Following news of Alice Springs Town Council’s appalling inhumanity this week, putting up bylaws to fine beggars and take the blankets of the homeless, there are some further disturbing revelations by Chris Graham in today’s Crikey email:
- The council is giving itself powers far exceeding those of NT police, including demanding date of birth (which is problematic for many indigenous citizens) and refusing to accept certain types of identification.
- They are seeking to make it illegal to stage a protest without council permission. The laws go so far as to make it illegal for “a group or even [an] individual” to behave in a way “apparently intended to publicise that person’s view about anything”.
- Under the heading, “Other Activities”, the Council is seeking to empower itself to “declare that any activity whatsoever ‘within, on, under or over a public place’ requires a Council permit”.
- They’re duplicating laws against public urination or defectation – something which has become a problem since the town’s two shopping centres made all their toilets PAY FOR USE (to stop poor people using them).
And if you’re wondering how the Alice Springs community could have elected such a monstrous council, Graham reports:
And where is all this heading, you might ask? Well, over the weekend, a four-wheel drive containing a group of about four or five white males drove through two of the itinerant camps on the dry Todd River bed which the council is seeking to close down.
Later that morning, the body of a black male was discovered. He had reportedly been walking alone on a nearby street. Police are seeking any information on the occupants of the vehicle, but are remaining tight-lipped about the motive, fearing an escalation of violence.
The place is a disgrace. How long are they going to get away with this?
The councilors’ email again – Aldermen@astc.nt.gov.au. (It’s important to title your email as an official response to the proposed Public Places By-Laws and request a receipt from Council.)