Welcome to Police State Blues, a monthly digest focusing on the erosion of civil liberties and the criminalization of dissent in Australia.
Gizmodo like Lundy because of her previous work as shadow Minister for IT, and because she has spoken out against a compulsory filtering regime.
But don’t get your hopes up. In her first round of interviews, Gillard said she wanted to “combat the alarming emergence of raunch culture”. She may see continuing Rudd’s war on the Internet as a way of pursuing this aim.
War on the Poor
Queensland’s Premier has announced a new “on the spot fine” regime for “public nuisance”. QUT law lecturer Peter Black initially supported the move, it would free up the QLD magistrates court, but then realised his mistake:
I was looking at it from my privileged point of view – if I was to be charged with a public nuisance offence – instead of from the perspective of the least privileged members of society. I now think it could be easily abused by police who could issue on the spot fines to members of the community who may www.chicagobearsjerseyspop.com not necessarily be aware of their legal rights to challenge the fine in the Magistrates Court.
And what is “public nuisance” exactly? Well that’s the astounding criminal activity VOLLEYBALL of swearing in public, or otherwise annoying the police.
Bye bye Freedom of Association
It seems increasingly likely that South Australia’s “anti bikie” Serious and Organised Crime (Control) Act will be emasculated or even overturned in a coming High Court decision.
The High Court is hearing a challenge to a control order imposed on Sandro Totani, a member of the Finks Motocycle Club. New Chief Justice Robert French has described the control order regime as “draconian”.
It’s amazing the unity that external oppression can bring to a sub-culture. The fractious “outlaw” motorcycle clubs continue to campaign under the banner of their united front, the United Motorcycle Councils of Australia.
In this youtube video they compare the actions of Australian state governments to those of early Nazi germany and apartheid South Africa:
Normally I would call Godwin’s law, but at least the apartheid comparison is apt. The similarities between the South Australia and New South Wales anti-bikie laws bear striking resemblance to apartheids infamous “ban” laws.
A key aspect of the The Bikie laws has been the notion of “criminal intelligence”, or secret evidence. “Criminal intelligence” as a concept started to creep into Australian law in 2004, through so-called “anti-terror” 15 legislation. Now you can find it everywhere, even in liquor licensing!
Many of the laws hinge on so-called criminal intelligence: material that can be relied on by police and government but kept secret from the people it’s used against on the grounds that its disclosure may jeopardise an operation or expose an informer.
What they call criminal intelligence can be notes by an officer, their personal views, speculation, or world! it can be information from an unidentified informant [who] might have an interest in saying something damaging about another person.
“It’s the most unreliable information you can have. It’s the kind of information that would never usually be allowed in court.”
Sally Neighbour has the story. Unfortunately the High Court is unlikely to completely reject the notion of secret evidence, in light of previous decisions upholding various pieces of “anti-terror” legislation.
Ark Tribe’s case has been adjourned again, and is due to resume on the 22nd of July. The CFMEU are threatening nationwide strike action if Tribe is convicted. I suggest locating your nearest CFMEU active site, and heading on down to support any strike action if and when Tribe is convicted.
The next issue is due to be posted on the 25th of July. Get your submissions in early!