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NSW police threatened to arrest member of NSW parliament to court unless she abandoned plans to stage APEC press conference

Posted by gasweek on 21 September, 2007

NSW police threatened to take a member of the state’s parliament to court unless she abandoned plans to stage a press conference inside the APEC summit “declared zone” in Syd­ney’s central business district, reported The Australian (5/9/2007, p. 10). Legal actions follow special legislation: Lawyers acting for the police force would also return to the NSW Supreme Court after their attempt to seek an injunc­tion to stop a separate protest was adjourned, with the judge criticis­ing the failure to launch legal action before this week. The separate legal actions fol­lowed the granting of special legisla­tion, in force for the duration of the summit, giving police powers to ban certain people from the city centre and detain suspects with no guarantee of bail.

Police reaction “excessive”: Greens upper house MP Sylvia Hale received a written warning from NSW police general counsel Michael Antrum giving her until the end of the day to find a new venue or face legal action. Ms Hale, who submitted plans for a press conference featuring 21 people dressed as surf lifesavers to police in the middle of last month, refused to move the venue from Martin Place and intended to go ahead as planned. “The reaction of the police to my notice of intention to hold this event appears to be excessive and beyond the scope and intent of the extra powers granted to them by the parliament,” said Ms Hale. “Nowhere in the APEC (Police Powers) Act does it state that the making of political statements is banned in the APEC declared area, yet that is what the police are trying to do.”

The Australian, 5/9/2007, p. 10

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