think what you want matters?
Under the new law, police can order protesters to disperse if they are blocking the entrance to a building, obstructing people or traffic, or most notably, if the police expect the protesters to turn violent. The penalty for violating orders to move ranges from a $720 fine to arrest and imprisonment. Under the new law, police would also be able to obtain exclusion orders banning protesters from certain public places for a period of 12 months; the violation of which carries a maximum jail sentence of two years.
Take note of the word “expect.” The police can simply “expect” than any protest they don’t want happening will turn violent. What a sad joke.