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November 2005

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Bill of Rights

 

Uploaded: 23 September 2004

Justice or oppression? 

David Blunkett has announced that he is going to lift the blanket ban on covertly obtained intelligence as evidence in British courts. Good, I thought, perhaps we will see fewer people incarcerated without charge and without trial. That is part of his stated intention.

But hold on there, he goes on to say, he wants a fresh attempt to, "deal with people without putting them in jail", and is interested in creating a new offence of "acts preparatory to terrorism".

"He now believes that anyone found guilty of an association with a terrorist group, or involved in acts preparatory to terrorism should face a civil order that would restrict them having a bank account or from using the internet or computers.

"Such activity could be monitored and if restrictions were breached the individual would be in breach of the criminal law," Mr Blunkett said.

"It is about dealing with them without putting them in jail, and not about putting them in jail."

As a war dissenter I have long been aware that to be anti-war is to be considered pro-terrorist, anti-American and anti-British. It has been a niggling reality all along. It's been part of the propaganda war of fear waged by Blair and Bush. 

May I also remind readers that it is Blunkett who said sharing credible information with us about terrorism was, 'Arrant nonsense'. 

The intelligence information used to justify the invasion of Iraq was wrong. The conclusions that the British government drew from the intelligence data was wrong. The British government was wrong to invade Iraq because its stated reasons were wrong. Protesters against arms have been arrested using the new Terrorism Act. 

Government is a matter of good faith. We vote, not knowing what a government is going to do, but in good faith that they will be true to their word, usually given in the shape of a manifesto. This government has been faithless and I am afraid that this site may well see its demise in Blunkett's creation of an offense of acts preparatory to terrorism. 

Watch this space.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/attacks/story/0,1320,1310707,00.html

 

Doubt me? Read this, because what happens in the US soon happens over here.

Guantanmo on the Hudson
While the police took a relaxed approach to Sunday's large protest against the Republican National Convention, during the week preemptive arrests became the norm. Almost 2,000 protestors have been arrested, compared to a total of six arrests during the Democratic National Convention. Even the The New York Press, a paper not known for its radical or progressive politics, puts it like this:

"The message sent by all the security preparations prior to the convention was clear, but never so perfectly encapsulated as this makes it. What the NYPD and the GOP are saying to protestors of every stripe (and New Yorkers in general) is this: 'If you don't agree with us, we look at you as enemy combatants, security threats and would-be terrorists. And we're going to treat you like the diseased cattle you are.' ... It was interesting to note that in the weeks just before the convention, we stopped hearing about the "terrorist threat" altogether. Instead, we were bombarded with stories about the threats posed by protestors. A few words were switched around, but the stories were essentially the same. The most disturbing bit of information concerning the West Side holding pen, however, was buried in the Post's account. Just a brief mention: 'Cops fear some protesters might hang around after the convention to disrupt other events, like the U.S. Open, so the [police holding pen at Pier 57] will remain open indefinitely.'

The U.S. Open? Other events? Like what, the 3rd Ave. Street Fair? The grand opening celebration at a new Payless Shoe Source in Queens?"

http://www.alternet.org/rights/log/

 

Keith Lindsay-Cameron 2004

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