Queensland Will Fast Track Laws That Will Lock Up Protestors
Climate change protestors have rallied around the world to send a message to sceptics and deniers that action needs to be taken now.
They've marched through the streets, blocked arterial roads, laid on the road and chanted until they were hoarse in the throat.
As a result, dozens of people have been arrested and charged in Australia for the different protests. However, the Queensland Premier wants harsher penalties for some of these people to send a message of their own that these types of events need to be done properly.
According to the Courier Mail, Annastacia Palaszczuk said: "Someone is going to get hurt. Most people do the right thing...it's just this group who need to be brought under control.''
She's announced that she will fast track laws to ensure anyone who protests in a disruptive manner will be penalised appropriately.
"I say to protesters...'what if it was your mother or grandmother that was held up from getting to hospital because of your actions, blocking streets'," she said.
"It's time to get these laws passed. We will bypass the normal submissions period and get them promulgated within days."
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Ms Palaszczuk insists she's not against people's right to protest, however she doesn't appreciate people's active attempt to stop other citizen's day.
After consulting with police groups, the government is proposing locking up an offender for up to two years if they bring dangerous devices such as drums with concrete and locks. Several protestors yesterday chained themselves to various items.
Eleven police officers and four firefighters were called in to get three protestors out of the way. Ms Palaszczuk says that's a gross misuse of police resources and people need to be intimidated by the law.
The new laws would also give police the power to search people for these devices and stop cars from coming into the CBD.
Queensland Police released a statement about the protests yesterday, saying: "Police have arrested 29 people following protest activity in the Brisbane CBD.
"The people, ranging in age from 19 to 75, will appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on a range of charges including being a pedestrian on a roadway causing an obstruction, obstruct police and contravene direction or requirement.
"The Queensland Police Service (QPS) acknowledges and respects the right to lawful and peaceful protests and remains committed to working with groups that are cooperative in facilitating protest through lawful activities."
If the Queensland government didn't fast track the new laws, they wouldn't come into effect until mid-next year.
Featured Image Credit: Extinction Rebellion SEQ/Facebook