The NSW Police Minister David Elliot, having lost his attempts to stop yesterday’s protests in court and on the streets, is now looking to bring in new laws to ban protest.
Any attempt to ban protests will be opposed by the Greens, inside and outside Parliament.
As we saw yesterday, thousands of people are willing to take to the streets despite legal threats and mass police mobilization from the Premier and the Police.
The community wants a government that understands the need to tackle the systemic racial bias against First Nations people in the criminal justice system, not one that threatens them with jail if they call for action.
Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“The way to stop the protests is to admit there’s a problem and commit to tackling the systemic racial bias against First Nations people in the criminal justice system.
“Tens of thousands of people came out yesterday, despite the threat of police action, to show solidarity with First Nations people and demand system change.
“No law will stop people protesting, and if there are attempts to ban protest then these will almost certainly be met by mass non-violent resistance.
“This is a time to work together, listen to First Nations people and their allies across society and start dismantling the laws, prisons and attitudes that have been so damaging for centuries.
“We are meant to be living in a free society where people have a right to protest and dissent is met with a reasoned response, not police violence.
“Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to address injustice, Minister Elliot is shamefully seeing it as an opportunity to increase police powers and crack down on protest.
“We have seen in the US where this angry and authoritarian response to protest goes and we must not follow down that path,” Mr Shoebridge said.