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Thugs on the march

by admin

6 December 2023, The Australian, Letters

Australia’s Jewish community has endured masked protesters, including socialist groups calling for the destruction of Israel and its Jewish population, over the last several weeks and now masked national socialists are marching through a regional town who probably share the same viewpoint.

Why are there no laws banning face coverings in protests? It would make it easier for police to identify law-breakers.

Nev Stevens, Bentley Park, Qld

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The people who marched in black in Ballarat were offensive, but those people do not represent the mainstream culture or values of this country. As long as the march was not violent or did not incite people to hatred or violence, surely in a free society we must tolerate marches such as these.

We can and should condemn these tasteless protests that seek to promote abhorrent ideas such as Nazism. However, as unpleasant as they may be, these people have a right to hold those views as long as their actions and protests don’t veer into the criminal. If the weekend protest did not cross the bounds of criminality, then we should not be so quick to call out police who did not stop the march. Protests such as the ones in Ballarat led to overwhelming condemnation by all people of goodwill. The consequence is that Australia’s positive cultural values are being publicly reaffirmed and people can see that Australia does not stand for such dangerous ideology. Public rejection of such people makes the country better.

Stamping out dissent or even abhorrent views (when not venturing into the criminal) should be done at our peril – at the cost of freedom. I don’t believe people have a right not to be offended.

That is a path to never-ending censorship. If we ban any protest we deem to be tasteless or abhorrent, when not criminal, who knows what idea or value would next be on the chopping block of silencing dissent? Who will decide what is dissent and what is abhorrent? We saw the censorship and silencing of dissent during the pandemic, and this country’s social fabric and trust in government were harmed. Let’s learn from our mistakes and not go down that route again.

Eric Starra, Rivett, ACT

Article link: https://todayspaper.theaustralian.com.au/infinity/article_popover_share.aspx?guid=a94434c9-14cf-4184-a816-26db3faa4851
Article source: The Australian | Letters | 6.12.23

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000