[diggers350] "Do it over the Millennium and the fools won't notice"

catalyst greenline at clara.net
Sun Dec 26 23:53:25 GMT 1999

Less terrorism than ever, so why a new Terrorism Act...?  To deal with the
growing danger of MI5 sponsored (according to Larry O'Hara) Combat 18
attacks like earlier in the year?  Oh yeah.

> The Terrorist Bill has already had its second reading, and is moving at an
> alarming pace, so we need to be taking emergency action if we are to have
> any input into the legislation at all.
> Below I attach my latest briefing on the subject, Liberty have a much more
> comprehensive briefing.

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> Chris Maile
> The Bill goes no where near the recommendations contained within the
> consultation document. However we have to be very vigilant on its hidden
> agenda, and the prospects for many adverse measures being added later, or
> through the easier route of Statutory Instruments (The Regulations), which
> might not be known until after the Bill is passed.
> Other organisations are starting to show opposition, particularly Liberty
> who have compiled a 30 page briefing, and
> The Right to Protest Forum, who are looking to do at least some
> co-ordination of objection.
> The Bill – General
> The Bill reclassifies terrorism from that of violence against people to that
> of violence against property, and brings in the definition of a terrorist:
> In this Act "terrorism" means the use or threat, for the purpose of
> advancing a political, religious or ideological cause, of action which-
> (a) involves serious violence against any person or property,
> (b) endangers the life of any person, or
> (c) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a
> section of the public.
> C is particularly of concern, health and safety, not to wear a hard hat on a
> building site is contrary to the health and safety regulations, while I am
> not putting it as loosely as that, it does open up many potential areas of
> concern, where activists, siting in the front of a lorry containing animals
> for export, or nuclear waste could be said to be putting the health and
> safety of the public at risk.
> But generally speaking the terminology ideological cause just about covers
> every aspect of our actions, be it GM foods, Road Protests (Squat Cafes),
> Labour Disputes, Protests over Police Brutality

