Wicked Picket on Saturday 25 July 2015

Make the Link: Wicked Campervan slogans denigrate women and encourage rape culture. They incite violence against women and trivialise the murder of women. We call on the Qld Govt to outlaw vilification on the ground of sex.

Saturday 25 July 2015
at 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Reddacliff Place

6 Queen St, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4000

Our rally speakers include: Paula Orbea, the Sydney woman who last year initiated the 127,000 strong petition calling on Wicked Campers to stop denigrating women and girls; Betty Taylor, women’s rights activist of more than 25 years and founding member of the Qld Domestic Violence Death Review Action Group; Adela Brent from Australian Solidarity with Latin America; and Jennifer Howard, Ipswich MLA. Entertainment will be provided by Jumping Fences and Tikal. Be there if you care.

3 thoughts on “Wicked Picket on Saturday 25 July 2015

  1. Are you a weekend market shopper?

    If you’re going to the Woodridge market next to the Woodridge Railway Station this Sunday 23 August, look out for the activists running the Wicked Pickets stall and say hello. They have letters to politicians for you to sign.

    Wicked Pickets is the advocacy group that campaigns against misogynist slogans on Wicked Campervans. Slogans like:

    ‘Fat Chicks are Harder to Kidnap’
    ‘I’d Like to Drown my Sorrows but my Wife won’t go Swimming’
    ‘She can’t Wrestle but you Should see her Box’

    Wicked Pickets makes the link between violence against women and public vilification of women.

    They want the Qld Government to act against the woman hating van slogans and outlaw public vilification.
    So help them out, say hello at the Woodridge market on Sunday and sign the letters or buy a badge.

  2. 25 July 2015 says:

    Wicked Campervan slogans denigrate women and encourage rape culture. They incite violence against women and trivialise the murder of women. We call on the Qld Govt to outlaw vilification on the ground of sex. This video is a short report on the latest rally against them in Brisbane CBD.

  3. Wicked Pickets complaint rejected by police says:

    On 25 July 2015 police attempted to prevent a march of people from Reddacliff Place to Parliament House under the pretext that they had insufficient resources to regulate traffic. Instead the officer in charge, Sgt Michael Skodel, took it upon himself to force people onto the footpath by shouting and abusing them, by pushing, nay assaulting them and threatening to arrest them. Two motorcycle police used their vehicles to dart in on the march thus putting participants and their children at risk.

    This was especially ironic because the purpose of the rally was to prevent violence against women. The rally and march was organised by the Wicked Pickets campaign. Their manifesto was summarized by Ms Anna McCormack in her letter dated 30 July 2015 to Ms Jo-ann Miller MP, Qld Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services:

    “We are against the promotion of rape culture and incitements to violence against women that are evident, as an example, on the campervans of a company called Wicked Campers, owned by a John Webb and based in Brisbane but with car yards in other Australian centres.

    Wicked Pickets has been campaigning against John Webb’s vilification of women for a year. We have asked the Queensland Government to include ‘sex’ as a ground to outlaw vilification in existing legislation that already outlaws vilification on the grounds of race, religion, sexuality and gender identity.”

    By their behaviour police showed antipathy to this campaign. It is not the job of police to take political positions although you could be forgiven for thinking so in Queensland, given the pronouncements of the police union in support of Sgt Chris Hurley after he killed Mulrunji Doomadgee on Palm Island in November 2004.

    In this case police were responsible for the regulation of traffic and to facilitate the peaceful assembly and march of the Wicked Pickets campaigners. Police antagonism was evidenced by the behaviour of the officer-in-charge who proved incapable of negotiation of the march route properly. In my complaint to the complaints officer I made the following observation:

    “I think the problem was that police did not seem to accept that people had the right to march on the carriageway and that this dispute remained unresolved prior to the march setting out, resulting in a dangerous journey for the marchers.”

    Anna McCormack made written complaints on behalf of the community group Wicked Pickets to the police department about police conduct during the rally and march.

    On the 13th of November 2015, Senior Sgt Amanda Cornhill, wrote back rejecting allegations in the complaint on the spurious grounds that “conflicting versions” of the circumstances exist and our “allegations are not capable of being substantiated”.

    Different versions of such events are one indication of the veracity of the complaint. If the testimonies of the participants are identical then collusion is likely.

    From this rejection we can assume that senior police endorse the behaviour of the police officers present and reject the concerns of the organisers concerning the abuse of women. I say the latter because that is exactly what Sgt Michael Skodel was doing on the day in question.

    However Queensland police are attacking people’s democratic rights to organise in opposition to the abuse of women.

    It is hypocrisy rail against the treatment of women by religious fundamentalists on the one hand and yet condone the harassment of marchers by police and the denigration of women on the Wicked Campers vehicles owned by John Webb.

    Ms McComack sums it up in her letter of complaint:

    “Sergeant Schodel’s behaviour during the rally, even before he started shoving and yelling during the march, was disrespectful and insulting. The very clear message he gave to rally participants is that he, Sergeant Michael Schodel, considers efforts to stop the vilification of women and the promotion of violence against women, to be ludicrously funny, something to be sneered at and dismissed.

    It is likely that Schodel’s views on male violence against women influenced his wish to shut down our march. The public is not interested in Sergeant Schodel’s personal views about violence against women. We are, however, interested in the QPS behaving professionally and respectfully in their work, including at public demonstrations. Sergeant Schodel appears to have forgotten he is a public servant.”

    If senior police and their minister continue to endorse such behaviour their hypocrisy will be judged accordingly.

    The women’s movement has a proud history in Queensland fighting for democratic rights – and police attempted to deny those rights.

    Ian Curr
    15 November 2015

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