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Posts Tagged ‘Victorian Police’

MEDIA RELEASE      Tuesday 9 August
 
BAILLIEU GOVERNMENT ESCALATES ATTACKS ON CIVIL LIBERTIES
 
Dawn raids see pro-Palestine activists arrested
Police demand activists be held in custody for weeks

 
Raids carried out at dawn this morning by police have seen several pro-Palestine activists arrested, in the most severe crack-down on civil liberties in decades. The activists are being targeted because of their involvement in protests against chocolate shop Max Brenner, a chain store with strong ties to the Israeli military. The protests are part of the worldwide Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign, which aims to draw attention to the ongoing genocide committed by the Apartheid regime in Israel against Palestinians.
 
Campaign organiser Omar Hassan:
 
“This crack-down on the right to protest should be of concern to all Victorians. The lengths to which the Baillieu government is going to eradicate criticism of Israeli Apartheid and criminalise dissent are unprecedented. We need to be clearly saying; demonstrating is not a crime. Taking action in support of Palestine is not a crime.”
 
The activists were arrested for breaching bail conditions imposed following arrests at a previous pro-Palestine protest at Max Brenner. The bail conditions, which prohibit arrestees going within 50 metres of a Max Brenner shop, are themselves a serious curtailment on the right to protest.  The arrestees have been told they will be held until September the 5th.

 
As Hassan points out:
 
“Actions taken against South African businesses by anti-Apartheid protests were important in generating opposition to that racist regime. To outlaw similar actions today can only be motivated by a desire to protect the reputation of Israel, and represent an unacceptable attack on our right to express dissent and show solidarity with oppressed people around the world.”
 
http://boycottisrael19.wordpress.com/

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Biggest BDS action in Australian history! Over 300 rally against Max Brenner in Melbourne.

On July 1 the Victorian police, in cahoots with the Victorian Liberal Government and Zionist groups, arrested 19 peaceful pro-Palestine demonstrators. It was a calculated attempt to intimidate BDS activists from continuing the campaign against Israeli apartheid. They thought that by attacking the BDS demonstration they would put an end to our movement. They were wrong.
In solidarity with the Max Brenner 19 and in defiance of a police intimidation, over 300 people came out tonight to demand Max Brenner be removed from QV and Melbourne Central. The largest BDS action in Australian history was determined to send a message to those who want to protect Israel from criticism, that we would not be silenced. The rally heard from Trade Union and community representatives before marching through the city. The demonstration confidently marched to the Max Brenner store in Melbourne Central chanting what became the trademark of the rally “Max Brenner, come off it! There’s blood in your hot chocolate!”
In spite of repeated threats of mass arrests by Victoria Police – and their deployment of horses within the shopping centre – the protest marched into QV and staged a sit-in in front of Max Brenner. The greatest victory of the demonstration was that it not only returned to QV and defied bans by the Police and the courts, but did so without a single arrest!
We have resolved to use this success to push towards larger actions in the future. The next protest has been called for Friday 9 September

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