A civil rights group for Muslims has condemned the Federal Government's proposed counter-terrorism laws.
More than 1,000 people have gathered in Sydney to mark the start of a weekend of protests across Australia against the laws.
Organised by anti-war groups, the rally has also been attended by unions and civil liberties organisations.
It is one of several being held major cities around Australia this weekend, including Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra.
The Australian Muslims Civil Rights Advocacy Network has protested against the legislation at a Sydney rally.
Network spokesman Waleed Kadous says the laws are a quick fix rather than a real solution to terrorism.
"The Government has violated so many conventions and treaties and
principles that it is no longer clear who is doing the most damage to
our freedoms, is it the terrorists or is it our own government? We
don't know the answer any more," he said.
Protesters at a Sydney have called on Labor MP Daryl Melham to cross the floor on the issue.
Mr Melham is one of several ALP backbenchers to speak out against the legislation.
During his address, Mr Melham was heckled by people asking him how he would vote on the laws.
He did not answer but told the crowd that Labor is a broad coalition and he is against some aspects of the legislation.
"This is an issue that was ticked off before the public or Members of
Parliament knew what was in the legislation and why was it secret, why
was it done behind closed doors, because it can't be sustained in the
public," he said.
Greens Senator Kerry Nettle has told the crowd she is most concerned
about the part of the legislation that allows the lock-down of suburbs
for 28 days.
"That's the kind of power that exists in this security legislation," Senator Nettle said.
ABC News, 5 November 2005