Saving the planet invites police crackdown

Sep 14, 2022
Police officers at a protest
Image: Wikimedia Commons

There’s no question about it that policing has changed over the years. But it doesn’t make sense that non-violent civil disturbance is suddenly being treated by the NSW government as something so sinister that it warrants a potential 2 years imprisonment and/or a $25K fine.

I remember when I was much younger and people used to protest on the streets and the police gave them a fair opportunity before suggesting they disperse.

And yes, sometimes the protestors steadfastly refused to move aside when told to move on.

And yes, then they hosed them down big time, and sometimes they became more aggressive and used physical means, including batons.

But the laws allowed the community to protest and the courts issued some fines.

Sadly, I should add, because at times our governments don’t and/or won’t listen to the wider community and get carried away with their own importance things are now significantly different.

Most would agree that the government is important, and it is, however that doesn’t mean that the government’s ideologies are important to anyone else but themselves.

When the community votes in a government, I doubt very much that many voters expect the government to focus solely on their own ideologies.

Though a government might be voted in with 60% of the community’s voting power, they still need and are expected to operate on behalf of everyone.

Now we know that it’s not possible to please everyone all of the time, however the government has a responsibility to govern for everyone, irrespective of some peoples preference of voting, or their ideologies.

Having said that, it appears that it’s becoming more and more prevalent for governments, and oppositions alike, to act on their own behalf, or perhaps more specifically, on behalf of only those who financially support them to get elected.

Even more alarming is an apparent trend of governments to utilise the police forces within their respective states, to enforce new laws, often legislated based on their own ideologies and their desire to protect the profits of those who donate to their party’s electoral campaigns.

A particularly contemporary example is occurring in Australia at present.

The NSW state government, like every government, relies on donations from numerous very wealthy contributors to pay for their massively expensive election campaigns.

It appears to be using specifically drafted legislation to attack a non-violent, climate change awareness group, that has recently caused some significant traffic chaos and shipping delays.

The groups actions, they say, have been carried out with the intention of bringing some much needed attention to the climate problems that the government seems to not want to address.

Possibly, and very likely, addressing those problems would adversely effect their big money donors profits and their legistative actions appear to be designed to protect these donors.

There has been many protestations that have caused traffic chaos over the years, but why do these ones demand penalties usually reserved for serious criminal actions.

I must say that it doesn’t make much sense that what would normally be viewed as, at the most, non-violent civil disturbance, is suddenly being treated as something so sinister that it warrants a potential 2 years imprisonment and/or a $25K fine.

On the face of it, the legislation could be viewed as simply a reaction to the chaos that was caused, however, given the non-violent nature of the actions, it appears to be something more, and unnecessarily extreme at best.

It’s also a fact that the NSW police force has created a new task force, the name of which escapes me, set up with a predetermined task that is to actually survey the members of the climate group, which includes watching them through binoculars whilst dressed in camouflage clothing and hiding in bushes at the perimeter of private property.

The intent here is to provide intel so that they can prevent this non-violent group from staging future protests.

Literally acting against them, knowing full well that they aren’t in any way violent, thereby treating this climate awareness group in the same way as the community would expect them to act against a terrorist group, or at least a group that is known to be violent.

This all sounds very much like something that would be handled by Australia’s intelligence services, however, I doubt very much that those valuable resources would be wasted in these circumstances.

At least, it would be unbelievable if I was to find that was the case and I for one would lose all trust in ASIS or ASIO if that were the case.

We all know that ASIO allowed itself to be used in the East Timor spying debacle, only exposed because of one ASIO person who thankfully dared to alert the community to our government’s betrayal of our close neighbour and, at the time, our friend.

I don’t know how it can be seen to be in our country’s, or our communities’ interests for our police to act on behalf of corrupt politicians, seeking only to harm good, caring Australians, seeking only to make our world a safer place for us, our children and their children, and of course, everyone’s and every thing’s future welfare.

To knowingly assist a corrupted government, claiming to have to carry out their orders because you’re there to serve, doesn’t relieve one of their duty to the community they have sworn to serve and protect.

It can only eventually destroy the trust that the community deserves to be able to have in its police.

There’s no doubt that many good, honest people are already struggling to trust our police forces, and it cannot possibly be considered that the actions of the NSW police will in any way be considered in a positive light by anyone with an intellect above that of a moron.

Nobody wants the traffic chaos that is the consequence of this group’s actions, but to go to the lengths that the NSW police are, in their efforts to stop their actions, more than suggests an ulterior motive of those who have specifically legislated to stop them, and a willingness to stray from the code of ethics that is the staple of every police force.

 

Terry Hooper is a retired electrician, business owner and TAFE teacher.

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