Nationwide Internet censorship protests planned for weekend

Anti-filter rallies predicted to draw more than 15000 attendees.

A group called the Digital Liberty Coalition (DLC) has called on Australians to take part in demonstrations this weekend to oppose the Federal Government's planned Internet content filter.

Jerry Hutchinson from the DLC said that the rallies were organised with the help of pre-existing activist networks, such as Electronic Frontiers Australia, that are “appalled at the concept of censoring the Internet”. After several different letter-box campaigns by activist groups, the coalition decided to co-ordinate group action using the Internet.

Activists have used Internet communication channels like forums, message boards and IRC (Internet Relay Chat) to organise their efforts, and advertisements for the events have spread to social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Protest organisers are predicting a national turnout of more than 15,000 at the rallies.

Hutchinson said the DLC was focussed on “net neutrality”. The coalition doesn't support the distribution of illegal or immoral material, he said, but he believed the correct course of action was to sanction creators, distributors and possessors of that material rather than restricting the Australian Internet-using community as a whole.

The protests are being held on Saturday 13 November, with protests in Sydney, Brisbane and Hobart planned to start at 11am and other state capitals starting at noon. More information can be found on the Digital Liberty Coalition Web site, on a variety of Facebook pages and on the No Clean Feed MySpace page.