3 years is the price of free-speech in Western Australia

A local Perth man has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for daring to exercise Freedom of Speech in Perth, Western Australia. Brendon O’Connel posted anti-semetic videos on YouTube, yes O’Connel is a jackass but that isn’t the point. Regardless of whether or not you agree with Brendon O’Connel part of living in a democracy is the freedom to think and say what you like. Even if others don’t like it.

A 39-year-old Perth man has been sentenced to three years’ jail for posting an anti-semitic video on the internet.

Brendon Lee O’Connell is the first person in Western Australia to be convicted under the state’s racial vilification laws.

A jury found him guilty last week of six offences.

O’Connell posted a video on YouTube showing him insulting a young Jewish man in 2009.

The video also showed O’Connell standing in front of the Perth Bell Tower telling Jews their days were numbered. ABC News

This is pretty discusting. Australia is a Western Democracy and one of the foundations of that democracy is the Right to Freedom of Speech. Although poorly understood our society recognises and values the right to free-speech. However Steve Lieblich the other jackass in this storey seems to disagree.

Steve Lieblich, who represents the Jewish community and is on the Australia-Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, says racial vilification must be stopped. ABC News

The best response to distasteful speech is in fact more speech. Don’t seek vengeance against someone just because you disagree with them, instead find a reasonable way to address their speech with some of your own and you can still hold the moral high ground. Because demanding someone be punished or censored only pushes yourself towards moral bankruptcy.

So in the interest of Freedom of Speech in Australia I really do hope Steve Lieblich’s days are numbered. Feel free to respond in kind and use your Freedom of Speech however you see fit. (Caution Advised for Western Australia)

One thought on “3 years is the price of free-speech in Western Australia

  1. Roz

    I got kicked out of a church today in Freo. Bet you wish you'd been there – not! They gave us a pamphlet and invited us to the service and then didn't like us being there! Okay, so we sang the wrong words to the hymns and heckled a bit, but still – it wasn't very christian of them to chuck us out. Strange O_o. This church is a dangerous loony outfit by the way – they claim they have evidence of 40 of their congregation being healed from AIDS and of seeing resurrections. I have asked them to email me the empirical evidence of the AIDS healings, but as they called the police on me I am not holding my breath.

    Daughter and I also went to the psychic fair – after we spent about half an hour talking to a woo monger (pleasantly I might add), he gave us our entry fee back on the condition we leave. Ordinarily I wouldn't have accepted, but we'd both had enough and we bought Boost juices with the money.

    This jailing is terrible – sure the guy is a steaming nutter, but jail for what he did? Awful. Really what he did is no worse than christians hate-speaking against gays. Of course his actions are reprehensible, but I think the law's response is way over the top.


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