Friday, September 07, 2007

Police Blacklist to be Defied by Activists

Four of the Sydney people on the Police Security Blacklist last night challenged the list as unconstitutional, but their legal arguments were rejected by the NSW Court of Appeal, sitting in an extraordinary evening session. Despite losing the legal argument, the four men - Dan Jones, Paddy Gibson, Dan Robbins and Tim Davis-Frank - have declared they will defy the ban and participate in Saturday's anti-war march by the Stop Bush Coalition.

The lawyer for the four, Geoff Kennett, argued that the ban was an unconstitutional restriction of political communication, and that the NSW Police blacklist went beyond the powers of the NSW Parliament. The three Appeals Court justices said that the banning of a limited number of potentially dangerous people from a protest, in a limited area, for a limited amount of time, served the legitimate purpose of responsible government.

Police have recieved unprecedented powers in the APEC MEETING (POLICE POWERS) ACT 2007 of stop, search and detention, and confiscation of items from people, and the blacklist to exclude people from declared areas (a much wider area than restricted areas).

The Police Blacklist is believed to contain the names of 34 activists. On Tuesday 5 more people, who are associated with the FLARE in the void Convergence, were added to the list. "All of the people who are associated with the conference will defy the order,'' said spokesman Rishin Sing in a Herald report.

This morning Daniel Jones told the ABC "This march will go ahead. I think this is going to be a large demonstration and I think this will be a peaceful march," he said. "I think this will be a march that actually will show [Prime Minister] John Howard and [Opposition Leader] Kevin Rudd exactly who the opposition in Australia is. It is the public opinion... which will be represented on the streets of APEC."

Daniel Jones accused the Police list of being disciminatory as it lists people without criminal records and stops the their right of free speech. "This list is not a list of violent people that are threatening," he said. "If it was there would be rapists... on this list. I mean a rapist has more rights in the Sydney Central Business District at the moment than we do. We believe we are on this list for political reasons. We are planning only to have a demonstration, I mean, we've made no secret of that all long."

Back in June 2007 one of the four, Daniel Jones, was approached by Police Intelligence to spy on fellow activists and in return "arrangements" could be made about charges Mr Jones faces over his participation in G20 protests in Melbourne in November 2006. Rather than be co-opted and spy on his mates, Daniel took his story to the newspapers.

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