Judging by the actions of the NSW government, Catholics are so thin skinned that they need extra police protection. Police have been granted special powers to deal with people who confront attendees of the WYD with ideas the Pope doesn’t agree with. According to some observers, wearing slogans or handing out condoms at WYD could get you in trouble. Group Think will probably be OK.

Thank God the media is on the case.

From the Age : http://news.theage.com.au/national/youth-day-protesters-to-offer-condoms-20080701-2zlj.html

Powers approved by the NSW government allow for people who continually annoy or inconvenience pilgrims during the event, to be staged in Sydney from July 15 to 20, to be arrested and possibly fined $5,500.

From the ABC : http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/07/01/2290617.htm

Draconian, repugnant and unnecessary. These are just a few of the criticisms of special regulations coming into force for the upcoming Catholic World Youth Day event in Sydney.

Civil libertarians and legal experts say the regulations could see situations such as someone deemed to be wearing an offensive T-shirt being arrested and given a hefty fine.

New South Wales Police say the measures are designed simply to ensure that World Youth Day is a peaceful and happy event.

From the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7482696.stm

Lawyers in Australia say that police powers introduced for a major gathering of young Roman Catholics later this month will undermine free speech. Under the powers, police will be able to arrest and fine people for “causing annoyance or inconvenience” to participants in World Youth Day.

From News.News.News.News.com: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23951245-5016937,00.html

NSW POLICE have been given extraordinary new powers for World Youth Day, including being able to arrest and fine people for “causing annoyance” to participants and conduct partial strip searches.


Critics say the new powers have the potential to make wearing a T-shirt with a slogan, a protest like handing out condoms or a Chaser-style stunt a crime, while civil libertarians believe the powers are more extreme and than those used during last year’s APEC summit.