‘Anti-terror’ Laws used to Intimidate Wollongong Student Union President

Wollongong police yesterday informed Jess Moore, President of the Wollongong Undergraduate Students’ Association (WUSA), anti-war activist and member of the Socialist Alliance, that under the new ‘anti-terror’ laws, she is facing a police investigation. A Senior Constable told Ms Moore that someone had made a complaint that she had organised an action in support of Hamas on October 18 of this year.>>

The action in question was in fact organised on campus to combat homophobia, it had nothing to do with the conflict in the Middle East, let alone the Palestinian group Hamas. At the action, students threw balloons filled with water at placards of John Howard, to highlight their disgust with the Prime Minister’s homophobic policies. Ms Moore attended the action that was supported by WUSA, but wasn’t an organiser.

“This is a shocking case of intimidation. That anyone can ‘dob in’ anyone else merely for attending a political demonstration that opposes the Howard Government, and have the police investigate them is an outrageous attack on civil liberties,” Moore said.

“It’s really scary to be called by the police to be told you are under investigation for allegedly supporting a terrorist group. These laws are obviously designed to dissuade activists and trade unionists from speaking out against the war, injustice and against this government. It’s well known that many Muslims and people of Arabic background fear attending public demonstrations in this country – It’s obvious why!

“Free speech is under attack. In a democratic society people should have the right to speak their mind without fear of reprisal or intimidation. This incident undermines the freedom we supposedly have.

“For me this exposes the so-called ‘War on Terror’ for what it really is: inhumane and unjust foreign policy and an excuse for this government to intimidate and silence those who oppose them,” she concluded.

Ms Moore has vowed to continue demonstrating against injustice despite the harassment she is facing. She is
calling on all supporters of civil liberties to do the same.

Media enquiries:
Jess Moore
President
Wollongong Undergraduate Students' Association
0416 232 349
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