Perth: Rally opposes new police powers

Socialist Alliance WA Senate candidate Ben Peterson stands up for democratic rights. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.

On April 20, 200 angry protesters shouted down state police minister Rob Johnson, as he tried to justify the anti-democratic “stop-and-search” laws. The proposed legislation allows police to conduct potentially intrusive body searches without suspicion of a crime.

The laws would also allow the minister to make any space a “declared area”, which drastically increases police powers in that area.

The crowd was also addressed by Greens MLC Giz Watson, Labor opposition police spokesperson Margaret Quirk and Dr David Indermaur from the Crime Research Centre.

Quirk repeatedly commented that the proposed legislation is not “targeted enough, but “too broad”. Watson and Indermaur, however, clearly called for the legislation to be scrapped altogether. The latter speakers got a warmer reception.

The rally was organised by Search For Your Rights. Another action is planned in Northbridge in August.