Protesters to challenge "thou shalt not offend" laws on Pope's visit
PRESS RELEASE 1ST JULY 2008
Opponents of the Pope's visit to Australia are requesting legal advice about the prospects of challenging the widely ridiculed "thou shalt not offend" laws, that will see people protesting the Pope's visit slapped with $5000 fines.
"Australia is supposed to be a democracy. Whatever happened to freedom of speech?" asked Rachel Evans from the NotoPope Coalition today.
"After the heavy handed APEC debacle, you'd think the NSW Government would at least accept public dissent to this tax payer funded religious circus, rather than try and silence it with this over the top approach. Only the most hardened right- wing conservatives would describe these laws as fair. Any reasonable Austalian would describe them as offensive and unjust", she noted.
"Part of being a Christian is accepting different points of view. Even the teachings of the Catholic Church uphold human rights, civil liberties and freedom of speech. This approach from the NSW government is straight from Emperor Nero's book," said Kristian Bolwell from the Coalition.
"Instead of trying to silence critics of the Pope's homophobic policies, Premier Iemma should be upholding the rights of the people of Sydney to have their say and to move freely around their own city," Bolwell said. “And what happens when people like me are offended by the Pope's visit?"
Members of the NoToPope Coalition will stand up for their rights and march, as planned, along the Mardi Gras route, and hand out condoms to young people at Moore Park. "We will protect our civil liberties, and help young people to protect their health, and no Pope or Premier will stop us" said Rachel Evans, spokesperson for the Coalition today.
Call Rachel 0403 798 420 or Karl 0425 220 635 or Kristian 0411 638 320