Sedition and book-burning ahead
Artlink has had the fun of having one of its issues banned from sale in the USA due to the appalling nudity of the young sleeping adolescent on the cover. Now we are busy digging a hole to bury our stock of the March 2003 issue titled Fallout: War, Terror, Refugees in case someone from the local copshop decides it could be thought to incite terrorism. Some of the artists involved in anti-war movements in Australia have already been subject to police interference and removal of their work from public places. The anti-terrorism bill which is going through parliament at the time of writing could, with the help of Murphy's Law and the lack of art theory courses at the Police Academy, see artists and writers charged with crimes of sedition carrying hefty jail terms. The bill proposes to make it an offence, punishable by seven years' imprisonment, for 'any person' who 'urges another person to engage in conduct to assist, by any means whatever, an organisation or country ... engaged in armed hostilities against the Australian Defence Force'. Which could take the form of a demonstration, performance art, billboard screening on a railway station, or an exhibition. What great fun we're going to have now. NAVA has taken a strong stand on this, urging people to contact their parliamentary representatives to excise the sedition sections from the anti-terrorism bill for further discussion.

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