Back in December, something deeply shocking happened in Melbourne: the promoters of a tour by Milo Yiannopoulous were charged $50,000 by Victoria Police so that his audience could be safe, relatively so, while hearing him speak. Last night in Melbourne, the promoters of two more speakers, Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, also were billed for exercising the most fundamental liberty of them all: free speech.
What is going on in Melbourne is Third World stuff: Premier Daniel “Big Dada” Andrews doesn’t like your politics and neither, at his government’s instruction, does his politicised police force. Therefore you must pay to have the ferals who would beat you kept at bay. Actually, the message is more pointed and far more distressing than that: We won’t do anything to punish your harassers — you need to be very clear on our intention not to make them pay for their violations of the law — but you will be socked with the biggest bill we can concoct.
This was such an outrage Quadrant Online wrote to Police Minister Lisa Neville in hope of having what seemed a glaring inconsistency explained. That letter, sent immediately after an unauthorised Australia Day rally and march saw an Aboriginal rabble-rouser express the desire to have Australia “burn to the ground”, is below.
Good morning, Minister Neville,
On Friday, many policemen and women turned out to keep an eye on the Invasion Day rally and march which saw a call for “Australia to be burned to the ground” but, fortunately, no one actually reaching for the Redheads. The organisers, according to press reports, refused to co-operate with police in detailing their plans, even the location of the march.
Given that organisers of the recent speaking tour by Milo Yiannopolous were charged some $50,000 to protect those attending his lectures from left-wing protesters, how much will the left-wing Invasion Day protesters be charged for VicPol’s successful efforts to protect property and public order and, indeed, the protesters’ same right to assemble exercised by members of Milo’s audience?
Your prompt response would be be appreciated.
The response was as slow in coming as it was curious. Here is what the brazen creature whose sworn duty it is to uphold the law had to say by way of “explanation” (emphasis added).
Victoria Police presence at protests in Victoria
Thank you for your correspondence of 29 January 2018 regarding the police presence at protests held in Victoria on Australia Day. I apologise for the delay in replying.
In Victoria, people have the right to engage in peaceful protests and demonstrations provided that they do so lawfully and do not engage in illegal behaviours such as trespassing, obstructing roads and footpaths, endangering the safety of persons, causing injury to persons or damage to property, causing a breach of the peace or posing a risk to public safety.
Community safety continues to be of paramount importance of Victoria Police. The role of police at community protests is to maintain public order, enforce the law and ensure safety of the parties to the dispute and the broader community. This approach aligns with a modern ‘safety first’ police methodology and the desire to maintain a positive relationship with all groups in the community. Police will only intervene when there is a real risk to public order or community safety.
In Victoria, there is a longstanding practice of police recovering costs from commercial and profit events which require a police presence. This practice is detailed in the Victoria Police (Fees and Charges) Regulations 2014 (Fees and Charges Regulations). This is an approach that is regularly applied to sporting and entertainment events that are profit motivated. Under current regulations, Victoria Police can and does recover costs from commercial ventures that have required police attendance.
I trust you will appreciate that the recovery of any costs associated with the police presence at Australia Day protests is therefore at the discretion of Victoria Police, in accordance with the Fees and Charges Regulations.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
Hon Lisa Neville MP Minister for Police
So there you have it, the way things are in Melbourne these days under the Andrews regime of legalistic hair-splitters, hacks, rorters, liars and po-faced incompetents, Minister Neville prominent amongst them. According to her logic, there is no difference whatsoever between a football match and a gathering of citizens whose only ambition is to sit quietly and hear points of view peaceably expressed. Because the AFL is a commercial enterprise, likewise the Milo and Southern/Molyneux tours, the same schedule of fees applies.
By contrast, an angry mob marching without permission and calling down destruction on the country and their fellow citizenship gets massive police resources and never a bill in the mail.
But wait, let us have a further think about Commissar Neville’s smartarse justification for hobbling free speech with the imposition of stupendous fees.
What if, as football barrackers were filing into the MCG, representatives of another and militant code coordinated their actions in advance and set upon the AFL crowd, their openly declared intention being to inflict violence and threats of violence?
Would Minister Neville see those victims charged for the protection afforded by police? Of course not. Shameless as she is, that would be too much in the light of the attackers’ announced intention to break the law.
The difference between those fictional harassers, the anti-Milo mob and middle-class kids with father issues who laid siege to last night’s Southern/Molyneux gathering? None whatsoever. Below is an account published by Overland, the loony lefty house organ lavishly funded by taxpayers, of the Milo protesters’ well organised actions and intentions (emphasis added):
Older women in hijabs climbed on fences and tram stops and hurled insults at Milo’s supporters. A high school student took a snapchat of a Milo fan in a Make America Great Again cap and sent it around to hundreds of their classmates, urging them to come to the protest to ‘fight Trump supporters’. For more than five hours, the left and residents of the flats stood together against reactionary politics in Australia.
“Fight Trump supporters”! Nothing could be more clear than that quite specific call to arms. The Milo protesters, like last night’s rabble, weren’t there to attack an event as such. They were there to attack and violate the rights of those attending the event.
Big difference. But not to Big Dada Andrews and Ms Neville, his minister for police and partisan sophistry.