Activist Rights

Information stalls

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Info stalls are a common way of educating the public about the campaign, raising funds and your profile and recruiting new people into the campaign. Info stalls might include literature, leaflets, and petitions to sign, displays and photos and campaign products to sell.

You don’t necessarily need specific authority to hold a stall in a public space, such as a street corner; however, failing to have permission from the local authority such as the local council will make it easier for the police to move you on or threaten arrest if they so choose.

While the coercive powers of and council officers are very limited (in most cases they will have to call the police to enforce their directions), they may have the power to issue fines or infringement notices, should your stall be in breach of local regulations. You should find out from your local council what local laws apply in the area where you want to establish a stall and, if necessary, decide whether to apply for a permit.

If the stall is to be held on privately owned property, such as a shopping mall, then permission or a permit from the owner is normally required. The trend of public space becoming ‘privatised’ is of concern here.

In some cases, public spaces such as Melbourne’s Federation Square, or shopping centre plazas, are actually privately owned and administered. Failure to obtain the permission of private owners, and failure to leave when requested to do so, may result in your being charged.

Also see Common Charges and offences used against activists, and Marches and rallies regarding the process for seeking permissions.

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