magistrate mealy called the case of magee, stated he found the charges proven, handed us his decision, then stood the matter down, i guess so we could read the decision, even though there was no point to read it before he proceeded to sentencing because the decision was made and there would be no further discussion.
here is a copy of the decision.
the crux of his reasoning was that if he allowed this sort of damage to property, the consequences would be that anyone who disapproved of advertising for political reasons could obliterate it, that being precisely why i want to win this case, to allow a peaceful social movement to put real pressure on corporate advertising in public space within the law.
he stated that there are plenty of ways i could make my opinion known and try to effect change that would not bring me into conflict with the criminal law, such as: lobby members of parliament, get my views published in the corporate media, speak in public spaces using my ‘undoubted oratory skill’ (must be taking the piss), and by utilising posters, pamphlets and placards.
i’ll leave it to you to guess why i might think any combination of these legal avenues is still unsatisfactory.
he also stated that my views weren’t expressed well by my actions, the observer ‘confronted by a painted over area’ that is ‘consistent with the accused enjoying white surfaces’.
mealy didn’t seem to understand that the whole occurrence more generally is what i want a large number of people to be aware of and think about, the painted over panel is just the small physical part of the whole sequence, i don’t think it would even matter if there were no conscious observers of the painted over panel apart from those necessary to charge me.
the full expression of my beliefs and the response of the judiciary is what i want to get out into the world, not a small painted over panel.
he ended up giving me a $500 fine and ordering me to pay $40.17 in restitution, which is a surprisingly good result considering the jail i’ve got for similar ‘offending’ in the past.
we will appeal to the supreme court as soon as we can get our shit together.
although i disagree with mealy’s decision, i have decided that i’ll take him up on a couple of his recommendations, include them in my already established approach, postering and public speaking.
even though only a small number is likely to notice, even less care, i shouldn’t miss any opportunity to get my message heard (as any good marketer will tell you).
i’ll ditch the disgustingly poetic blank look and poster some info to the wet paint of the next one i do (that is, of course, if i’m not put right by the reasoning of the judiciary).
i’ll include the address of this website to cover the public speaking element, even though published written word won’t show off my ‘undoubted oratory skill’.
i’ll post the supreme court date when we get it.