Vinny Eastwood, has had his appeal for his bail conditions denied. The police have opposed his request to access to the internet on the grounds that he has rather an extensive public following and if access to the internet was renewed it would not curb the defendant from expressing any anti-lockdown sentiment, and would require monitoring of the defendant’s content and presence.
Amy Baker Benjamin recently called the arrests of Billy Te Kahika Jr and Vinny Eastwood a sign of the “death of democracy”, and if we needed any more confirmation of this depressing state of affairs, isn’t it now crystal clear.
Respect for freedom of speech should never be abandoned in a free and democratic society. Freedom of expression is preserved in section 14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (BORA) which states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the right to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form”. Whatever your opinion of Vinny Eastwood,if people can’t protest in the streets, we should be even more protective of their right to protest online.
Back in 2011, when Vinny tried to exercise his right to freedom of speech, on the streets of Auckland on the 11th of September, he was prevented from doing so by the new anti-terrorist laws. It was shocking to learn that there was to be no sharing of information on the public streets of Auckland, no pamphlets, no DVD’s and above all no bullhorn. But at least then, he could still get the word out online.
Today, Auckland streets are very quiet, the city’s residents now have muzzled faces, staring into a black screen, accessing media content devoid of any colour.
You can donate to support the legal case here or make a donation via his account -Ref Vinny’s legal fees
38-9010-0455296-00 VMAN COMPANIES LIMITED
Please help to fight for Vinny’s and your own freedom of speech, while we still can.