R.I.P FREE SPEECH: Protesters can now be charged $750 or 2 years gaol for attending protests in Victoria

On Tuesday the Legislative Council of Victoria passed the Summary Offence Act 2013, which outlaws the right to protest in Victoria, by a vote of 20-18.

From September onwards the police in Victoria will have the power to ‘move on’ groups of people at their will, including those involved in peaceful protests and pickets. Those who refuse to comply with these orders can be issued with fines of $750, exclusion orders, and jail gaol terms of up to 2 years.

Though clearly aimed at disrupting the Tunnel Picket campaign against the East West Link, in future this law has the potential to be used against anyone – including trade unions and community groups.

Even die-hard conservatives question whether the new laws are too heavy handed. Tim Wilson, former head of the IPA and current Human Rights commissioner told The Age he though the laws were ”excessive”.

”It unnecessarily gives police too much power to move on protesters unjustifiably,” he said. ”I have an issue with the low bar that is being set to give police the powers to move people on.”
SOURCE: http://talkingpoints.com.au/2014/03/r-p-free-speech-protesters-can-now-c...

REDDIT COMMENTS:
The number of laws being passed that undermine a free society is increasing

Some examples :-

In the US

You are no longer able to protest near where a Secret Service agent is expected to operate. So the authorities merely need to create an excuse for a Secret Service agent to operate in the vicinity of a planned demonstration in order to be able to cancel it.

In the UK

Laws have been passed that make it easier for the authorities to ban any demonstrations they wish to. They merely have to state that such demonstration might cause some inconvenience or disturbance to the local neighborhood. It is very unlikely that a reasonably well attended protest would not cause any inconvenience to local residents. Protesters tend to chant slogans and have speeches with public address systems.

In Canada

You are no longer allowed to wear a mask at a demonstration. The purpose of this law is so that the authorities can identify you, in order to carry out possible later harassment and intimidation.

In Japan

Secrecy laws have now been forced through which allows the government to make any topic, e.g. Fukushima, a State Secret with heavy penalties for divulging information. You are not allowed to know what the government considers a State Secret until the government accuses someone of breaking it. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/11/fukushima-radiation-will-hit-fish-west-coast-north-america.html[1]

In Spain

New laws have just been passed with heavy fines for "unauthorised" street protests The recent Spanish protests against their current extreme economic deprivation have been notable for the peacefulness of the demonstrators (if not of the Police). http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2013/12/02/war-on-democracy-spain-and-japan-move-to-criminalize-protests/[2]

In the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

The authorities are now collecting just about every piece of electronic communication and phone call on every citizen, via the Five Eyes program and the sharing of Mass Surveillance information.

The purpose of this is the possible future harassment and intimidation of political activists plus domestic political control of important domestic figures. http://ian56.blogspot.com/2013/11/as-keith-alexander-has-already-admitted.html[3]

The REAL purpose of NSA Mass Surveillance is to undermine democracy in America & the West to promote the interests of large crony Corporations http://ian56.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-primary-purpose-of-nsas-mass.html[4]

In the Ukraine

The government passed anti-demonstration measures and then cancelled the proposed EU trade negotiation.

The Ukranians response was to hold mass demonstrations with thousands of protestors against the measures.

But I guess the Ukranians value the rights of the individual and individual freedom far more highly than do the citizens of the U.S., the UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Ukranians well remember what the lack of individual rights is like.

In the US Laws and measures have recently been passed to :-

Remove the right to a speedy and fair trial if accused of a crime

Completely remove the right to privacy (from government surveillance)

Remove the right of public protest without fear of harassment or intimidation or physical violence by the authorities

Remove the rights of a journalist to write a highly critical piece on the government, without fear of arrest or other intimidation by the government (the UK has already used this)

Allow the Federal government to unilaterally declare Martial Law even if the local Governor or the Mayor disagrees.

Militarize the Police and DHS with ex-army equipment, including armored heavy trucks and armored cars.

Soften up the public to expect abuses by the authorities via the TSA, more frequent police abuses, dry runs of Martial Law, arming of IRS agents etc.

Develop facial recognition software to automatically link a face in a crowd to an id and the surveillance dossier held on every citizen. To be used on surveillance drones and "security" cameras.

Allow surveillance drones to fly in every inch of American airspace via over 50 authorized American military airbases. http://ian56.blogspot.com/2012/11/obamas-civil-rights-violations.html[5]

Allow limitless political funding by Corporations via SuperPacs and Citizens United. This takes away the individuals rights to free, fair and unrigged elections. The outcome of elections in America is now almost exclusively decided by Corporate election funding and by the Corporate controlled and owned mass media.

Individuals hardly ever even get to vote for a candidate that is not completely owned by Corporate interests. Candidates that are not owned by Corporate funding rarely get the publicity required in order to be able to mount a serious campaign.

The TPP and Tafta "trade" agreements (in progress) which subjugate National Sovereignty and individual rights in favor of the rights of multinational Corporations. http://ian56.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-trans-pacific-partnership.html[6]

Update 12/11 London's biggest university bans student protests - Channel 4 News http://www.channel4.com/news/university-of-london-student-protest-ban-senate-house-occupy[7]

In Australia

A new law has been passed (VLAD) which will allow the government to jail almost anyone it does not like for 15 years. http://www.guestlawyers.com.au/index.php/blog/are-you-a-vicious-lawless-associate.html[8]

Basically the law allows them to ask protestors (anyone blocking passage or 'assumed' to have committed a crime) to move on. If you don't move on, $750 fine. 3 times and its Jail for 2 years.

To all who say "some protesters are bad" and "i don't like anti abortionists" These are the evidence of a free society. Its one thing to be inconvenienced by someone voicing their opinion, its another to be inconvenienced by not being able to voice your own.

and

We need everyones help to get this seen, our news organisations are not reporting it! Americans waking up, Europeans having lunch, please everyone get the word out.

and

The ability to for citizens to openly criticize the government is of key importance to a functioning democracy. It is very concerning to see how government around the world have dealt with this issue... Here in Canada the idle no more and occupy movements were targeted and monitored by RCMP as a terrorist organization. The police went onto university campuses and inquired about where the student protesters were meeting, how many, etc. This is a serious issue that the public needs to be more aware of an more angry about.

and

20 people made this happen? Democracy is awesome!