Illegal to be annoying in Sydney next weekend

6 07 2008

Well, looks like I can’t go to Sydney. I’d be arrested in no time.

If you weren’t aware yet, regulations brought in for World Youth Day, a mass Catholic pilgrimage in Sydney next week, have outlawed being annoying.

More specifically an “authorised person” (police or other emergency services official) may direct a person to cease any behaviour deemed dangerous, obstructing WYD events, or that “causes annoyance or inconvenience to participants“. Failure to comply with such a directive without a “reasonable excuse” can result in a penalty of 50 units. Police are saying the rules are nothing new, and are similar to rules in place during sporting events.

The main problem is it’s all very vague. Inconvenience may be little easier to delineate, but there is a whole host of behaviour capable of causing “annoyance” that isn’t dangerous nor normally illegal. Some people, including some Catholics, believe it or not, have rather high levels of irritability.

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