Gold Coast protest over rally bans


A rally against a ban by the Gold Coast City Council on demonstrations in the city's parks is being held on May 26 outside the Gold Coast council chambers in Surfers Paradise.

Demonstrations will only be allowed at Evandale or Nerang Council chambers, and will require permission from the council's CEO.

Groups including the Socialist Alliance and Amnesty International will protest the ban.

The normally conservative Gold Coast Bulletin published an editorial in its May 20 edition headlined "Democracy is choking on humbug": "Our Gold Coast City Council is taking a dangerous step in trying to contain what it considers unseemly protest. Indeed, it is doing the very opposite of what a city in a democracy ought to do ... The council is demonstrating the sort of thinking that is threatening freedom of speech in this country and strangling the life out of our nation's democracy like some anaconda of totalitarianism."

An accompanying article noted: "The move is reminiscent of the 1980s when former Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen banned street marches."