Thousands say they will join Fuckwalk

Saturday, June 11, 2011

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.]

From GLW issue 883

Comments

Swearing in public

The law is about upholding a benchmark for acceptable public behaviour - stupid! The benchmark has been lowered over the last 30 years to the point where a magistrate recently acquitted a man of calling a police officer a "f**cking pig c**t" on the grounds that it is now everyday language. I am not a wowser and I swear like everybody else but you lefty wankers on this website think you are doing something great for civil liberties with this ridculous protest but all you are doing is supporting a further lowering of the standards of acceptable social behaviour.

Fuckwalk and Free Speech

In the 1950's and 60's the US had among its comedic entertainers "The Great One", Lenny Bruce [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenny_Bruce]. He was arrested many times for "obscenity"-- the charges being rationalized based on the lanugage he used in his performance.

His lawyer and friend, after bailing him out on the latest of a few dozen charges grew testy and said, "Lenny, come on, 'Fuck' is free speech." The Great One's reply, "If you can't say 'Fuck', you can't say 'Fuck the government!'"