NSW politics: Anti-protest Laws

Dipping our toes into State politics

Our long term prospects as a Party will hinge on our ability to start engaging in local and state politics. It is much easier to get elected to local Councils and State upper houses (where they exist) than it is to get elected to the Federal Parliament. Getting an elected representative in anywhere will boost our profile significantly.

I have a long history of working in social movements, so with MarkG taking on some of the PR and correspondence work, I have been able to make some time to start involving myself in State politics where it doesn’t clash with election preparations etc. The most obvious Pirate related issue at the moment is the new anti-protest laws that have passed parliament and are awaiting ascension.

NSW Anti-Protest Laws public meeting

Last Tuesday I attended a meeting in Redfern about the anti-protest Laws that are currently awaiting ascension in NSW. It was well attended the State Senate leader of the ALP, the Greens acting State secretary, representatives from anti-CSG blockades in Laird and the Piliga, a representative from the ‘knitting nannas’, aboriginal activists, people protesting the Westconnex road project and others.

Much of the discussion was about the legal implications as explained by Adam Searle, the ALP Legislative Council Leader and a lawyer who put together these notes. The laws are draconian and are aimed at intimidating protesters into not taking action. These are largely in response to the successful anti-CSG blockades around the state, but have much broader implications for any protest or public gathering.

There is a plan to start engaging in low-level civil disobedience in the near future, with training for such adventures starting before the next meeting.

Want to help?

If anyone is interested in helping or staying in contact with the movement opposing the protest laws should join this Facebook group. Also, if you want to attend meetings, let me know because we can share the workload (traveling to Sydney for weekly meetings is a little time consuming for me).

I was also asked about the possibility of a Pirate helping out with web-design, which as far as I can tell, they could do with. I don’t know if anyone has the time and capabilities, especially with the federal election approaching, so I didn’t promise anything. That said, if anyone is keen to do some webpage work reply below, especially if you live in NSW and this sort of thing interests you.