The police claim that these laws are nothing more than an extension of existing laws which apply at sporting and music events and consider it to be quite reasonable since the laws *only* apply in a limited number of locations:The regulations give authorities powers to order anyone to stop any behaviour that “causes annoyance or inconvenience to participants in a World Youth Day event”. The laws have the potential to make a crime of things such as wearing a T-shirt with an anti-Catholic message, handing out condoms at protests, or even playing music, said critics.
Anyone who does not comply faces a AU$5,500 (€3,359) fine.
The President of the New South Wales Bar Association (barristers), Anna Katzmann had this to say about the new laws:The extra police powers will apply to 40 city locations, including museums, galleries, cinemas, parks, and venues where the pope will appear.
(I like the word ‘repugnant’) And here I thought you could only bypass the parliament when the country is in a state of emergency or war..."They are repugnant for two reasons. First of all the government has by-passed the normal parliamentary scrutiny...and secondly they are an unreasonable interference with people's freedom of speech and movement,"
Furthermore the government has introduced laws which list:
So now we are to be subjected to airport type scrutiny while trying to go to work or school. Now I for one find this very very worrying, Australia is already a highly regulated country but laws like these bring us closer to being a police state and a government that is ruled by and controls its people with paranoia.More than 500 schools and 35 train and bus stations as "declared areas" where people entering will be subject to car and baggage searches that require them to remove jackets, shoes and headwear if requested.
It’s good to see that at least someone isn’t taking this lying down:
Here is a short article in which Sydney Police try to defend the new laws.If it's trying to have a deterrent effect, it certainly won't have that on the Chaser, people should not stay home in an attempt not to offend people. I reckon everyone in New South Wales who's concerned about civil liberties should be printing up T-shirts and walking around World Youth Day to make their statement
The Chasers won’t be stopped
Article in the Irish Times
another article in the Irish Times
The above is just the most recent controversy involving World Youth Day, some of the other controversies which I found:
Gay Forum Blocked
WYD Funding challenge
I find it fascinating how the Catholic Church can have such influence over a government which claims to support religious freedom (and is bound to this freedom by law); yet millions of dollars are invested in a purely Catholic festival and new laws and regulations introduced which quite obviously enforce the teachings of the Catholic Church, I seriously doubt the government would do the same for any other festival being held by any other religion.