In a coordinated effort on United Nations Day on October 24, the Knitting Nannas Against Gas (KNAG) made long-overdue citizens’ arrests of some of the biggest climate criminals in the land.
“The Great NannArrest” involved citizen’s arrests of MPs, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at his eastern Sydney electorate office.
When they found the PM missing in action at his Edgecliff office, they arrested another Malcolm — a man wearing a mask.
A charge sheet, detailing the sections of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights Turnbull is alleged to have breached, was left with his staff.
Spokesnanna Clare Twomey, one of the founders of KNAG, said the arrest warrants were issued in protest over the government’s environmental and refugee policies, and its wilful neglect of human rights.
She said the protesters’ occupations of MP’s offices were peaceful: police treated them more as curiosities than as criminals.
“We informed the police,” Twomey said, “but they didn't take us seriously until the PM's office staff called them up.” Both state and federal police arrived and asked the Nannas to leave.
Nannas from loops in Queensland, NSW, ACT, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Western Australia joined in the action while Nannas in Britain and the US knitted in support. The Nannas do well at bringing new activists into the movement against unconventional gas, and they have developed this into an art.
The warrant reads: “Under Section 3.7Z of the Crimes Act 1914, I, [name], as a Citizen of Australia, arrest you [name] as a member of the 45th Parliament of Australia, for Human Rights Abuse, Misfeasance in Office and Wilful neglect of Duty of Care.”
The charge sheet reads: “Whereas this parliament and government has facilitated or failed to prevent Human Rights Abuse, in breach of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Australia is a signatory, specifically Articles 5, 8, 9, 12, 14, 17 and 25.
1. Misfeasance in office — the defendant is accused of:
- Instituting legislation and corporate governance processes that are in direct conflict with citizens’ constitutional rights, wellbeing and sovereignty;
- Willingly and knowingly working against public interests;
- Instituting legislation that denies constitutional rights of constituents;
- Transfer of public wealth from the taxpayer to the corporations;
- Invasion of privacy through the collection, insecure storage and privitisation of personal information.
2. Willful neglect of duty of care — the defendant is accused of:
- Failure to conduct base line studies into human health, and air and water quality associated with mining activities;
- Ignoring scientific and legal evidence of the harmful effects on humans and the environment;
- Failure to uphold the United Nations Humans Rights Convention and associated treaties.
3. The defendant is in breach through wilfully and knowingly denying citizens basic rights including:
- The right to healthy occupational and environmental conditions;
- The right to clean air, water and uncontaminated food;
- The right to access health information.
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