Filter protesters part ways

Summary:Two separate groups opposed to the Federal Government's proposed mandatory internet filter have become divided on how to voice their disapproval.

Two groups opposed to the Federal Government's proposed mandatory internet filter have become divided on how to voice their disapproval.

The two groups, Stop the Filter and Block the Filter, had initially advocated a national day of action to be held on 6 March. However, the two groups have since disagreed on the proposed form of action that should be taken.

Stop the Filter will press ahead with its street protests in Melbourne and Perth, while Block the Filter has said that it had opted for less confrontational methods, which include barbecues and picnics.

Melbourne's Stop the Filter organiser Michael Tencer told ZDNet.com.au that the group preferred protests as a way of gaining the attention of those who may not be aware of the government's plans.

"It's for everyone," he said. "We're looking to not only show the Labor Government that we're not going to stand for having these censorship laws put into place but also we're looking to inform other people that might not know all the reasons why it doesn't work."

"It's what people were expecting in the short space of time left to garner support from other sectors of the community," said Trish Zanetti, Perth's Stop the Filter organiser. "When you call it a national day of action for so many months, that's what's expected so to turn around and call for a barbecue or a picnic, then that looks a bit weak and wouldn't be wanted by those people who want to have their voices heard."

Zanetti said that Stop the Filter would "agree to disagree" with Block the Filter on the groups' respective forms of protest.

Spokesperson for Block the Filter, Phil Brown, told ZDNet.com.au yesterday, "We feel that the current political situation is not appropriate for protests at the moment and the concept of a street demonstration should be later in the process, like when the Bill passes through the House of Representatives." He had not responded to further requests for comment at the time of writing.

The protests will go ahead at 12pm, 6 March 2010 at the State Library in Melbourne and at Forrest Place, Perth.

Topics: Censorship, Government, Government : AU, IT Employment

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