Thursday, April 06, 2006

Grannies: the new terrorist threat

Over the past five years, the UK has progressively tightened its anti-terror legislation in response to new threats to the life of the nation. First it was anti-war protestors, then people who heckled the Prime Minister or wore T-shirts with "anti-Blair info". And now they've finally been able to crack down on a real terrorist threat: grandmothers. Helen John (68) and Sylvia Boyes (62) were arrested on Saturday after deliberately breaching the perimeter of the US military base at Menwith Hill as part of a peaceful protest. Where previously they would have been escorted from the base and faced a trespass order, under the recently passed Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, they were detained for 12 hours, and are now facing prosecution for terrorism. If convicted, they could spend up to a year in jail or be fined up to 5000 pounds. It seems that Lord Hoffman was right when he said that

The real threat to the life of the nation, in the sense of a people living in accordance with its traditional laws and political values, comes not from terrorism but from laws such as these.

In the name of defending freedom, the Blair government has become a serious threat to the ordinary everyday freedom of its citizens. But saying that is probably "terrorism".


They broke the law - a peaceful protest is where people demostrate without breaking the law.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/07/2006 12:32:00 PM

I disagree. Just to point out the screamingly obvious, the law can criminalise even protests where no bricks are thrown, no windows are broken, and no-one is attacked. Which is exactly what this law does.

In a democracy, the freedom to protest is paramount. Blair is not just infringing it - he's classifying it as "terrorism". Bluntly, this is what they do in totalitarian states like Belarus - not supposed democracies like the UK.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 4/07/2006 05:35:00 PM