Friday, October 16, 2009

Climate change: We are all terrorists now

Worried about the environment? Want the government to actually act on climate change? That makes you a terrorist, according to the UK police:

Terror legislation was used to stop a British climate change activist from travelling to Denmark, it has emerged.

Chris Kitchen, 31, said he was prevented from crossing the border on Tuesday at about 5pm when the coach he was travelling on stopped at the Folkestone terminal of the Channel Tunnel.

Mr Kitchen told the Guardian that police officers boarded the coach and, after checking all passengers' passports, took him and another climate activist to be interviewed under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, a clause which enables border officials to stop and search individuals to determine if they are connected to terrorism.

He was asked what he intended to do in Copenhagen and also about his family, work and past political activity.

Mr Kitchen said he pointed out that anti-terrorist legislation did not apply to environmental activists but said the officer replied that terrorism "could mean a lot of things".

And so the UK has now joined the list of countries - like Fiji and the former Soviet Union - which restrict their people's freedom of movement based on their political views. Meanwhile, the conflation of democratic participation and public protest - already well-advanced in the UK - continues.