Letters

Undemocratic laws

Ed,
In response to anti-protest law comments made by Chris Gulaptis on March 23rd 2016. It is Non Violent Direct Action or “hindering activities” that corporations are pushing governments to stop because it is the only effective way of making a real difference.
Legal rallies and marches are really good to empower people nationally and internationally and send a message, but they don’t force change. In the years that I have taken part in NVDA protests in Tasmania and Australia there was never “malicious intent to cause damage” to machinery or equipment, that goes against what NVDA is about. During all protests great care was always taken to avoid even causing a scratch or damage to expensive parts.
Mr Gulaptis does not even specify what he thinks “extreme behaviour” is. Stopping destructive practices for an hour or a day to make your point heard is not “extreme”. The only risk these protesters pose is in very few cases a personal risk they are taking to carry out a protest, eg climbing a high structure. The Bentley blockade used obstruction techniques with lock-on devices, which would be punished with ridiculous penalties now. These undemocratic laws allow corporations and companies to do what they please and need to be challenged in all states as Bob Brown is doing in Tasmania.
Emma Capp, Ashby

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