Melbourne’s inner north suburb of Coburg became a flash point for tensions in the on going polarization between Melbourne traditional Marxist/socialist leaning groups and the emerging nationalist/anti immigration/anti muslim protest groups. Melbourne and Bendigo have seen a series ongoing escalating clashes between these groups over the past 12 months. In these clashes it seems the Marxists sought to initiate the violence, which is somewhat typical for leftists. Apparently 1.7 million dollars was spend by Victoria police on preparation for this event, with staff being brought in from many divisions. The violence was brief but intense and broken up with OC (capsicum) spray deployed by Victoria police. These protest clashes show no signs of deescalating, and Victoria police seemingly being stretched to the limit to control them. Where to from here? Well the Occupy movements were an attempt to sort out issues in a peaceful civilized (though slow and clumsy) manner, and state forces brutally crushed them. Now the state have made this form of ‘dispute resolution’ inevitable. Now OC orange is the new black, and equal rights have give way to right hooks. It’s the world you choose, and we hope you don’t regret your choices later on.
From the 7 news affiliate, largely from Marxist group perspective.
From the ‘He said his dad works at pine gap’ affiliates perspective, largely of the brawl. Looks like you got lucky Benjamin. The audio is somewhat poor, being punctuated with the sound of the still shot bursts.
That’s some video of the event, make up you own mind about who did what and when.
It seems now that any African American dies in the vicinity of a police officer a series of media vultures are circling ready to pick over the body and begin bleating propaganda.
Who made you the spokesperson of our family?
We just want to bury our nephew with dignity and respect.”
-Hertencia Petersen, Akai Gurley’s aunt.
Details about this death are very brief at this stage, too brief to pass judgement in any direction. But none the less, Rev Al Sharpton wanted to grandstand over the death for media and political capital.
So lets state a few things to begin with to attain some perspective. The 2nd amendment of the US constitution promises the right to bear arms, many US citizens choose to exercise this right. The wording of the amendment makes it very clear the purpose of this amendment was to preserve freedom of the people from tyranny.
Of course no right is free or without cost or sacrifice.
As the result of a population who routinely carry hand guns as a matter of course there will be accidents. In the USA there are 2000 accidental gun deaths per year. An example of a pure accident is this: A woman walks into a bar with a revolver in her hand bag, she drops the hand bag on the bar and the revolver goes off, the bullet shoots through the bag and hits the bartender in the forehead killing him instantly. Completely unintentional, completely unpredictable, utterly freak accident.
While gun ownership is very high in the USA, the use of guns in murders is proportionally quite low because most people who use guns know the odds of winning handgun fight are about 50%. Risking your life on a the flip of a coin is insane; even in Russian roulette you have an 85% chance of winning. While the person you are pointing a handgun at may not be armed, many bystanders probably are armed and will be exonerated in a court for defensive homicide.
But this dead leads us to another controversial concept, should the police even have guns at all, maybe we would be better served by an armed population and unarmed police. Police were initially unarmed when police forces were first established.
While a pure accident is a possibility, there are several other factors, an inexperienced cop seeing two figures approach, a poorly light area, a black neighborhood, mistaken identity, at this stage who knows if there was malice or racism as factors. What we do know is a young man is dead, his life ended, and another young man has a huge cloud hanging over the rest of his life. So it is a double tragedy, one that you would probably never hear of because it does not allow itself to be ‘shoehorned’ into fit a specific political agenda.
There is only one thing worse than losing an innocent loved one, and this is politicians feeding on your loss and grief for their own benefit.
I can hear you all saying ‘WTF’ right now.
Firstly look at the legal definition of driver, basically someone paid by someone else to drive a vehicle. So ask yourself “was anyone paying or employing me while I was just doing that?”
Likely the answer was no unless you were at work. So if it is in your own time you are not a driver, a driver is an occupation or at least part of an occupation if you drive and do other things for work.
You are not a driver if it is just a means of transport to your place of work.
Drivers license if you are a driver you certainly need this, if you are not a driver it is completely optional, but will cause other complications around registration and insurance.
Even if you have a drivers license and receive an infringement notice, got back to the golden question, “Were you employed and being paid for the time at the exact moment of the alleged infringement?”.
If the answer is no you are not liable.
Don’t argue the point at the roadside, remember the thug has a gun and other nasty stuff (batons, OC spray, etc.).
Just play the paper war later on, it’s far more frustrating for the police, and far safer for you.
Just take what ever paper they give you, and admit nothing.
Never leave the vehicle if at all possible.
So take your infringement notice and read it carefully, find the address for correspondence and write a letter noting the reference number of the infringement notice and the person who issued it.
Tell them something like in the letter.
<your address for mail>
xx//yy/201x (the date)
<their address for mail>
Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms <Policeman/Policewoman>
Re: infringement notice #XXXXXXXXXXXX
Please produce the wage slip that proves that I was the driver at the time.
Please prove your claim in a properly constituted court of law.
<your own name>
They will most likely reply by withdrawing the fine and replacing it with a warning, unless you injured someone, smashed into something ( an injured party exists) or it was for drunk or stoned driving.
The correct court for these fines legally is the high court (though some people will argue no court in Australia is actually legal), which is going to cost them at least $800 just to file the complaint, to try to prove their claim ( the infringement notice). If the cost they might win from paying $800 upfront is less than $800 they are going to lose no matter what happens. This is the true nature of the legal system here it is all about the money. All law is commercial law, keep that in mind when you are dealing with the police lawyers and the courts.
They only exist to make a profit, if there is not profit they simply don’t care.
If this is the only research you have done, you haven’t done enough, but you have started in a good place.
