The Victorian government has proposed a new law that will allow police to give on-the-spot fines for “indecent, offensive or disorderly language”.
In response, a protest has been organised at 2pm, June 25 at Melbourne’s Flinders St Station. By June 11, more than 10,000 people had said on the event Facebook page that they would attend the “Fuckwalk”.
Below, protest organisers explain the politics behind Fuckwalk.
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In short: We refuse to accept that swearing is indecent, offensive or disorderly language and can be punished with a $240 on-the-spot fine.
We cannot rely on police to hand out these fines fairly and feel their powers will be misused and hypocritical.
We aim to decriminalise swearing, as it does not represent the majority views of Australians. The proposal is undemocratic and will not stop violence or loutish behaviour in the streets.
In long: In 2008, the state government introduced a trial for police powers to issue on-the-spot fines of $238.90 to anyone deemed by an officer to have used indecent or offensive language in a public place.
Since giving police these powers the number of offences related to public behaviour shot up nearly 29% between 2008/2009 and 2009/2010, with most of the 8266 offences committed on footpaths, streets and lanes.
This proves that police are taking advantage of this law and issuing fines rather non-frugally and hypocritically.
Under the definition of “public place” in the act, swearing is illegal on any public highway, road, street or bridge.
It is also illegal in any “race-course, cricket ground, football ground or other such place”.
Also out of bounds is any “wharf, pier or jetty”.
Swearing is also prohibited in “any public hall, theatre or room while members of the public are in attendance”. Swearing is not permitted at “any licensed premises”.
Frankly, if you swear, you're fucked.
We aim to prove the difference between swearing and anti-social, offensive or violent, fuckheaded behaviour.
In our view, violence, loutishness and fucking around like a total asshole is completely unacceptable and we welcome laws to combat this. However combating swearing itself is not the answer.
Rally rules: Just because you can swear does not mean you have to. The aim of the fuckwalk is so we can swear casually to express ourselves without punishment — not so we can swear excessively.
In no way are we condoning anti-social, aggressive or fuckhead behaviour. Abusing police is absolutely not on. They are simply doing their job — governed by rules from fuckwit politicians.
Enjoy the Fuckwalk responsibly and in accordance with the (other) laws.
Fuckwalk or fuck off!
[Republished from the Fuckwalk Facebook event page.]