G20 police ‘rioted’ says barrister
March 14, 2008
Stratton Langslow argued that police unlawfully put barricades in Collins Street and Flinders Lane to stop the lawful use of the roadway in November, 2006.
Mr Langslow, for Daniel Robins, yesterday told Melbourne Magistrates Court his client and others were lawfully entitled to remove the obstructions and defend themselves against police violence.
In his written submissions to the court Mr Langslow said Robins and other demonstrators was also entitled to “use objects as protective shields or distractions against unlawful violence being used against them”.
In his written reply, lead prosecutor Chris Beale dismissed the submissions, arguing it was a “nonsense” that objects were merely used defensively.
Mr Beale told magistrate Sarah Dawes that Robins and others threw missiles that included skips, bins, barricades, milk crates, bread crates, bottles and stones and that violent acts committed were “terrifying”.
He said police had a duty to prevent breaches of the peace and that it was lawful and reasonable to set and man barricades.
Mr Beale argued that “even if the barricades were unlawful”, the defendants had not legally shown they were entitled to use force against police to remove them.
Robins, 24, of Newtown, is charged with offences that include riot, affray, assault and criminal damage.
While he and others are contesting the allegations and face possible trials in the County Court, a number of defendants have pleaded guilty to charges before Ms Dawes.
Mr Langslow disagreed with Ms Dawes’ suggestion that issues of self defence and protection were matters for a jury.
He also disagreed with her proposition that even if she found the barricades were unlawful and Robins was entitled to pass them his response had been excessive.
The hearing continues.
Thinking caps on? Right. The Herald Sun editorial (The long and short of it, March 13, 2008) takes up Marxist revolutionary Mick Armstrong’s point — regarding the awful carnage (including a case of tennis elbow) bloodthirsty ultra-violent mobs of hostile, abusive, threatening and ultra-sectarian football hooligans inflicted upon innocent Melbourne citizens during the G20 protests — to question whether or not more sheilas in the police is a good thing or not. Can a mob of sheilas honestly be expected to withstand the dark forces who hijack legitimate protests — forces, moreover, largely foreign in origin, and riddled by police agents and outright fascists — in order to launch vicious, unprovoked assaults upon female workers? Not to be outdone, over one year later, The Age continues to maintain a gallery of some of the individuals on Mick’s enemies list here. Apparently, at least 20 of the 28 featured are Kiwis, and well-known to revolutionary Marxists.