An activist reported to the national security hotline after taking part in a protest against homophobia is concerned her case could deter others from speaking out on social justice issues.
Jessica Moore, president of Wollongong University’s undergraduate students’ association and a member of the campus queer collective, was one of about 20 protesters at the anti-homophobia demonstration in Wollongong in October.
It was a stunt basically where we threw water bombs at placards of John Howard’s head, Moore told Sydney Star Observer.
Last week Moore received a telephone call from police saying someone had reported her to the national security hotline.
I got a phone call from the police, saying that someone had reported the action to the anti-terror hotline, saying that I had organised it and it was an action in support of Hamas, which with the Australian government is a terrorist organisation, Moore said.
Moore said the October protest did not relate to Hamas, a Palestinian political organisation, and she does not know who reported her. She believes she is the only person to have been reported from the protest.
Detective Sergeant Brad Ainsworth, acting crime manager at Wollongong Police, told the Star the investigation into Moore had been written off and no action was being taken.
Moore said police had not informed her they had stopped the investigation.
I still haven’t been able to get an answer from them about whether they are or not.
Moore is worried her case will discourage activists from holding protests about homophobia and other issues.
Anyone can report anybody else just because they don’t like them, she said.
It opens the gateway for someone who is homophobic, who thinks that this kind of action shouldn’t happen, to call and report this. Which means you then have to be investigated, which is incredibly intimidating for most people.
If you get a phone call saying -˜you are being investigated’ it’s going to affect the likelihood of you going to a future demonstration.
Moore said she would continue taking part in demonstrations despite the national security hotline report.