The fundamental right to protest highlights the term "peaceful." A riot in the streets hugely differs from a calm march down the sidewalk. Too many times in the history of the world, we've seen protests go south, and turn violent.
In order to prevent this from happening, the New South Wales Government has introduced a hefty fine for some Australian protestors. Starting on August 1, vegans who cross the peaceful protest line by illegally entering farms will be punished. On top of an on-the-spot $1000 fine, offenders may have to pay up to $220,000.
Bursting into farms is, of course, a severe biosecurity risk. After several vegan protestors stormed a string of farms in April, only some trespassers were fined $400 to $600. Now, many think these protestors should face stricter consequences for their disruptions.
On top of the new fines, the Morrison Government will introduce up to five years in prison for those who participate in break-ins. Deputy Premier John Barilaro, one of the lawmakers who revealed the new penalties, told news.com:
“Vigilantes who are entering our farmers’ property illegally are nothing short of domestic terrorists - our farmers have had a gutful. They don’t deserve, nor have time, to be dealing with illegal trespass and vile harassment from a bunch of virtue-signalling thugs."
"The NSW Liberals and Nationals in government are putting in place the harshest penalties in the country and sending a strong warning to those who think it’s OK to illegally invade farms and harass our hardworking farmers. But we aren’t stopping there. We are also looking at ways we can further deter this kind of behaviour, including introducing legislation and potential jail time for offenders.”
Just as one should expect to be arrested for breaking and entering into a house, the government wants to enforce similar penalties for those breaking into farms. So next time you grab your torch and take to the fields, remember to do so peacefully - no trespassing required.