.. I personally would come
> within that description and therefore be classified as a terrorist, albeit I
> never participate in violence actions, but many of my actions could be seen
> to be contrary to clause ‘C’. And even violence against property, that could
> mean the accidental pulling out of marker pegs on road protests (not that I
> know anything of the 6 miles of pegs pulled up on the M65), to the holding
> of a picnic in the middle of a GM crop.
> That is fine, but it also allows this to be extended to the support for such
> action in any country outside the UK, (the end of support for East Timor),
> you do not need to do it, only support others in those countries that commit
> violence (it does not matter that the governments of those countries are
> torturing and murdering thousands of women and children).
> This briefing is not as comprehensive as it was intended due to Liberty
> producing a detailed report (no point in reinventing the wheel). However I
> do not go along with some of the recommendations of Liberty, in particular
> there recommended definition of terrorism (see page 3 of their summary).
> Northern Ireland
> Much of the Bill deals with Northern Ireland, with special provisions that
> will only apply there. It is easier to extend existing provisions of an Act,
> than it is to have new legislation brought into being. We must then keep a
> close eye on the NI provisions, and how this may later effect the whole of
> the UK, not forgetting of course that if we consider them to be
> infringements of our civil liberties, then they must be infringements of the
> citizens of NI civil liberties.
> Cordoned Area
> A new feature is something they refer to as ‘Cordoned Areas’, which relates
> to areas under prevention of terrorist investigation. This really has me
> worried, I can see this used in many protest situations, because the Police
> do not have to have any concrete belief, only that they believe that it is
> expedient to do so, and that it is appropriate, no notice needs to be
> issued. An arrested person within the area need not know of the designation
> (that is no warning needs to be given).
> The offence of being within (or in a building adjacent to) a cordoned area,
> carries a 3 months jail sentence. Sections 31 to 37.
> Proscription
> The SofS could so easily proscribe many organisations in the UK, especially
> if we look at how RTS have been lampooned in the media lately. Prime
> candidates could be RTS, EF and ALF; once those groups are proscribed then
> others may include organisations opposed to and take an active part in
> direct action against GM foods and the Arms Trade.
> Not only would it be an offence to belong to these organisations, but also
> to openly support them, or even speak at a meeting where members of those
> organisations were speaking. This would effectively stop most, if not all,
> public direct action opposition to the government and others.
> Stop and Search
> The powers to stop and search are extended, and will as they are now be
> extensively used, and can even include strip searches (albeit that an
> officer can only require the removal of outer clothing in public). This can
> be without a warrant, but then requires strip searches to be carried out by
> a person of the same sex (Section 41 (3))
> But under Schedule 5 searching premises a Constable can strip search so long
> as it is not in public anyone even someone of the opposite sex, failure to
> comply has a 3 month prison sentence.
> Arrest Without Warrant
> Section 39 allows the arrest without warrant of any person a Constable
> ‘reasonably’ suspect to be a terrorist. With the large number of iffy
> arrests that take place on direct action campaigns, we can see this used to
> good effect by the police, no longer would they need to use the lesser
> offence of ‘breach of the peace’.
> Bail
> Several of the Sections when referring to bail state that the only power
> that can grant bail is a Judge of at least High Court Rank. Section 64 (NI
> only) allows for bail to be granted to police or military custody. This
> could of course later be extended to the whole of the UK. This would allow
> the Police to ask for bail into their custody, thereby extending the
> possibilities for questioning suspects, and to ensure that they are not held
> in the more liberal environments of a prison.
> Treatment of Arrested Persons
> I am a little confused by Sections 11 to 15 of Schedule 7, which relates
> exclusively to ‘Scotland’.
> However other sections seem to indicate, but not as clearly as the
> provisions relating to Scotland, that the whole of the UK are covered by the
> provisions contained within the following. That assertion seems to be backed
> up by the Liberty briefing, but I do not have the resources or time to
> cross-reference other Acts to state definitively that this is the case. But
> I would urge people to proceed as if these provisions do cover the whole of
> the UK, at least until we can say definitively that they do not.
> You have a right to inform someone of your arrest, as well as your solicitor
> under Sch 7 Para 12 (1). That is: ‘A person detained shall be entitled to
> have intimation of his detention and of the place where he is being detained
> sent without delay to a solicitor and to another person reasonably named by
> him’.
> But this can then be taken away for up to 48 hours under 12 (2): A police
> officer not below the rank of superintendent may authorise a delay (not
> extending longer than the period of 48 hours from the start of the
> detention) in making intimation where, in his view, the delay is necessary
> on one of the grounds mentioned in paragraph 14(3).
> 14(3) states: The grounds mentioned in paragraphs 12(2) and (5) and 13(4)
> and in sub-paragraph (1) are that it is in the interests of the
> investigation or prevention of crime, or of the apprehension, prosecution or
> conviction of offenders. Note here: for the investigation or prevention of
> crime and not terrorism.
> Again under 12 (4) a right is given, but 12 (5) takes it away for up to 48
> hours.
> 12 (4) A person detained shall be entitled to consult a solicitor at any
> time, without delay.
