The Guardian May 31, 2000


No Olympic Police State!

A range of justice and civil rights activist groups have started a 
campaign against the NSW Carr Labor Government's draconian laws aimed at 
protecting Olympic profits at the expense of basic democratic rights. The 
campaign will kick off with a NO OLYMPIC POLICE STATE! protest in Sydney 
Town Hall Square, 1pm on Saturday June 10, the first day of the State ALP 
Conference which will be held in the Town Hall.

In the lead-up to the Olympics the Government has passed a spate of anti-
protest, anti-activist, anti-public space legislation reminiscent of 
martial law. The Olympic Arrangements Act goes together with regulations 
passed last year, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the Homebush 
Bay Operations Regulation. 

This is on top of police in NSW already having all the street powers they 
need to indiscriminately move on, detain, arrest and intimidate 
"undesirables". 

Police are armed with the GLOCK semi-automatic pistol and the dangerous 
chemical weapon capsicum spray (which has caused over 100 deaths in the USA 
and is routinely used on protesters, the homeless as well as prisoners as 
an extra judicial punishment).

Not only do these additional laws criminalise dissent and political 
expression, they give untrained and unspecified volunteers even greater 
powers than police to sweep the streets of anything or anyone that attracts 
attention to the increasing opposition to violations of civil and political 
rights in the name of the Olympic Games.

They will not scrap these new laws after the Olympics but keep them as a 
permanent part of their law and order Zero Tolerance policing.

The laws remove your democratic rights in the following ways:

* move-on powers for untrained volunteers, even wider than any powers 
currently available to the police;

* public assembly is illegal unless approved;

* distribution of material without authority is now an offense;

* you can be moved on if you are deemed to be "annoying or inconvenient";

* there are now a new range of offences relating to the use of public 
spaces i.e. riding skate boards, bicycles or "anything of that nature" 
without authority;

* broadcasts and any sound-generating devices are illegal;

* people can be banned for six months to life from public spaces, or 
heavily fined for breeches of the laws;

* the laws cover Olympic "live sites" or anywhere near or adjoining live 
sites as well as wide ranging provisions for the Government to make these 
laws cover any part of Sydney.

Voice your opposition on June 10  Repeal all Olympic laws; Ban dangerous 
chemical weapon capsicum spray; No arbitrary "move on" powers for the 
police.

For more information phone 9281 5100

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