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Occupy Sydney 3 year anniversary; all charges dropped

Today marks the 3 year anniversary of the initial massive, violent dawn police eviction of Occupy Sydney on 23 October 2011. Up to Monday, 11 people still faced criminal charges ranging from ‘camping’ to assault police primarily from this eviction. The hearing of these matters was continuously adjourned due to an Occupy Sydney constitutional challenge to the ‘camping’ charges i.e. that the implied right to the freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution should have protected the political occupation that occurred at Martin Place as part of the global Occupy movement. Sadly this case reached the end of its road last Friday when it was considered by the High Court of Australia in regards to whether special leave should be granted for the case to be heard in the High Court. Leave was refused.
 
On Monday, the 11 people with ongoing Occupy Sydney charges had their matters mentioned in the Local Court for almost the 20th time, with their matters due to be set down for a hearing. FINALLY THE POLICE DROPPED ALL OF THE REMAINING OCCUPY SYDNEY CHARGES. This result is a vindication of the dodgy arrests made of and charges given to these Occupy Sydney protestors, as happens extremely often at protests. These 11 people have had their charges hanging over them for ALMOST 3 YEARS as the constitutional contest of the legitimacy of the police actions made its way through the slow and conservative Australian legal system. One of these people took on the risk of costs against him from the City of Sydney Council and the NSW Government for being the main applicant in the constitutional challenge. STAY TUNED re word of potential costs against this brave person.
 
Members of the Jura collective would like to say congratulations to these 11 people on the outcome on Monday. We admire their strength and conviction in standing up for themselves and with each other for such a long time. We stand in solidarity with ALL of the people that stood up to the police and legal system to defend their ability to participate in Occupy Sydney. There were almost 100 arrests made of Occupy Sydney protestors over the first 4 months of the protests. ALMOST ALL THE CHARGES AND FINES that were contested by defendants were withdrawn by the police or dismissed by the court. The Occupy Sydney network is also currently working on at least one court case against the cops for a clear false arrest of a protestor – stay tuned regarding this too!
 
The Occupy Sydney legal matters remind us of: the limited protection in Australian law in regards to the ability to protest - both the Occupy Sydney and Melbourne constitutional cases have been useful in providing clarity about the (regrettably limited) scope of the implied right in the Constitution to the freedom of political communication. Having said this, we again learn that the police are usually extremely underhanded in their policing of protests. Ultimately they know that the charges they give to protestors often won’t stand up in the courts, but they arrest us anyway to criminalise, hurt and intimidate us and to damage our movements. Often the state succeeds. So we are reminded of the importance of organising collectively, including of legal support, so that we can look out for each other, push back against the state, and keep struggling FTW. Jura Books stands in solidarity with people struggling for a better world in the streets, workplaces, cages and schools in Sydney and everywhere.

Finally, if you are in a position to donate to the Occupy Sydney legal fund, details are below. Any additional funds will go towards other protest legal support funds.
Account Number - 51298S1
BSB Number - 802884
Bank - Maritime Mining Power Credit Union

 

Interview: anarchism and the meaning of freedom

Jeremy is interviewed by Daisy, a high-school student from Blacktown.

"Hi Daisy, I've done my best to answer your questions properly, but briefly. It was very difficult! You've asked lots of interesting and challenging questions which we anarchists think deserve thorough consideration. In fact, that's exactly why we at Jura run a bookshop and library filled with thousands of books dealing with these questions and issues! I hope you will come in and check them out – you'll find much more thorough answers than the ones I've given below.

Direct Action - Series 2, No. 3, 3 June 1928

Direct Action - Series 2, issue number 3, published 3 June 1928 p. 1, 4

Miscellaneous: 

Direct Action - Series 2, No. 2, 20 May 1928

Direct Action - Series 2, issue number 2, published 20 May 1928.

Miscellaneous: 

Direct Action - Series 2, No. 1, May 1928

Direct Action - Series 2, issue number 1, published May 1928.

Miscellaneous: 

Fighting for housing and workplace justice using solidarity networks

Date and Time: 
Wed, 11/12/2013 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

SeasolPresentation by members of the Seattle Solidarity Network (USA)

 

Ever been ripped off or abused by a boss or landlord and wanted to do something about it? Come to this event to learn a bit more about Solidarity Networks. There will be a presentation by former and current members of the Seattle Solidarity Network ('SeaSol'), followed by a discussion about attempts to organise using a Solidarity Network model in Sydney.

SeaSol is an all-volunteer, mutual aid group that organises direct action campaigns to make bosses, landlords and other authority figures 'pay what they owe.' The goal is to support fellow workers' strikes and struggles, build solidarity, and organise to deal with specific job, housing, and other problems caused by the greed of the rich and powerful. Come hear about two members personal experiences, views and lessons. 

Sydney Solidarity Network ('SydSol') is a new  all-volunteer group of workers, students and unemployed people in Sydney. We have formed this network to respond to problems people like us face when bosses treat us unfairly or take advantage of us. We hope to solve these issues ourselves using solidarity - meaning that we stand up for each other and have each other’s backs. We believe that our solidarity network can be a tool to fight against many of the problems that we face in our everyday lives.


MORE ABOUT SEASOL:

"SeaSol is a volunteer network of working people who believe in standing up for our rights. Our goal is to support our fellow workers' strikes and struggles, build solidarity, and organize to deal with specific job, housing, and other problems caused by the greed of the rich and powerful.  We see our efforts as helping to build a powerful and democratic working class movement.  One day we will be strong enough to  take full control over our lives.

A few examples of what we do.

➢ Bert got his rental deposit stolen. He and a group of Solidarity Network supporters visited the property manager at her home one morning, and within a few days she paid up.

➢ Jorge was owed $892 of wages, and the boss adamantly refused to pay. Jorge and a group of other workers visited the boss’s house, then leafleted the boss's church twice on Sunday mornings. After that, the boss agreed to pay Jorge every cent.

➢ Stephanie, Yvette and other long-term motel residents demanded relocation assistance when they were ordered out of their homes at short notice. Organized with the Solidarity Network, motel tenants and  supporters defied eviction threats, visited the landlords’ neighborhood and launched an online and on-the-streets boycott campaign. Within a  month the landlords met all our demands, paying 3-months’ rent per  household to all residents who got involved.

MORE INFO AT WWW.SEASOL.NET

 

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