NT unions oppose flag burning law


By Tim E. Stewart
DARWIN — The right to burn flags as a form of protest has been strongly supported by Northern Territory trade unions. The August 28 meeting of the NT Trades and Labour Council passed the motion: "The Northern Territory Trades and Labour Council is opposed to attempts to legislate against the burning of national flags. Furthermore, the NT TLC recognises the right of all Australians to burn flags as a legitimate form of protest."
Flag burning became an issue two weeks ago when an Indonesian flag was burned in Darwin during a loud and boisterous picket outside the Indonesian consulate.
The demonstration was dealt with heavy-handedly, with plain-clothed and uniformed police — some on horseback — almost outnumbering the demonstrators. An entire street was blocked off, and the consulate courtyard was enclosed in five-metre high white plastic. Megaphones were confiscated soon after activists arrived and drums and other musical instruments were also forcibly taken.