first posting bills conviction – magistrate capell decides and sentences
so i had the second day of hearing on the 18th of september and then came back for judgement on the 7th of october, magistrate capell delivered his decision orally, i was found guilty of posting bills and fined $400.
i have been convicted of the indictable offence of criminal damage nearly 30 times, but this is my first conviction for the summary offence of posting bills — leading me to the inescapable conclusion that repeated serious crimes inevitably lead to the commission of more minor crimes.
as there was no written decision given, i had to buy the recording (costs $55 per day) and transcribe it myself to try to pick out the actual reasoning and conclusions on which the decision was based, which i found very difficult (i don’t believe the difficulty was due to my inadequate comprehension skills, more the cryptic nature of the ‘findings’).
here’s the transcript, and below is the recording:
the baby noises/yelling in the background of the above recording were lovingly produced by my lovely little offspring, who was 1 year and 4 months old at the time.
the magistrates’ reasoning was pretty awesomely absurd in places — apparently my conduct in preparing for, possessing materials for, and completing my postering expression, which resulted in no damage to anyone’s property after being executed precisely as planned, somehow constituted a threat of damage and so could not be protected under freedom of expression (applying justice kyrou’s ruling that anything involving damage or the threat of damage could not be protected under freedom of expression for public policy considerations).
he also stated that my expression “attempted to prevent members of the public receiving information, namely advertising, which of itself could be a breach of the charter.” — he went on later: “here the owners of southern cross railway station are entitled to rent out space that they own to advertisers, advertisers who have rented that space are entitled to convey their message, as members of the public we can consider that message and accept or disgard it, the public have that right, it is not for mr. magee to assume ownership of what we see or don’t see by posting over that message.”
all this is to interpret the charter as being intended to protect the “right” of the public to be constantly bombarded with for-profit advertising while in public space, even if the brief and minuscule interruption to the for-profit barrage is in the form of an anti-for-profit-advertising protest containing a detailed set of political ideas being communicated by one member of the public to others.
the fact that the charter “includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds” didn’t lead the magistrate to think maybe protecting the total domination of public space by non-human for-profit companies with no right to expression, to the complete exclusion of political messages from individual citizens, was a little against the intention of the charter.
it annoys me that the magistrate would say that the way i prevented an infinitesimally small fraction of attempted for-profit mind-fuckery from reaching its intended victims “could be a breach of the charter”, what’s the point of saying that? is it a breach or not? (in your humble opinion your honour) — you’re the judge, so get judging judgey — the magistrate talks as if i have definitely “assume[d] ownership” and trampled the public’s right to “accept or disregard” advertising, so why doesn’t he just say clearly that he thinks it is a breach? — to highlight this point i could canvas a statement such as this: “magistrate capell could be an arse-hat” — i didn’t really say anything at all then did i? if i actually was to make a statement such as that mentioned above then it could still sit quite comfortably next to a statement such as this, one which i truly believe: “magistrate capell is a truly respectable man of unimpeachable moral and logical excellence, such as is rarely paralleled and never surpassed”.
he also said this: “during the course of argument i raised with him whether he would interfere with a public health message at southern cross railway station, he said he would not, in itself this means mr. magee becomes the arbiter of what the public see and don’t see, is that what is intended by the charter? i don’t believe so.”
yeah, melbournians must be wondering why they haven’t seen any for-profit ads at southern cross station recently, since i covered a measly 3 panels for a couple of hours on a single afternoon last february, inside a station plastered and hung with countless gigantic replications of the same ad, everyday before and since.
i can’t believe i would set myself up as grand-poobah-arbiter of what the public sees and doesn’t see — our honourable collective of for-profits are the rightful grand-poobah-arbiters and i am trampling all over their rights with my huge amount of power like a big bully, with no concern for anybody but myself and my mega-maniacal, arbitrary-arbiter ways.
so is the problem that i have a particular rational issue with for-profit advertising? that i only disable in protest that which i protest against? if i would cover over a health message, and any & every other message in public space, like some sort of tortured autistic that just can’t take any more messages, would i be less of an arbiter?
magistrate capell also allowed no distinction between my previous “damaging” expression and my contemporary damage-less expression, he simply lumped them both together because of their effective similarity — because they achieve the same end they should be treated the same way despite their important legal differences — in this case magistrate capell rejected the legal view (which is the view his mob made up, not me, and which is the only appropriate view to take in a court of law) for the common sense view, which has no place in the court room, i am learning, unless it comes out of the mouth of an occupant of the high-chair and favours the status quo.
magistrate capell simply substituted the “interfering” of my expression for the “damage” in justice kyrou’s decision, before assessing whether the non-damaging postering expression was protected under the charter, and if it could therefore be considered lawful “interfering” (seen as “interference”, such as standing in front of an advertisement while waiting for a train, is not in itself unlawful) — that’s going to be one ground for appeal.
magistrate capell also rejected my reasoning for choosing this particular expression (that it is the only method that could have any considerable effect in the public sphere, reasoning i only included following magistrate mealy’s lengthy suggestions of alternatives in his decision), stating “there are many ways one can communicate a message without it interfering with the property of another”.
as it turns out, that will be one of my grounds for appeal, citing a recent new zealand high court decision relating to a freedom of expression case, where the presiding high court judge ruled that the district court judge’s consideration of alternative avenues for expressing the same thing was “beside the point”.
when magistrate capell proceeded to sentencing, he informed me that he “went to university in the 1970’s where a lot of what you would argue was very much a part of the course that I did, and understand, but I’ve got to impose… er, apply the law.”
i don’t know which judicial figures cause me the most frustration, those willfully-blind lovers and defenders of the murderous status quo, or the ‘left’-‘progressive’-‘sympathisers’ who tell me that they have no choice but to choose to interpret law in favour of the powerful and then punish me, but who would still like me to think they’re cool.
i made the mistake of handing in a letter from my psychologist (a psychologist i only have to explain my psychological situation to government welfare officials, not because i think any psychological or psychiatric treatment can help me), which only further encouraged the magistrate to view me as a mislead boy who would soon hopefully be reformed by the psycho-police — “in other words, you’ll work it out one day.” — in other words, you’ll realise the futility of resistance and accept a personally rewarding and validating position within this disgusting system, where you can still say you are a progressive who really opposes all the injustice of the world, but who respects the law and knows how to enjoy being a rich twat without moral concerns.
my psychologist had pushed the issue, was just trying to ‘help’ me, and i allowed it as i thought having a prepared opinion from a psychologist who didn’t hate me would be better than having a magistrate ask me to undergo another psychological assessment from ‘forensicare’, the state justice system psychiatric analysts, who, from my past experiences, could be more aptly called ‘forensi-fuck-you-you-stupid-little-mentalist”.
i am 30 years old, but i’m still being treated as a mislead, though perhaps good-hearted, child, causing magistrates to reminisce upon their own idealistic university days — i fucking hated uni and i certainly didn’t get my ideas about right and wrong from the science/engineering degree i was doing at the time i realised the global system was so horrible i could not live my life cooperatively within it.
i have a feeling my “mislead child” years will run right up until my “dumb old bastard” years begin — maybe i should get some botox and hair-loss treatments, not for personal vanity reasons of course, just so i can extend the years where i get to be regaled with the university tales of the ever-so-slightly-left-leaning judicial folk.
now i have to learn how to make a supreme court appeal application (on a question of law pursuant to section 272 of the criminal procedure act 2009), and get some advice on which appeal grounds, and how many, to appeal on — and the myriad other legal things i have no clue about.