A 20 kilometre pro-refugee march on Peter Dutton’s office that would have seen major roads shut down has been scuppered by the courts.
A 20 kilometre pro-refugee march on Peter Dutton’s office that would have seen major roads shut down has been scuppered by the courts.

Court stops Dutton protest action

A 20 kilometre pro-refugee march on Peter Dutton's office that would have seen major roads shut down has been scuppered by the courts.

Refugee Solidarity Meanjin had planned the protest march from Kangaroo Point to the Home Affairs Minister's office in Strathpine tomorrow from 11.30am.

In a notice of intent the group planned for 10 people to complete the walk in the left lane of the roadway.

Pro refugee protesters were today moved on from the Brisbane Magistrates Court. Picture: Supplied
Pro refugee protesters were today moved on from the Brisbane Magistrates Court. Picture: Supplied

The Queensland Police Service today applied to the Brisbane Magistrates Court to have the march stopped or dramatically scaled down.

The court heard police had concerns for public safety regarding an eight hour march on major arterial roads.

"Police have then identified that in order to ensure the safety of those people entire roadways will have to be shut," Magistrate Belinda Merrin said.

This could have impact on access for hospital access and emergency service vehicles, the court heard.

The police prosecutor asked Ms Merrin not to authorise the protest but if she did, to limit it to just the footpath.

Protesters yelling at police at Kangaroo Point in August. Picture: Picture: John Gass
Protesters yelling at police at Kangaroo Point in August. Picture: Picture: John Gass


Matthew Shepherd, from Refugee Solidarity Meanjin, disputed that the entire road would need to be closed suggesting police cars could follow them as with other events.

"The Peaceful Assembly Act is for marching on the road it's' not to protect the right to stand on the footpath," he said.

Refugee Solidarity Meanjin has organised a string of protests surrounding the detention of about 100 medevac asylum seekers at the Kangaroo Point Central Hotel.

Ms Merrin said the protest was bringing attention to an issue that "is of concern to a large component" of the community but she had to balance the rights and freedoms of other including road users.

She declined to authorise the protest in its current form given the "interference and inconvenience" it would cause over a "very extended period".

Police yelling at protesters at Kangaroo Point. Picture, John Gass
Police yelling at protesters at Kangaroo Point. Picture, John Gass

 

Instead she authorised a protest to take place tomorrow between 9am and 5pm on the footpath outside the Kangaroo Point hotel subject to conditions.

These included limiting it to ten people and the following of social distancing directions.

Originally published as Court stops Dutton protest action



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