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Protest speech

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My pick for best protest of the year

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Take a bow Greenpeace. Somehow Formula One has forced YouTube to take down the video with a copyright claim. Not at all sure how that works: the film is by Greenpeace.

Billboard “vandals”

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Let’s put aside the law for a moment. No doubt the Police can come up with some charges – even if it’s just billsticking – against those who doctored hundreds of National Party billboards by adding the phrases “The Rich Deserve More” and “Drill it, Mine it, Sell it”. There is no general defence of “freedom […]

Political protesters

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Interesting that both our major parties’ election events had speeches interrupted by protesters over the weekend. Protesters reportedly urged John Key to “stop the war against the poor”, began to unfurl a banner and tried to throw something onto the stage. A protester at Labour’s transport policy launch called out to ask what the party was going to […]

Free speech vs privacy

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

A New Mexico man puts up a billboard of himself holding the outline of a baby, saying: This Would Have Been a Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To NOT KILL Our Child! His ex-partner (who says she had a miscarriage not an abortion) sues for harrassment and invasion of […]

Sign of the times

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Wouldn’t it be just like some smart-arse protester to sneak in at night and change the WELLYWOOD sign to something like SMELLYWORD? Not that I’m advocating that, you understand. It would be against the law.

Why we should protect flag-burners

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

This piece is in today’s DomPost, but they don’t seem to have put it up online: I’m astonished by the reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Valerie Morse’s flag-burning conviction. “Anyone can burn our flag”, thunders the front page of the Dom Post, disapprovingly. It’ll make the police’s job harder, intones Radio NZ news. […]

Igniting debate

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Yesterday, I was on TVNZ’s Breakfast show to talk about the Morse decision.

Victory for protesters’ rights

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Valerie Morse has won her appeal in the Supreme Court against her conviction for offensive behaviour for burning a NZ flag in protest at the 2007 Anzac Day dawn ceremony. (I represented her, along with Tony Shaw and Felix Geiringer). Valerie lost in the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal. But the decision […]

Why I bang on about protesters’ rights

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Because I don’t want our country to be a place where this happens. Three street theatre performers, including a professor of anthropology, were preparing to protest against the monarchy with a mock guillotine in Soho Square on Friday. Last Thursday, Police sent three police cars and two police vans to arrest them outside the professor’s […]

Protesters ahoy

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Andrew Geddis on Pundit has posted an analysis of some of the legal and constitutional issues surrounding Greenpeace’s protest against mining surveyers on the seas off the East Cape. Among other interesting points, he suggests that the seas can’t be a public place for the purposes of a charge of disorderly behaviour. I’ve suggested they […]

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