Monday, December 10, 2012

Free Speech 'tongue-lashing'

The Perth Voice has reported the court case involving Kamala Emanuel and the right to protest on the front cover of its December 8 issue (after the advertising wrap-around).

"On Wednesday [November 28] medical doctor Kamala Emanuel fronted court charged with failing to obey a move-on notice," the paper reported.

"It had been issued during an April protest by the Socialist Alliance [actually No Fracking Way], at which 160 protesters turned up to oppose hydraulic fracturing in the Perth basin."

"During the protest Perth City Council rangers cracked down on 'unauthorised signs'."

"They called in the police who confiscated signs. Video shows one officer taking a petition from protestors and standing on it to prevent them retrieving it."

"Dr Emanuel refused to hand over her banner and was charged with failing to comply with a move-on notice," the paper said.

The paper quoted local activist Victoria Martin-Iverson as saying that it was "disgusting for the PCC to pass laws to say people cannot stand in the streets of this city and communicate with the public".

Solidarity protest, 28 November.
Socialist Alliance co-convenor Alex Bainbridge was also quoted saying that Emanuel "had the temerity to hold a banner which police tried to seize, a banner that incidentally opposed the social and environmental damage of the gas industry."

After one day of evidence, Emanuel's trial was adjourned until January 24. Another solidarity protest will be held outside the Perth Magistrate's Court at 9am on the day.