A Brisbane rally against the Morrison government’s religious discrimination bill will still go ahead despite the council refusing to allow amplification of protesters’ speeches.
The protest is planned for King George Square, outside Brisbane City Hall, on Saturday (February 1) from 5pm. However, organiser Johnny Valkyrie said Brisbane City Council refused to allow speakers to use the necessary microphones and speakers.
Valkyrie said the council told them they were concerned the speakers could “inconvenience local businesses”.
“We will comply with the law prohibiting amplification, despite disagreeing with it,” Valkyrie told the Brisbane Times.
“However, the idea that simple audio for the purposes of being heard is prohibited in public unreasonably restricts freedom of speech, which is unacceptable.”
Valkyrie confirmed the protest will go ahead at King George Square from 5pm. Those attending will then march to Speakers’ Corner, near state parliament.
A Brisbane City Council spokesperson said audio “is generally not supported” at protests in King George Square.
“[This is] due to the impacts it can have on the public use of the square and surrounding spaces,” the spokesperson said.
More religious discrimination protests around the country
Meanwhile, other protests around the country will follow the Brisbane rally against the religious discrimination bill.
In Sydney, community groups including Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR) will also rally at Sydney Town Hall on Saturday, February 8.
The group condemn the bill as “a broad attack on anyone who has won protection from discrimination in recent decades.”
“If passed, the law would give bigots the license to discriminate, intimidate and degrade using ‘statement of belief’ exemptions,” organisers said.
They warned the laws would also “allow health providers to cut off access to treatments, especially those required by LGBTIQ people and women.”
“It’s up to us to send a clear message an overwhelming majority of people oppose granting religious organisations, business owners, or whoever else the right to discriminate.”
Melbourne protesters will also rally at the State Library of Victoria from 1 pm on Sunday, February 9.
Rainbow Rebellion organiser Roz Ward told QNews.com.au the Morrison government’s second draft of the bill is “even worse than the first.”
“These bills allow discriminatory acts and statements targeting not just LGBTI+ people, but anyone from a minority community,” Ward said.
Submissions responding to the religious discrimination bill close today.
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