News & Views

Police Operations

Where does MALS sit with all these ‘anti-lockdown’ protests?

MALS understands that many people feel that the Chief Health Officer (CHO) directives such as mask-wearing, movement restrictions, business closures, and the current Stage 4 evening curfew represent unfair and unjustified infringements of their rights. For many people, these restrictions may be the first time they have experienced significant limitations upon their freedoms. For others, these restrictions may compound feelings of already being targeted by police. We understand that many people in Victoria are fearful and have concerns that these limitations on our basic freedoms might represent a growing authoritarianism. The use of the charge of ‘incitement’ against people organising or proposing any protest events as well as house raids and confiscations needs to be broadly condemned no matter where we stand.

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Unlawful Assembly

Unlawful assembly is one of a number of offences related to protesting and activism that protesters can be charged with. It can be difficult to clearly define what offences may apply to protesters, with protesters often charged with multiple offences at once. There also seems to be significant overlap between what makes up the offences, with the charges tending to rely heavily on police discretion. The broadness and lack of clarity surrounding the offence allows it to be utilised by police to limit political protest.

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Interim report on public housing detention directions in Flemington and North Melbourne

Executive summary The threat posed by Covid-19 has led to the mobilisation of state power and authority in new and untested ways. While the community has a shared interest in successfully containing the virus, early evidence suggests that enforcement of public health orders disproportionately impacts on oppressed, poor and marginalised communities. In July 2020, the…

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Being Aware of Visible (and Invisible) Surveillance at Protests

Victoria Police has an arsenal of surveillance equipment and tactics that are regularly deployed against activists. In some cases, new equipment or tactics are trialled at simple demonstrations or marches for use in more rigorous situations later, such as direct actions or protest events. Other times, police surveillance has become a normalised part of life in modern society. Being aware of some of the visible and invisible surveillance that police particularly use against activists is a part of being able to endure in your activism, and is an important part of cultivating and sustaining a culture of resistance as a whole…

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