I will add more later relating to entirely commercial nature of law and how we have all been tricked into accepting it.
You are not driving a car, you are traveling in an automobile, while you are not liable to pay fines or infringement notices, you are liable for damage you cause to other parties.
Kelly Thomas, a schizophrenic and homeless man, was beaten and tasered so badly by a group of Fullerton Police officers, he died in hospital 5 days later.
During the incident Kelly Thomas, pleaded for the beating to stop but the police being thugs, simply ignored him.
The police who murdered Kelly Thomas lost their jobs but were acquitted for murder by a jury. Now they are planning to sue to get their jobs back.
In Indiana, police officers are upset over a new law allowing residents to use deadly force against public servants, including law enforcement officers, who unlawfully enter their homes.
The law was signed by Republican Governor Mitch Daniels in March, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
The law was adopted after the Indiana State Supreme Court ruled that there was “no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers,” after a man assaulted an officer during a domestic violence call.
The law’s author, Republican state Sen. Michael Young, said there haven’t been any cases [yet] in which people have used the law to justify shooting police.
The National Rifle Association lobbied for the new law, claiming that the Indiana State Supreme Court decision had legalized police to commit unjustified entries.
Tim Downs, President of the Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police, told Bloomberg News that the law could open the way for people who are under the influence or emotionally distressed to attack officers in their homes: “It’s just a recipe for disaster. It just puts a bounty on our heads.”
Indiana is the first U.S. state to specifically allow force against officers, according to the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in Washington, which represents prosecutors.
As an interesting aside Indiana is one of the few states in the USA that receives about the same in federal funding as it pays in federal taxes, so with the federal government they can really take it or leave it.
Please note, I derived the following suggestions to the best of my knowledge of Common Law, which still applies in Australia according to its Constitution. Police officers most likely have a different attitude of what they are entitled to, and might use force and/or intimidation to get what they want.
Stay calm, friendly and firm.
As soon as you loose your temper, you might forget any of the following suggestions, and do something stupid. Yet as long as you haven’t committed any crime, you have the rights that apply under Common Law for dealing with any requests from the police.
Identify yourself or not?
At common law, a citizen is under no legal duty to identify himself or herself to the police. The exception to this principle is where the police see the person in question committing an offence. Victoria has introduced Statutory Laws that entitle police to identify you, but Statutory Laws require your consent to become binding. Demanding to be treated under common law cannot be treated as obstruction, however, police might coerce/intimidate you to contract with them.
Depending on how critical the situation is, you might want to film the conversation before answering any questions. Documenting your interactions with the police on video can provide valuable evidence in case of trouble.
Am I under arrest?
As long as you haven’t been caught committing a crime, you don’t need to cooperate with police. Talking to police can get quite repetitive, as they usually expect compliance. Remember, as long as you haven’t contracted with them, they are an authority for you, not over you.
What is the charge?
If police wants to arrest you, they have to name a charge against you. Not giving your ID isn’t a criminal offense, and isn’t obstruction either. Stay calm and ask them: “Under which law are you acting?” Remind them friendly that they don’t have authority over you unless you committed a crime.
Do you understand?
Never answer this question from a police officer with yes, unless you want to get into trouble. This term sounds like plain English, but it’s a special legalese term. By answering yes, you enter into a contract with the police officer, and agree not to be treated under common law, but statutory law. ‘Do you understand?’ translates into ‘Do you agree to stand under my authority?’ An adequate answer could sound like this: No, I do not stand under your authority. Being (or acting) stupid cannot be construed as a crime, if the police officer looses his/her calm on camera, the odds in a court case can be in your favour.
Under which authority are you acting?
Ask this question if police insists to request something you don’t want to do. Victoria Police display the Crown on their badges, which means they have sworn an allegiance to the Queen. The Queen warrants that anyone is entitled to be treated under common law, which most police officers have not the faintest clue about. However, as long as you know your rights, stay calm, friendly and firm, police officers can held liable for infringing your (god-given) rights. Depending on how confident you feel, you might remind the police about their unlawful activity, best when it’s documented on camera.
Public space is public.
Although some statutory laws have been made for move-on orders and random searches, these have to be announced a week in advance. Unless you’re breaching the peace, police have no right to ask you to leave a public spot. If you breached the peace, police have to explain first how you did it.
More about space
While freedom of movement seems obvious for public space, different rules apply for private property. Although being technically private property, places of business are basically similar to public spaces. Interfering with political protest in places of business is therefor similar to interfering with it in public space.
Crimes Act 1914 – Section 14 / Interfering with political liberty
Any person who, by violence and threat of intimidation of any kind, hinders or interferes with the free exercise or performance, by any other person, of any political right or duty, shall be guilty of an offense.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 3 years.
Translated into common language this means police breaking up a protest are usually committing a crime, punishable by 3 years of prison.
Know your rights.
If you’re planning to do direct action, investigate as best as you can the legal situation you’re entering into. Stay calm, friendly and firm when explaining to police your understanding of the law. Police doesn’t the law most of the time, but usually can be stopped in their tracks if reminded that they are breaking laws by what they do or want to do.
Common Law is simple.
As long as you avoid contracting with police, your intuitive idea about right and wrong most likely reflects common law. However, as police is trained to follow orders, it might save you from harm to comply when threatened with violence. If you have given your ID without committing a crime, or answered to “Do you understand?” with yes, you already contracted with police, and therefor entered the area of corporate law, which acts against the interest of citizens.
Comments, corrections and additions are welcome. I wrote all of this to the best of my knowledge, based on my research and understanding of the legal system. Knowing your rights might not save you from arrest or other problems with police, but will provide a sound basis for potential court proceeding. Use with care and sound judgement.