The Catholic World Youth Day is certainly whipping up a storm in activist circles. The Catholic community is divided on the issue of police controls.
Coming hard on the heels of the Sydney lock down during APEC, I think its time the citizenry made their views felt on state control of democratic freedoms. I sent the following message to the NSW ALP yesterday:
"As an erstwhile Sydney-sider I would like to express my distress at the restrictions being placed on freedom of protest surrounding the Pope’s visit. There are many groups with a legitimate grievance concerning aspects of church policy and I can see no reason for the controls being placed on them.
The imposition of this event on NSW taxpayers is egregious enough without adding further grief through draconian restriction of freedom of protest. I was disgusted by the lockdown of Sydney during APEC, and it seems nothing has been learned from that travesty. This is not what the ALP is supposed to stand for. I understood the pandering to Howard’s autocratic style and fear mongering but this is sectarian based exclusionism and should be condemned."