Occupy Melbourne: Police must uphold democratic rights and freedoms

Occupy Melbourne: Police must uphold democratic rights and freedoms

Given Victoria Police use force, on average, every 2.5 hours, it seems they might have achieved their monthly quota in the space of a Friday morning.  An alarming statistic when one considers that the spike was due, not to a surge in knife crime or even petty theft, but a gathering of people seeking to exercise political freedoms protected under the law. Whatever one’s views on the Occupy Melbourne protesters and their aims, the decisions and actions taken by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and the Victoria Police to forcibly evict peaceful demonstrators from City Square raise a number of serious questions about infringement of fundamental civil and political rights and the excessive use of force by Victoria Police. 

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Civil rights and crossing the line

Civil rights and crossing the line

Given Victoria Police use force, on average, every 2.5 hours, it seems they might have achieved their monthly quota in the space of last Friday morning. An alarming statistic when one considers that the spike was due not to a surge in knife crime or even petty theft, but a gathering of people seeking to exercise political freedoms protected under the law.

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Sri Lanka, Human Rights and Australian Foreign Policy in a Tweet

Sri Lanka, Human Rights and Australian Foreign Policy in a Tweet

Kevin Rudd, or @kruddmp to his online followers, likes to tweet.  I strongly support his use of Twitter – social media is an important new tool in the world of digital diplomacy – but I was struck by one message from the Foreign Minister on 4 July.  It read ‘4 corners tonight on Sri Lanka deeply disturbing.  UN Human Rights Council can't simply push this to one side.  Action needed.  KRudd’.

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