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Queensland police will have new powers to search protesters they suspect of possessing so-called “locking devices”, under new laws to be introduced to State Parliament
Annastacia Palaszczuk told Parliament the protester crackdown comes on advice from the Police Commissioner, as Brisbane becomes the coalface for protesting irresponsible policy related to pollution and fossil fuel dependance.
The Premier says blocking roads is “dangerous, reckless, irresponsible” and “sinister” – but most of all, highly inconvenient for the right-wing Labor government who are all out of ideas for creating jobs outside of tearing central Queensland apart for coal that an increasingly smaller amount of overseas markets are interested in buying.
However, Palaszczuk has taken it one further by recruiting the retired members of Queensland’s notorious ‘Special Branch’ – with promises of a political pardon if they are willing to join her in bashing hippies.
“Any of the old boys who feeling like giving the baton another whirl…” said the Premier.
“You have my full endorsement, and immunity”
The Queensland Police Special Branch was popularised during the Bjelke-Petersen era of the 1970s and 1980s, and heavily criticised for being used for political purposes – such as enforcing laws against protests sometimes outnumbering the protesters or using provocateurs to incite violence so the protesters could be arrested and investigating and harassing political opponents.
It was disbanded in 1989 following a recommendation by the Fitzgerald Inquiry into police corruption. The Special Branch destroyed its records before Fitzgerald could subpoena them, but several government ministers and police officers were still charged, some jailed, with inciting brutality and unbridled political corruption.
Palaszczuk, in her newest effort to look as though she isn’t being told what to do by her much more alpha Deputy Premier Jackie Trade, has today floated the idea of bringing back the Special Branch.
“Stoner bashing time! haha” laughed the Premier, as she mimmicked punching into her palm, before offering the release of any incarcerated police officers currently serving time for intimidation and violence in the 1980s.
“This will be like the Expo protests all over again”
“Any coppers still in the can will be released, as long as they come down to Queen Street and help us with these Extinction Rebels”