Drop the charges! Repeal the NSW anti-protest laws

Paul ‘Keato’ Keating.

Paul ‘Keato’ Keating. Photo: care of “Aust Friends of Irish Unity” on X.

The Communist Party of Australia has followed the events that took place at Sydney’s Port Botany on Sunday 24 March in which 19 protestors were arrested and charged under the state’s draconian anti-protest laws. These laws are a disgrace and must be repealed.

Members of the community, trade unionists among them, and members and officials of the Maritime Union of Australia joined hundreds of protestors demanding a permanent ceasefire and the end of genocide in Gaza.

The demonstrators had organised a peaceful blockade of a ZIM container ship carrying cargo, some of which has been deemed dangerous, that would later be used against the Palestinian people. It is not the first time that ZIM container ships have been targeted in Australian ports.

The CPA condemns the NSW police actions and excessive use of force against people concerned about the current situation in Gaza and wanting an end to the genocide. The Australian government should act to demand a permanent ceasefire and stop all military sales of weapons or component parts to Israel.

The CPA expresses its full solidarity with Paul Keating, Sydney MUA branch secretary, its officials and the other demonstrators who were arrested and will face court on 8th May.

All charges should be dropped and we call on the NSW state Parliament to repeal the anti-protest laws. These laws are unnecessary in any liberal democracy and their enactment undermines the civil and democratic rights of the NSW people.

We congratulate the protestors who continue to defy draconian legislation until the people of Palestine are free.

We call on the Australian government to join the 139 countries who have pledged themselves to a unilateral recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

Central Committee Executive
Communist Party of Australia

31 March 2024