While traveling to and around Leard Blockade
At times police have pulled over cars or have setup road blocks around Leard Blockade. Don’t worry about this as you have not done anything wrong.
- Be polite to police
- Don’t talk to police
- Film your interactions with police
- Stand up for your rights
- Don’t bring illegal substances
- Be confident in road worthiness of your vehicle
Leard Blockade has collectively agreed to have a positive relationship with police, security and mine workers and we ask all people coming to camp to be polite to everyone. Please stand up for your rights but please do not be a smart-arse, rude or aggressive to police, security or mine workers. We will discuss below that you have the right to remain silent, so if you find it hard to be polite, please stay silent.
Sometimes interacting with police can be scary for some people. You are in Australia so you have rights and are acting legally (not doing anything wrong). Police make heavy use of bluff so understand you rights (below) and stand up for them. Be polite but be firm.
Keeping police honest
Sometimes the police do not follow the law or act as professionally as the Australian people expect so it is important to film all interactions with Police. When filming do not get in their way or interfere with them and be polite. When police are filmed they are more likely to act professionally and if they don’t we will be able to use your film to make a complaint to the police ombudsman.
Ask police their name, rank and the station they are assigned to and reason they are making demands of you (202 Supplying police officer’s details and giving warnings). Also note down the time and the events that happened. If you do not have a smart phone or film capable camera, definitely write down everything.
Filming in this context is 100% legal. The police have no right to stop you filming or confiscate any cameras, gear and chips or delete any files.
Never talk about camp. Police are trained to gather intelligence using demands and friendly conversation. The demands are bluff and not legal so refuse to comply any demands for information. Apart from providing your identity (see below) You have the right to remain silent.
If you are unsure if you have to do something ask if the instruction is a “request” or a “demand “and respond accordingly. Police may request you do something that they don’t have the right to demand. In this context it is your choice not to comply. Don’t comply. If they mislead you if it is a legal demand we will be able to use your film to place a complaint to the ombudsman.
If you would like to engage police in friendly conversation, talk about the weather, the forest destruction, the morals and ethics around the campaign.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT you do not engage in any conversation and do not make any statements about the campaign strategy, camp, tactics, numbers, names, training, ideas, where you came from, where you are going, what you are doing, what others are doing etc etc. Even information that seems random and or inconsequential to you may be useful for police.
You have the right to remain silent, so if you are the chatty type or if you do not like police, please remain silent and say nothing. If you feel uncomfortable being mute you may say something like “Here is my ID. Please don’t take it personally but I am not going to saying anything else. Thank you.”
If police threaten to defect your car or similar threats to gain information or co-operation, they are abusing their powers. Please film all interactions and take notes so we can make official complaints against the police for abusing their powers.
All road and car rules apply so the police have the right to see the driver’s license and can issue a fine if you do not produce it.
If a police officer suspects that you are carrying equipment that could have been or is going to be used in connection with an indictable offense, they have the power to search your vehicle. In this case they are referring to the indictable offense of hindering mining equipment. Technically this is vague use of these laws and it is debatable (within a court of law) if they are legally using these powers. Unfortunately to test the legality of these powers, someone will need to refuse these orders, be arrested, and debate them in court which will take several months. In this context it is wiser to assume that these powers stand.
Under these powers the police have the right to:
- Request the identity of the driver and all passengers – LEPRA ACT – SECT 14
- Search the car without a warrant – LEPRA ACT – SECT 36 – (2 a)
Supply identification only if police demand this. Apart from that you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions or make any statements.
Police are claiming they are able to confiscate equipment relating to hindering mining equipment such as ropes, chains and bicycle locks using LEPRA ACT – SECT 36 – (3 b) which states: “A police officer may seize and detain all or part of a thing that the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds may provide evidence of the commission of a relevant offense.”
Even if you are carrying equipment that they believe may relate to hindering mining equipment, the police cannot suspect you of commissioning an offense just by visiting camp Wando and possessing legal equipment.
We have successfully recovered illegally confiscated equipment including bicycle locks from the magistrate. The magistrate was annoyed at police wasting the courts resources.
We recommend you comply if police confiscate your equipment as if you refuse, you may be arrested and will need to defend this in court. It is far easier to apply to the court to recover your equipment back rather than going through the arrest process. Remind the police that previously seized items were ordered by the courts to be returned to the owner, and that the magistrate considered the matter to be a waste of the court’s time because of the police’s action.
For More information see: New South Wales Consolidated Acts: Law enforcement (powers and responsibilities) act 2002 (LEPRA)
Be confident in the road worthiness of your car before coming up.
Leard Blockade is a drug free camp. Please do not bring illegal substances to the camp. If the police were to find illegal substances, you will be putting the whole camp and campaign at risk.
This page is intended for general information. For specific legal advise, please consult a qualified lawyer.