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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 ALMOST ALL THE CHARGES AND FINES that were contested by defendants were withdrawn by the police or dismissed by the court.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

 

An amorphous freedom: an investigation into the restrictions that cage humanity

This guest contribution to the Jura blog is by Daisy, a high-school student from Blacktown. For her year 12 Personal Interest Project (PIP), Daisy explored notions of freedom, human needs, authority, power and the relationship between freedom and happiness. She drew on her own research, a survey, personal reflection and an interview with Jeremy Kay of the Jura Collective. We congratulate Daisy on her hard work and welcome her thoughtful consideration of the issues.

F*CK MAY 68. FIGHT NOW! Red and Black Forum on Contemporary Athenian Anarchists

Date and Time: 
Sun, 24/08/2014 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

This talk will look at the contemporary Athenian anarchist and anti-authoritarian milieu and their on-the-ground struggles against capitalism, the state and the rise of fascism.

Presented by Nick – a Jura Collective member who recently completed a phd at Macquarie University, based on his research in Athens.

Nick will consider how militant protest actions act as expressions of collective grievance, desire for retaliation against police injustices and as manifestations of anarchist and anti-authoritarian praxis. He will also explore how varying shades of anarchic tendencies and ensuing ideological and practical disagreements are, for the most part, overcome in these often violent Athenian street-protests.

 

The talk will be followed by discussion.

2pm, Sunday 24 August at Jura.

 

Jura: 

How I became an anarchist when anarchist parents raised me

It sounds obvious right? But like any belief you have to feel it for yourself or it’s not real. My parents understood this, as they were both raised Catholic and had to find their own way to something they could believe in. They realized that when it came to raising their own children they could do as generations before them have done and simply ram dictum down our throats or they could teach us to think for ourselves. They taught us to be strong in our own ideas, to respect other humans, respect and love nature, to have an interest in the world around us, to challenge authority and to never give up on what we believe in and what we want from life. They taught us to believe in equality for all, to have sympathy, and more importantly to have empathy.

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: 

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