Melbourne Political Activists targeted
Melbourne Political Activists targeted by Police
Political activist, and Melbourne University Law student, Julia Dehm was arrested by plain clothed police yesterday while attending a bail hearing in support of friend and Monash University Law student Danya Bryx. The two have been arrested for allegedly attending the G20 protests that took place in Melbourne over the weekend of November 18 & 19 2006.
‘That police are targeting people for allegedly attending or being involved in a weekend long series of activities around the G20 meeting raises serious questions about the rights and freedoms of people to be able to engage in political protest in this state and country. “ said Sharne Cullen of Melbourne University
Both of these people are well known political and environmental activists who have been involved in social and political activism through university student bodies and in the wider community.’
‘What we are seeing at the moment is the latest in a series of police targeting people who have been involved in campaigning for social change and environmental protection in the state of Victoria and across the country. Activists who have repeatedly spoken up for what they believe in and have been leaders in peaceful protest movements in our community being taken by plain clothed police from public places and while in support of their friends who have similarly been targeted.’ Said Ms Cullen
Six people have been taken from Melbourne streets and shopping centres, and have had their homes searched by plain clothed police since the G20 protest. One of the people taken into custody was not even in Melbourne at the time of the G20 activities.
“Such police tactics cannot be tolerated in a democratic society. “
‘The people of Victoria and the wider Australian community need to sit up and take notice of the intimidatory tactics that are being used by the Victorian police under the banner of Taskforce Salver.’ Ms Cullen concluded.
As Martin Niemoeller said: ‘First they came for the Communists but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and Trade Unionists but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jewish but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out, And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.