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Tasmania- right to protest under threat
Darklight posted a topic in News & NoticesTasmania- proposed legislative changes. Read 'em and weep http://www.bikeme.tv/index.php/wanna-protest-tasmania-dont/ Great article, expressly directed at motorcycle protests, but applies to everyone. Excerpt from the article: Firstly, the laws apply to any protest action, in which the protester prevents access to, or obstructs, or hinders a business in any way, even if the protest action is on public land, like a footpath or roadway. The definition of ‘business’ is incredibly broad. A protester is anyone who is engaging or participating in protest activity in furtherance of, or raising awareness of, an ‘opinion, or belief, in respect of a political, environmental, social, cultural or economic issue’. Obviously the list of beliefs and opinions of which you can peacefully protest has been severely curtailed. Why should motorcyclists care about this? Most rallies or protest rides organised by and attended by motorcyclists consist of a ride to a location where speeches and other protesty things take place. Under the proposed laws, if a convoy of motorcyclists, on their protest ride, hinder a taxi, delivery driver, truckie or some other such person lawfully going about their business activities, it will be an offence. Now the law requires that the protester must know their actions will prevent access to, hinder or obstruct. However if just fifty motorcyclists form a convoy through a city, it would be hard to argue they did not know their actions may hinder or obstruct other people going about their business activities. Even more so if the action has been labelled a ‘block the bridge’ type event. Understandably the taxi driver, delivery man or truckie might be annoyed and temporarily inconvenienced by your protest ride, but they do not have to suffer any economic loss for the laws to apply. And now comes the reality check. For a first offence, the police can give you an on-the-spot $2000 fine. They can also order that you do not return to the location within four days. If you do, it’s another fine. Or you can be arrested and charged and face court, in which case, the fine is a minimum of $5000. If found guilty, the conviction must be recorded. For a second offence, you will go to jail. There is no other option. The judge must sentence you to a minimum of three months in jail, with a maximum of two years. You may not be overly concerned at this point. You may be willing to cop a fine, even if it is grossly excessive, for the privilege of exercising your democratic right to peaceful protest. But if the taxi driver and truck driver both report you at the same time, that constitutes two offences. And you will go to jail. _________________________________________________ BikeMe is great for staying up to date with legislative changes which potentially effect us *all*- motorcyclists, and people whom for some strange reason don't ride motorcycles at all. The commentaries on the legislative changes are thorough, researched and IMO balanced.
Transcendent Compounds - Hunger Strike for Religious and Spiritual Freedom - 2012
GregKasarik posted a topic in News & NoticesThose who were at last year's EGA conference may remember my impassioned, impromptu "Something is actually happening, Reg" speech in which I said that I was considering doing a hunger strike in the Burke Street Mall. Given the off the cuff nature of the announcement, I received a surprising amount of support from attendees, but after discussing the issue with several of the other more experienced members of the EGA community, I decided to postpone the action, both so that I could seek to further engage with the Government, but also so that when I did go down that path, I would have more support behind me. 9 months later and the only thing that has changed is that the Victorian Government is now totally ignoring my requests to discuss the issue. It is now clear that without radical action, nothing is going to change. Ever. So, today, I am announcing that on November 14, I will be going ahead with the Huger Strike in the Burke Street Mall and that it will be running until December 21. This action will not succeed without the support of the broader Entheogenic Community, so I'd hope that everyone will help in one way, or another. I've created a Facebook event for it, and everyone is encouraged to invite as many people as might be interested. http://www.facebook....87789641289553/ There is additional information on my website: http://kasarik.com/Hunger-Strike-2012.php The Facebook blurb is below: The use of Transcendent Compounds is an ancient and valid form of religious and spiritual practice. As Transcendent Compounds are non-addictive, non-toxic and psychologically safe in an appropriate dose, set and setting, there can be no legitimate reason for prohibiting their use within religious and spiritual frameworks. Religious freedoms are protected within the State of Victoria by the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act (2006). Greg Kasarik has been directly lobbying the Victor ian Government for around 18 months in order to ensure that these protections are formally extended to persons who use Transcendent Compounds as a part of their religious practice. Initially, the Victorian Government stated that the prohibition was required in order to protect "Community Health and Safety", but since being presented with peer reviewed literature that effectively debunks that claim, they have refused to even discuss the issue. Because of the intransigence of the Victorian Government, on November 14 2012, he will be commencing a hunger strike in Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall, in order to pressure the Victorian Government to conform with their obligations under the Charter. The demands are simple: "That the Victorian Government provide regulated access to Transcendent Compounds for religious and spiritual purposes, as per their obligations under sections 7 and 14 of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act (2006)". This action is intended to pressure the Government into complying with the law and to provide an opportunity to educate the wider public about the reality of Transcendent Compounds and the fact that their use is a safe and appropriate form of religious, spiritual and mystical expression. This is an open event and everyone is encouraged to invite anyone they wish to come along, or to provide support. For further information: http://kasarik.com/Hunger-Strike-2012.php If you don't wish this action to go ahead, Greg is not the person to be speaking to. The person you should be contacting is the one who has decided that his religious freedoms, and those of thousands of other Victorians are not worth protecting. The Premier of Victoria, Mr Ted Baillieu, can be contacted thusly: Ministerial Office Address Level 1, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne, VIC Phone (03) 9651 5000 Fax (03) 9651 5054 Email Address [email protected] This action will happily be terminated the moment Ted Baillieu and his government demonstrate that they are willing to take concrete steps that will result in regulated access to Transcendent Compounds for religious and spiritual purposes within a reasonable time frame.