Bob Carnegie, community protest organiser in the Queensland Children's Hospital dispute in Brisbane, is being sued on 54 separate counts by the main contractor, Abigroup.
On Wednesday 7 November, Bob received court papers for another prosecution, this one under the Fair Work Australia law and the tort of nuisance. The CFMEU, ETU, and CEPU (plumbers') unions are also involved. The case is due to be heard in July 2013.
Abigroup is seeking damages on the grounds that Bob defied a court order which they got, instructing him to stay away from the community protest.
The Queensland government has joined Abigroup’s legal action for contempt of court.
A defence campaign has been set up in Brisbane, and socialists will be working to spread the campaign across Australia and internationally.
The secretary of the campaign is Ian Curr, who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at +61407687016.
To send a donation to the Campaign: mail cheque payable to "Bob Carnegie Defence Campaign" to 67 Grayson House, Radnor St, London EC1V 3SS.
Or make an internet transfer to Bob Carnegie Defence Campaign, account number 33333334 at the Nationwide, 07-00-93, quoting reference 0216/704 271 638.
Legal advice is that both case will run for several months. The contempt case is set to be heard on 11-13 February, and the civil damages case maybe in July. The contempt charges could lead to fines of up to $400,000, and maybe a jail sentence; the civil damages case, to large fines and damages running into millions.
As part of the dispute settlement, Abigroup agreed to drop legal proceedings against a number of QCH workers. We now need a big campaign to force Abigroup to drop its vindictive action against Bob Carnegie.
It is an attempt to intimidate not only an individual, but every organiser in every workers' battle in future.