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Post Reply QUT student faces $200,000 bill in Facebook post racism row Quote:
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Posted 4/15/16

A university student accused of racial discrimination over a Facebook post has amassed a hefty legal bill, which could blow out to $200,000 if the case goes to trial.

Alex Wood is being sued under the Racial Discrimination Act over a 2013 post he wrote after being asked to leave a Queensland University of Technology computer lab reserved for the use of Indigenous students.

"Just got kicked out of the unsigned Indigenous computer room. QUT is stopping segregation with segregation," he posted on a Facebook page called QUT Stalker Space.

The post attracted comments critical of both the incident and the existence of the Indigenous-only space.

"I wonder where the white supremacist lab is," wrote another student, Jackson Powell, who is also being sued.

The third student involved in the lawsuit, Calum Thwaites, has emphatically denied being responsible for a post that included a reference to "ITT N-----s" and has produced a volume of evidence supporting his denial.

The trio are being sued, alongside the university and two staff, by the administration officer who asked Mr Wood to leave the room, Cindy Prior.

An Indigenous woman, Ms Prior went on sick leave following the incident and reports she felt unsafe leaving her home because she was afraid somebody would say something offensive to her.

She also says she was unable to return to work in a role that required her to have face-to-face contact with white people.

Ms Prior is seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

Lawyers for the students have sought to have the case dismissed in the Federal Court, citing a lack of legal basis to contend their clients had breached the act and labelling the lawsuit an abuse of process.

Judge Michael Jarrett has reserved his decision.

It is understood the trio's lawyers have spent several hundred hours defending the action.

A legal source told AAP the costs of defending the proceeding would have already run into tens of thousands of dollars for Mr Wood and could rise to about $200,000 if the case went to trial.

The cumulative bill for the students to defend the case at trial could be more than $500,000.

The trio have also hit out at QUT, claiming they were kept in the dark about Ms Prior's complaint to the Human Rights Commission and, therefore, deprived of having the matter thrown out earlier.

Under the Racial Discrimination Act, complainants must go through a conciliation process before a Federal Court action can be launched and the Human Rights Commission says more than half of all section 18C cases have been resolved at that level.

But the students were not made aware of the complaint until days before a final conference with the commission, despite the matter having been underway for 12 months, and Mr Wood claims a QUT lawyer told him he did not need to attend.

QUT's law firm, Minter Ellison, admits one of its solicitors told Mr Wood his presence was not required but denies she discouraged him from attending.


http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/qut-student-faces-200000-bill-in-facebook-post-racism-row-20160415-go7951.html


An Indigenous woman, Ms Prior went on sick leave following the incident and reports she felt unsafe leaving her home because she was afraid somebody would say something offensive to her.

She also says she was unable to return to work in a role that required her to have face-to-face contact with white people.

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Posted 4/15/16
this is really stupid. is there no such thing as freedom of speech anymore? i dont support racists anything but seriously that is going over board. cant leave her house my ass, if she were that afraid or people saying indecent things to her she would have been a shut in a long time before this happened. and that would be nobody's problem but her own. they should sue her for their lawyer fees for bringing something like that to court in the first place.
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Posted 4/15/16
It's absolutely hilarious how oblivious she is to her own racism.
Posted 4/15/16
I agree with DarkSiren, this is just another attempt to pocket and shut freedom of speech.
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Posted 4/16/16
wtf this is completely messed up.
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Posted 4/16/16 , edited 4/16/16
Day by day, I continue to lose faith in humanity. /facepalm
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24 / F / Johnstown, PA, USA
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Posted 4/16/16
Ms. Prior needs to grow the hell up (also to be b*tch-slapped), the "indigenous only" thing is thoroughly racist, and the fact that the guy is being sued over this is ridiculous. It seems some people sue over some of the most foolhardy things, these days.
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Posted 4/16/16
Once you realize she's probably only trying to cash grab from the courts, it makes sense.
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Posted 4/16/16

An Indigenous woman, Ms Prior went on sick leave following the incident and reports she felt unsafe leaving her home because she was afraid somebody would say something offensive to her.


Won't somebody PLEASE think of the BROWN PEOPLE!


Lawyers for the students have sought to have the case dismissed in the Federal Court, citing a lack of legal basis to contend their clients had breached the act and labelling the lawsuit an abuse of process.


Well no shit!

I'm actually looking at the Act itself now, and while a) I'm not a lawyer and b) I haven't read the entire bloody thing, it's starting to look to me like a "Aborigines Only" computer lab is in itself a violation of the act.

To wit, section 11:



It is unlaful for a person:
...(snip)...
(b) to refuse to allow another person use of any facilities in any such place or vehicle that are available to members of the public or to a section of the public, or to refuse to allow another person use of any such facilities except on less favourable terms or conditions than those upon or subject to which he or she would otherwise allow use of those facilities; or

(c) to require another person to leave or cease to use any such place or vehicle or any such facilities;

by reason of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of that other person or of any relative or associate of that other person.


Legalese is the way it is because it must be exceedingly specific. The real trick to understanding it is parsing all that verbosity to keep track of the increasingly narrow scope. Then you must look for exceptions, usually in a later section.

So... right back atcha, Ms. Prior, you racist bigoted hate-monger, you.
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19 / M / east coast. Let t...
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Posted 4/16/16 , edited 4/16/16
Why are you so scared of us white people Miss Prior? Do you think you're better than us based on race?
Saying something stupid should never cost you 200,000 dollars. That's horse crap.
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Posted 4/16/16

evilotakuneko
Won't somebody PLEASE think of the BROWN PEOPLE!


Welp, you just got sued. Give me $200,000 for damages or whatever.
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Posted 4/16/16
people have no filters when they are on the internet. If you wouldn't say it in front of an audience of people standing in front of you, don't say it on the internet because its the same thing.....only judged harsher cause your audience is basically the whole world.
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Posted 4/16/16

Kira0309 wrote:

people have no filters when they are on the internet. If you wouldn't say it in front of an audience of people standing in front of you, don't say it on the internet because its the same thing.....only judged harsher cause your audience is basically the whole world.


That's just stupid. People need to stop being sensitive, safe space needing little bitches.
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Posted 4/16/16
This story has to be fake. There must be a limit to human stupidity.
xxJing 
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Posted 4/16/16 , edited 4/16/16
Wait wait wait... am I getting this right?

The guy is getting sued because he is complaining about racism committed against him?!

Okay people, now we have crossed the line.
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