> 12 (5) A police officer not below the rank of superintendent may authorise a
> delay (not extending longer than the period of 48 hours from the start of
> the detention) in holding the consultation where, in his view, the delay is
> necessary on one of the grounds mentioned in paragraph 14(3)
> The consultations shall be in private, except where a Assistant Chief
> Constable orders that they shall not, in other words an arrested person in
> Scotland cannot even consult with his legal advisors in private. Sch 7 Para
> 14 (1)
> Note: Children are to be treated the same (except that the child does not
> have the right to have intimation sent to another person). Sch 7 Para 13.
> The rest covers the whole of the UK.
> The police may apply to a Chief Magistrate to detain a person beyond the 48
> hour period, that person may make oral or written representation, so may his
> legal representative. But:
> Schedule 7. Sec 28 (3)
> (3) A judicial authority may exclude any of the following persons from any
> part of the hearing-
> (a) the person to whom the application relates;
> (b) anyone representing him.
> This cannot be justified in any shape or form, to exclude a person from any
> hearing is contrary to the basic concept of human rights, which we might
> expect in certain dictatorships, but has no place in a democracy (as if we
> lived in one). It will most certainly be challenged in the European Court of
> Human Rights at some stage or another, with a fair chance of it being
> declared unlawful. Whilst there is protection from EC legislation, I assert
> that this Section is also at odds with the basic concept of ‘Common Law’.
> Which follows the basic principle that justice must not only be done, but
> must be seen to be done.
> Armed Forces
> Schedule 9 give’s the Armed Forces the right to search premises (without a
> warrant) and to stop and search people (and vehicles), albeit only for the
> two purposes of looking for munitions and ‘wireless transmitter or scanner’.
> This is the short end of the wedge, leading to the time when other powers
> are handed to the Armed Forces, we have already seen the SAS used in
> evictions, albeit as supposed civilians, increase the powers and it will
> only be a question of time before all such evictions are taken out of the
> hands of the Under Sheriff and firmly placed with the armed forces.
> However I am a little confused by the wording of Schedule 9, which could
> refer only to NI or to the whole of the UK, at first reading it could be
> seen to be only NI, but it seems strange that parts of the Schedule are
> written in double paragraphs, this may simply be for preciseness, or it
> could be as I suspect intended for use in the whole of the UK. I attach
> Schedule 9 in appendix 1.
> Wireless receivers, are not mobile phones wireless receivers, does not
> nearly every radio these days have the capacity (or near capacity) to be a
> scanner. While it is abundantly clear what type of transmitter that the Bill
> refers to, the problem is it does not state so clearly, it simply says
> ‘wireless transmitter or scanner’. As with all law if you do not state
> precisely what the wording of the Act means, then anything can be
> interpreted from it. At the Stanworth Valley evictions (M65 Campaign), we
> made good use of CB radios (I also understand that this was the case with
> the M11 Campaign). They would under this law have the right to search for
> those radios, would this also mean down the tunnels !
> Disclosure of Information
> This could be very worrying to those with families, as it will be an offence
> not to disclose information to a constable about fundraising activities of
> terrorists. Remember that the support for even overseas terrorist is an
> offence, and raising funds for such organisations or individuals. So if we
> take the example that a husband/partner/wife is engaged in support for East
> Timor, the partner would be required to inform on them, or be guilty of an
> offence with a maximum prison sentence of 5 years.
> The offence is about reasonably suspecting, which is far short of actually
> knowing, and would include anyone, your work colleques, family, friends and
> those that you might do business with such as your bank manager, but
> excludes your legal advisor when he receives information in privileged
> circumstances- For the purpose of subsection (5) information is obtained by
> an adviser in privileged circumstances if it comes to him, otherwise than
> with a view to furthering a criminal purpose
> Tents
> A premises also includes a tent or movable structure Sec 116. Why they need
> to put this provision in anti terrorist legislation is strange to say the
> least, that is unless it is intended to be used against activists engaged in
> direct action occupation of development sites !
> Not liable in Law
> There is to be a code of practice that officers must follow (this applies
> to: (a) a constable,
> (b) a customs officer, and (c) an immigration officer.), but such officers
> will NOT be liable to criminal or civil proceedings. Sch 11 Sec 6(3):- The
> failure by an officer to observe a provision of a code shall not of itself
> make him liable to criminal or civil proceedings. But the fact that there is
> a Code will be admissible in Court as evidence, that is, it does not matter
> a toss what they get up to they are above the law, with a convenient code to
> hide behind.
> Information
> The Terrorist Bill is available on the Internet at:
> <http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm199900/cmbills/010/
> 20>http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm199900/cmbills/010
> /20
> 00100.htm
> http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm199900/cmbills/010/en
> /00010x--.htm
> The Original Consultation document is available at:
> http://www.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm41/4178/contents.htm
> Liberty can be contacted at:
> Liz Parratt
> Liberty
> 21 Tabard St
> London
> SE1 4LA
> 020 7403 3888
> liberty at gn.apc.org
> The Right to Protest Forum
> J-B Louveaux
> Flat 7
> 10a Airlie Gardens
> London
> WA8 7AL
> 0171-727-0590
> jbl at netlane.com

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