If you’re in Australia, you probably know about the legislation recently introduced in a bid to stop people from annoying Catholic pilgrims coming to Sydney for World Youth Day.
If you’re outside Australia you may not be familiar, so here’s a little bit I swiped from www.smh.com.au
EXTRAORDINARY new powers will allow police to arrest and fine people for “causing annoyance” to World Youth Day participants and permit partial strip searches at hundreds of Sydney sites, beginning today.
The laws, which operate until the end of July, have the potential to make a crime of wearing a T-shirt with a message on it, undertaking a Chaser-style stunt, handing out condoms at protests, riding a skateboard or even playing music, critics say.
Police and volunteers from the State Emergency Service and Rural Fire Service will be able to direct people to cease engaging in conduct that “causes annoyance or inconvenience to participants in a World Youth Day event”.
People who fail to comply will be subject to a $5500 fine.
The rest of the article is here
Anyway, I’m not exactly delighted that our state is spending a squillion dollars to get the Pope to come to town, and I’m pretty sure we (“we” the city/state, not “we” who live at my house…) would not be extending a similar welcome to a large contingent of Muslims or Mormons, but apart from a low-level sense of vexation, I haven’t given World Youth Day a huge amount of thought till now.
But now that I learn that a firefighter could fine me for being annoying, I feel rather much more inclined to be, you know, annoying. I suspect my very existence is pretty irritating to a good number of Catholics, anyway.
As an aside, Leigh was initially all for the new legislation. She’s got a well-earned reputation for forming her opinions without absorbing all the relevant facts, and had somehow come to think that the legislation would allow the pilgrims to be fined should they annoy the rest of us!