Originally published in The Canberra Times on May 11, 2013

Are freedom of speech, freedom of association and the freedom to protest left-wing or right-wing issues?

While Senator George Brandis was thundering away this week about the importance of a free press, I’m not sure his liberalism stretches to supporting Julian Assange and the desire of WikiLeaks to ”let the information free”.

Similarly, while the left typically rages against big corporations using defamation and other laws to silence their critics, last week the Australian Conservation Foundation, The Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania supported the passage of legislation through the Tasmanian Parliament that seeks to silence other environment groups and stop forest protests.

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