Queensland Police have today refused to rule out using VLAD laws against G20 protesters in the event of any incidents. When contacted by Fairfax Media they only started the obvious, that the laws will not be used against “people simply taking part in lawful protests.”Anti-G20 activists are concerned that aggressive police tactics like ‘kettling’ may lead to confrontations, leaving them open to 15 or 25-year mandatory sentences for the relatively minor offence of ‘Affray’.
This has led some activists to take the unusual step of initiating a protester boycott of G20. Generation Alpha has cancelled the largest planned G20 protest, a world record attempt called ‘Nature Strip’, after written legal advice on the VLAD legislation. Spokesperson Ben Pennings said:
“This must be the first time the Guinness Book of Records have been told that organisers are too scared of serious jail time to go ahead. Laws designed for violent criminals shouldn’t be used to scare protesters.”
Generation Alpha is strongly advocating a wider boycott till Queensland Police rule out the political use of the controversial legislation. Ben Pennings said:
“With the threat of VLAD we may have 4000 journalists asking why there is 4000 police and no protesters. We want the police to rule out using VLAD against protesters so that Australians can feel safe expressing their legitimate concerns about G20”
Photos: High resolution photos available – firstname.lastname@example.org Generation Alpha: www.facebook.com/GenerationAlpha Interviews: Ben Pennings – (+61) 0418 164 014 (Time Zone: AEST +10)
It’s easy for the police to say that they won’t use VLAD against lawful protesters – they can’t use them against anything lawful. The question is whether they will use VLAD on protesters if there is any incidents, whether those incidents are initiated by police or protester behaviour. I’ll be sending a release out today and hopefully do some more media to increase the pressure on a proper commitment.
see also http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/plan-for-g20-underwear-protest-cancelled-20140220-331wx.html
Over Our Dead Bodies