Byron Council’s Double Standards

[Editor’s note: This is a letter sent by one of our readers to the Byron bay newspaper ‘The Echo’]

Dear Editor (of the Echo),

During the 2011 Writers’ Festival I parked my Free Palestine trailer on a safe patch of grass on the corner of Bayshore Drive and Sunrise Boulevard so that Festival attendees could read its billboard messages.

One side read: “Boycott Apartheid Israel: Uphold the Law – NO: settlements, collective punishment, house demolitions” and the other, “Support an Independent Palestinian State Free from Israel’s Brutal Oppression“.

Not long after, I received a message from Council ordering me to remove the trailer because complaints had been received and was told that it was illegal to leave an unattached trailer.

If I didn’t comply, I was told, my trailer would be impounded. Imagine my surprise therefore, when I saw recently an unattached trailer complete with advertising sign standing on Bangalow Road for days, in front of St Finbarr’s Primary School.

The Palestinians need every help they can get as they try to eke out a living under the might of the world’s 4th largest military under whose protection settlers continue to grab yet more Palestinian land and at an accelerating rate.

Byron has an enviable reputation for supporting human rights but it’s a crying shame that Council operates a double standard by harassing me for supporting Palestinian people whilst leaving St Finbarr’s immune from harassment.

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