Socialist candidate: ‘NSW is a police state’

March 3, 2023
Stephen Langford is bundled into a NSW Police paddy wagon on March 3. Photo: Pip Hinman

The School Strike 4 Climate protest on March 3 brought lots of students back onto the streets. It also bought long-term supporters, including Stephen Langford.

As I was chatting to Langford before the rally started, NSW Police surrounded us and arrested him. His offence? An alleged breach of bail conditions.

Langford had been charged on February 2 for the “offence” of blue tacking Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s words onto his statue in Hyde Park. The police imposed honourous bail conditions — including that Langford not be allowed into the CBD.

Langford was in the process of challenging these bail conditions.

Rachel Evans, who was also at the rally, told Green Left that Langford should have a right to show solidarity with the students. “NSW is fast becoming a police state,” the activist.

Evans, who is running for Socialist Alliance in Heffron, said that it was getting ridiculous. “The NSW anti-protest laws have emboldened the police to make arbitrary arrests and impose draconian conditions.

“We need to all parties running for office to commit to repeal the anti-protest laws, and do what Unions NSW and the NSW Civil Liberties Council are asking for. These laws have no place in a so-called democracy.”

The Sydney Knitting Nannas, with placards calling for #ProtectProtest, also attended the climate protest.

[March 4 update: Langford challenged his detention and bail conditions. The bail condition preventing him from being in the CBD was overtuned.]


Sydney Knitting Nannas at the climate protest. Photo: Pip Hinman

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