“Free Julian Assange! Free Chelsea Manning!” (Free Speech!) Ciaron O’Reilly arrested at G20 in Brisbane

Update: 24 February

Following a further appearance on 11 February, Ciaron was back in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday 24 February. He pleaded guilty to the charge of entering a ‘secure area’ while labelled a ‘prohibited person’ during the G20 Summit in November. Ciaron was arrested and imprisoned for two nights after entering the area with a placard (see below), having earlier stated his intention to confront Obama over the President’s persecution of Julian Assange, and became the only person to be held in the special suite of cells prepared by the authorities to deal with G20 arrests.

No penalty was imposed by the magistrate who said that two nights in custody was enough punishment. Outside the court, Ciaron commented that the G20 prohibition was an affront to his civil liberties but that it had been an opportunity to express solidarity with Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden and he had achieved that.

Speaking to the Guardian after the hearing, Ciaron recounted that the magistrate had told him he had to obey the law:

“I… interrupted him and said that in recent Queensland history, good law breaking has led to good law making in terms of civil liberties and other struggles in the past that have involved non-violent civil disobedience. He kind of listened to that a bit.”

Video of Ciaron’s arrest in November:

Reports: Guardian | Brisbane Times.

More soon, possibly.

Update: 21 January

This was just a mention hearing. No plea entered yet and case adjourned again.

Update: 4 December

Along with a handful of others arrested during the G20 protests, Ciaron O’Reilly appeared at Brisbane Magistrates court today. The case was adjourned to 21 January.

Reports: 9News | Brisbane Times | The Courier-Mail | The Australian

Report: 17 November

Irish Australian anti-war activist and long time supporter of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning Ciaron O’Reilly was arrested on Saturday 15 November and held in custody for two nights over the G20 summit weekend in Brisbane. Ciaron was speaking out against war and in support of Assange, Manning and Snowden. Brought before Brisbane Magistrates Monday morning 17 November, Ciaron has now been bailed until the next court hearing on 4 December.

After being served with a Prohibited Person Notice under the G20 (Safety and Security) Act 2013 by the police earlier in the week, possibly for promising to nonviolently confront President Obama over his persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, Ciaron was back with his placard in the ‘exclusion zone’ around the Brisbane G20 summit on Saturday and was arrested. As he was being surrounded and pushed back by police, Ciaron referred to how wars are fought on lies and said that “if we began telling the truth, maybe we could stop war.”

Above: Photo of arrest on Yahoo! 7 News. Click on photo to go to news item.

Above: Photo of arrest on Yahoo! 7 News. Click on photo to go to news item.

Climbing up above dozens of police officers after his arrest, Ciaron shouted “Free Julian Assange! Free Chelsea Manning! Free Edward Snowden!” (Free Speech!) before being bundled into the van. Ciaron was detained for the rest of the weekend after refusing bail conditions that involved more prohibition and was brought to court on Monday charged with entering a secure zone having been listed as a ‘Prohibited Person’.

Media reports: ABC | Guardian | Sunshine Coast Daily | Sydney Morning Herald | SBS News | Yahoo News | Brisbane Times. See also this clip and this blog post by 15 yr old Chelsea Manning supporter Maelo Manning: What is a Prohibited Person?

live7 ciaron arrest 15 nov

G20 resistance all but evaporates in Brisbane heatwave

When your civil liberties are curtailed by legislation brought in to stifle dissent under the guise of responding to ‘security risks’, do you roll over and submit or do you stand up and resist? There were over 1,000 arrests at the 2010 G20 in Toronto, and in preparation for Brisbane 2014 the Queensland courts had arranged for day and night hearings over the weekend complete with livestream. However, with just 14 arrests in total, it seems most folk rolled over or simply stayed away from the G20 this time and the Brisbane Times reported that Ciaron was the only person who got to use the court holding facilities that had been specially adapted in anticipation of sizeable protests.

All the more important then to support those few now facing the courts for resisting the removal of basic freedoms.

Ciaron O’Reilly was arrested while speaking out for three people persecuted for speaking out for all of us: Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden. Free them all!

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