PITIFUL: What was Marise Payne thinking?
PITIFUL: What was Marise Payne thinking? Chris Ison ROK300418cdefence3

OPINION: It's wrong to give up rights



THE prevailing attitude that protesters are a nuisance that society should not tolerate is very concerning.

It wasn't that long before I was born that protesting in a place like Queensland easily led to your arrest, the trampling of your rights and even brutality.

The right to engage in peaceful protest - no matter how inconvenient, stupid or annoying - is a cornerstone of democracy.

And while that right doesn't trump, for example, people's property rights in the case of vegans trespassing on farms, it does, in my opinion, stretch to cover school kids demanding climate action and activists who want to glue themselves to roads or march in CBDs.

More and more of us seem willing to sign away our freedoms rather than cherishing them as a profound symbol of our great democracy. Is that democracy worth trading for personal convenience?

I feel the same about flag-burning - it is an exercise in freedom in a democracy.

As long as you're not breaking the law or hurting anyone, what really is the problem?


I DON'T know what kind of person sets the speeds of car parks but I wonder if they've ever driven a car.

The speed limit at a friend's unit complex is 8km/h, I noticed during the weekend.

I'd have to get out a Kent set and a magnifying glass to see if I'm hitting that mark.

It all seems rather arbitrary and slow - some are 5km/h, some 10, some 15. I really see no need for the limit to be anything under 20km/h.


HOW unedifying for Foreign Minister Marise Payne to engage in a spat with human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, a political giant by comparison.

This government may not give a fig about press freedom but the world does.

It's good to hear the often-invisible Senator Payne say something. I'm just sorry it was so pitiful.

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