Knitting Nannas from around NSW were in Sydney today to defend the right to protest. The collective noun for lots of Knitting Nannas is a Determination – and we are determined to protect everyone’s democratic right to protest.
Two Nannas, Dominique and Helen, are in the Supreme Court this week making a constitutional challenge to the repressive anti-protest laws brought in a year ago by the
Perrottet government. The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) is coordinating legal representation for the Nannas.
The Nannas in court and many of us outside have been on the front lines of the climate emergency and the resulting floods, fires and droughts in recent years.
In April last year the NSW government responded to peaceful protests for climate action with new laws designed to criminalise and intimidate climate activists. Activists charged under the laws face maximum penalties of 2 years in gaol and/or fines of up to $22,000.
Nannas are not having it. They say “As mothers, wildlife carers and Knitting Nannas who use our freedom to protest to push for climate action while floods and bushfires destroy our communities around us, this attack on our democratic freedoms is a slap in the face.
“We will ask the Court to find that aspects of these new laws are unconstitutional. Australians like us shouldn’t have to risk imprisonment or bankruptcy to participate in our democracy, and the Government should not be taking away our democratic freedoms.”
David Morris of the EDO explains the importance of the challenge:
“If successful, this case will aid in the preservation of our democracy. It will see the worst excesses of these new laws struck out. It will provide clarity for all NSW citizens seeking to avail themselves of the democratic freedom to protest.”
Later the Nannas joined 350.org.au campaigners at the Commonwealth Bank headquarters to deliver a copy of The Climate Book by Greta Thungberg to the CEO, Matt Comyn.