Anti-protest laws begin to unravel as Knitting Nannas take win for the right to protest
13 December, 2023 - Knitting Nannas Helen Kvelde and Dominique Jacobs have today won a huge victory for the right to protest in NSW, with the Supreme Court finding offences established under the former Government’s anti-protest regime unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that sections 214A (1) (c) and (d) of the NSW Crimes Act “impermissibly burden the implied freedom of political communication contrary to the Commonwealth Constitution”.
Greens MP and spokesperson for justice said: “These two brave Knitting Nannas took on the State and won. They challenged the constitutionality of the anti-protest regime that was brought in by the former government and the Court found their way. These draconian laws were brought in when climate protests were fighting tooth and nail to get the government to act on climate change and instead of listening, the Minister for Transport came into Parliament and rushed in laws aimed at silencing them.
“The State fought the Knitting Nanas every step of the way, but the brave Knitting Nannas, ably represented by the Environmental Defender Office and expert barristers prevailed.
“Draconian anti protest laws have no place in a mature functioning democracy. We have seen protestors targeted, searched, jailed and face harsh restrictive bail conditions under an anti protest regime that is now showing to be contrary to our fundamental rights of political communication in this country.
“These laws were brought in by the former Coalition Government with the support of Labor. Now that Labor is in Government, the Premier needs to take the steps to repeal these laws and walk back on the serious impingement on democratic rights. It’s time to turn around the last decade of legislation that has been brought in to protect the interests of big corporations and erode the civil rights of the community. We need to repeal the anti-protest laws and protect the right to protest in law.” Ms Higginson said.