In November 2021, a climate activist was sentenced to 12 months in prison in New South Wales for peaceful civil disobedience, while in Newcastle, police raided an environment centre, taking paint and chalk.

In 2020, New South Wales police pepper sprayed peaceful, COVID-safe protestors at a Black Lives Matter rally. They chased students protesting at the University of Sydney on horseback, and injured both protestors and bystanders.

Professor Simon Rice had his legs kicked out from under him while he was simply watching a protest.

This disproportionate and unnecessary use of force unduly restricts the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and does nothing to protect people's health.

Protestors are taking to the streets to call for justice, equality and human rights. They might face pepper spray, arrest, or injury, simply for standing up for what’s right.

Together we can ensure everyone can safely stand up for what’s right - take action and call for New South Wales police to respect the right to peaceful assembly.

Sign the Petition

  Our Petition
Commissioner Michael Fuller APM
Dear Commissioner Fuller,
New South Wales police must commit to using their powers in a manner that complies with their human rights obligations. The exercise of police powers must respect the principles of necessity and proportionality. We call on New South Wales police to:
  • Ensure that everyone can enjoy their human rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression,  
  • Ensure that the decision to disperse an assembly is in line with the principles of necessity and proportionality, and is only taken when there are no other means available to protect public order from an imminent risk of violence,
  • Conduct prompt, thorough, effective, and independent investigations into the use of force, and those responsible for excessive or otherwise unlawful use of force must be held accountable.
The Hon. Bradley Ronald Hazzard, Minister for Health and Medical Research
Dear Minister Hazzard,
The New South Wales government should treat the COVID-19 pandemic first and foremost as a public health crisis to be addressed through appropriate public health measures rooted in respect for human rights.We call on the New South Wales government to:
  • Ensure that COVID-19 restrictions which concern public assemblies, and so the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, are proportionate to the threat posed by the public health emergency and necessary to protect the threat posed to people’s right to health by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Restrictions concerning public assemblies should not disproportionately prohibit or restrict public assemblies in comparison to public gatherings of similar sizes, for example community sport. 
Yours sincerely,