I highly respect the police.
I believe in the law. But when the laws are unjust, and naturally the laws of imperfect humans sometimes are, it’s every citizen’s moral obligation to resist them legally and politically.
I believe in natural law, and when bureaucratic laws undermine public confidence in law and order you know they’re bad laws that urgently need to be changed.
When the most irrational people, people prepared to be more violent than the police, have an extra incentive to use intimidation, fear and violence as tactics to achieve their political agenda because of a bureaucratic law, you know it’s a bad law that urgently needs to be changed.
Victoria Police claim to have a right to charge tiny company’s like mine a crippling fee for organising events like the Lauren Southern free speech event because violent protesters decided to try to shut it down with lawless intimidation and violence.
The deciding factor on whether the law-abiding attendees or the lawless protesters should pay for the police presence, according to this bad law, is that only one of us was selling tickets to try and cover the costs. Events which may require police to protect attendees from violent extremists should themselves pay for the distraction from “other police duties and crime prevention” if they sold tickets, according to Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville.
Is the Andrews Government arguing that people who buy tickets are magically not entitled to protection from targeted violence when they want to hear a speech and ask a question, simply because the event is commercial and not a violent protest in the street? If not, then why weren’t the organisers of the violent mob sent a bill for their event?
Exactly what kind of political discourse would the Andrews Government like to see more of in Victoria?
Is it the kind where an organiser will hire a venue, sell tickets, give a speech or two and take questions civilly, breaking no laws and in full consultation and complete cooperation with police? Or is it the kind where people don’t apply for a permit to protest, will behave riotously, using tactics of public violence and threats of violence to create fear in their ideological opposites? What effect do they imagine enormous fees from Victoria Police have on the former and the latter?
The effect of this law is that if you wish to organise a peaceful assembly of concerned citizens to debate important public issues, you will face enormous financial fees which would guarantee that the event would not go ahead, or would be diluted beyond recognition in order to appease those people most prepared to be violent and irrational to get their way.
The effect of this law, how we know it is a very bad law that must be resisted, is that if you organise a free speech event with a speaker the real fascists (bearing remarkable similarity to Hitler’s Brownshirts, except in black) don’t approve of, they can block a major highway, intimidate and harass attendees and willfully damage private property while bearing no risk of responsibility for the cost of police resources required to manage their lawless behaviour. As an added bonus for the thugs’ violence, their targets also get crippling financial injuries care of a government agency charged with preventing violence.
The effect of this very bad law is that domestic terrorists get to veto meetings which refute their ideas and challenge their agendas. It empowers the Thugs’ Veto.
This is a bad law, and to so cavalierly dismiss the very bad effects this law has on public debate and Australian democracy is bad government.
It’s a daunting task to tell a police force and a socialist government to see you in court, but I will look my future grandchildren in the eyes and tell them I left nothing in the tank to make sure they get to inherit the kind of Australia my grandparents would have wanted for them – free and just.
Neil Mitchell asked me why my commercial event should be any different from the AFL with 100,000 people and police everywhere. The question assumes the facile premise offered by the Andrews government, and that is that all commercial events are equal. This is absurd. An event with 100,000 people presents inherent logistical problems in itself. Traffic management issues are the most obvious, as well as the statistical probability of the kind of people that need police behavioural support being in a crowd that large.
An event with 800 people in a venue that regular hosts such sized crowds with no need for police resources is by its nature entirely different. The only reason police resources are needed at political events is because of the imminent threat posed by extremists determined to use fear and violence to further their own political goals.
Sorry, Neil, but comparing the AFL to a political event only has tickets being sold in common, and that’s it.
No other state government or police had the temerity to quote and impose an intimidating fee on the Molyneux and Southern events for doing their job. Western Australia also has legislation which provides for “user pays” policing, but it sensibly has a floor of applicability to events expecting over 5,000 people – confirming the obvious differences between stadium events and 800 people hearing a speech in a function venue.
Only in Victoria are political events organisers slugged with the bill for being the victims of domestic terrorism.
Sorry, Daniel Andrews and Lisa Neville. “The role of Victoria Police is to serve the Victorian Community and uphold the law so as to promote a safe, secure and orderly society.” If that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s legislated too. The legal advice I’ve received is that where the function of police contradicts the role of police, and a judicial review will probably point you guys back to the legislated role of Victoria Police.
But why does it take a Court to tell the Andrews government the patently obvious? Blaming the victims of violent and intimidatory political tactics merely enables the Thugs’ Veto and instead of preventing public violence and protecting the public, effectively incentivises and rewards it.
Forget about the pretty sounding political language of “user pays”, and have a sober look at the real world effect your bad laws and policies are having on public safety and common law rights and freedoms.
The heartbreaking scenes of open warfare between violent extremists and the general public with only a thin blue line between us is not what Victoria or Australia should be known for. Nowhere else in Australia was the extremist violence so uninhibited on the Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux Tour.
Only in Victoria.
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