British government attacks civil liberties


This video from Britain says about itself:

Taking Liberties [Full Film]

The shocking truth about the erosion of our fundamental civil liberties by Tony Blair’s government will be exposed this summer in TAKING LIBERTIES, released on DVD in the UK cinemas by Revolver Entertainment October 15th 2007. Right to Protest, Right to Freedom of Speech. Right to Privacy. Right not to be detained without charge, Innocent Until Proven Guilty. Prohibition from Torture.

TAKING LIBERTIES will reveal how these six central pillars of liberty have been systematically destroyed by New Labour, and the freedoms of the British people stolen from under their noses amidst a climate of fear created by the media and government itself.

TAKING LIBERTIES uncovers the stories the government don’t want you to hear — so ridiculous you will laugh, so ultimately terrifying you will want to take action. Teenage sisters detained for 36 hours for a peaceful protest; an RAF war veteran arrested for wearing an anti-Bush and Blair T-shirt; an innocent man shot in a police raid; and a man held under house arrest for two years, after being found innocent in court. Ordinary law-abiding citizens being punished for exercising their ‘rights’ — rights that have been fought for over centuries, and which seem to have been extinguished in a decade.

By Jordan Shilton in Britain:

UK government counter-terrorism bill would criminalize speech, political activity

18 May 2015

The Conservative government in Britain is preparing to enact new legislation that, under the guise of the “war on terror,” will vastly expand police-state powers and essentially criminalize speech and other political activity.

Presented officially as an anti-terrorism bill, the proposed measures will be targeted at any popular opposition to the government’s policies of aggressive militarism abroad and austerity measures in Britain.

Following his party’s victory in the May 7 general election, Prime Minister David Cameron announced the proposal at last week’s National Security Council (NSC) meeting. The meeting, chaired by Cameron, brings together leading government officials with the heads of Britain’s security agencies.

The new bill will include a series of measures targeting groups and individuals deemed by the government to be “extremist.” This term is defined so vaguely as to encompass a wide array of political activity.

The new bill will create extremist “disruption orders” for individuals and “banning orders” for groups. The targets for these new police powers will be those who have conducted “harmful” behaviour.

According to the Guardian, the “harmful” behaviour covers activities that pose “a risk of public disorder, a risk of harassment, alarm or distress or creating a ‘threat to the functioning of democracy’.”

This will be used to criminalise campaigns critical of government policy and protests, which are frequently dispersed by the police on precisely the grounds that they disrupt public order. The language also indicates that the government would have the authority to target those merely planning such activity prior to it taking place.

Extremist disruption orders will permit the government to take action against individuals considered to have engaged in such harmful behaviour, or whom the government claims have attempted to “radicalise” youth.

The orders contain bans on individuals broadcasting their views on television, and anyone subject to an order will be compelled to submit any written publication, including social media posts, to the police before it is printed. In addition, the orders will make it illegal for individuals to attend or address public gatherings or protests.

OffCom, the broadcast regulator, is to be given powers to move against channels judged to be broadcasting “extremist” material. The charity commission will be able to take action against charities that “fund terrorism.”

Banning orders will allow the government to outlaw “extremist” organisations. If such a move is taken, anyone found to be a member of the organisation will be guilty of a criminal offence. Authorities will also be able to shut down premises used by groups to promote “extremism.”

Human rights group Privacy International branded the new proposal as an “assault on the rights of ordinary British citizens.”

Islamist groups will not be the main focus of the new law. As the Guardian’s home affairs editor wrote in an analysis of the proposal, “the official definition of non-violent extremism is already wide-ranging and, as Big Brother Watch has pointed out, the national extremism database already includes the names of people who have done little more than organise meetings on environmental issues.”

The requirement that the government apply to the courts to obtain such orders will do little to prevent their abuse. The government has repeatedly invoked national security considerations to present evidence to the courts in secret. It even intended to hold an entire terrorism trial in secret last year before abandoning it at the last minute. The declaration of a national security threat would thus permit government claims about an individual or group to go unchallenged in the courts by an independent lawyer, since the only individuals allowed access to such information are government-appointed legal representatives.

Together with a sweeping attack on democratic rights and legal norms, the Conservatives’ anti-terror bill will further advance the government’s right-wing agenda of whipping up anti-immigrant sentiment. New powers will be established to deny immigrants entry on the grounds of preaching extremist views.

Cameron’s proposals make clear that the Conservatives are determined to vastly expand the repressive powers of the state, including by reintroducing the controversial “snooper’s charter” which would grant intelligence agencies the power to conduct mass surveillance and store data from emails and other internet data from social networking sites and messaging services. It will also allow authorities to access encrypted messages.

Cameron claimed that the UK has been a “‘passively tolerant society’ for too long, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.”

This extraordinary declaration is a backhanded acknowledgement that those who Cameron intends to target with the new law have committed no crime under the existing legal system.

“This government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach. As the party of one nation, we will govern as one nation and bring our country together. That means actively promoting certain values. Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law. Equal rights regardless of race, gender or sexuality,” Cameron proclaimed.

Cameron’s reference to “one nation” were especially sinister. It suggests that anyone challenging the political interests of the British ruling class and championing the rights and interests of the working class will be targeted for surveillance and repression.

The “values” Cameron talks about promoting are precisely those that have been used by successive governments to wage aggressive wars abroad to uphold British imperialist interests, and carry through an assault on social and democratic rights at home.

These policies have seen British imperialism, alongside American imperialism, aligned with some of the very Islamist forces it now seeks to present as the greatest threat to the country. In the 2011 regime change operation in Libya, Britain participated in the NATO bombing campaign that toppled the Gaddafi regime, while supplying weapons to Islamist groups in the country. Many of these groups had ties to Al Qaida and later moved to Syria with CIA support, where some elements came together to form the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The assertion that Britain has been “passively tolerant” for too long is a lie. The entire political establishment, including the opposition Labour Party, has been complicit in erecting the framework of a police state in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and the London bombings in 2005.

The Labour government under Tony Blair brought forward “anti-terror” measures in 2001 that included wide-ranging police powers to detain suspects for crimes committed under an expanded definition of terrorism. In 2006, a further law allowed the prosecution of those “encouraging” terrorism, which saw individuals put on trial purely for making statements or posting videos online that had no connection to a specific terrorist attack.

However, the push to go even further has been growing for some time. In the wake of the attacks on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo earlier this year, political figures and intelligence operatives criticised Britain’s anti-terror laws for not doing enough to monitor the Internet.

The planned actions in the UK are part of an escalating international assault on democratic rights. Earlier this month, the French National Assembly passed legislation sanctioning mass spying and other police state measures. Also this month, the Canadian House of Commons passed the “Anti-Terror Act,” which gave the state vast new powers, including the ability to target any activities declared a danger to “national security.”

THE full extent of the Tory plans to smash up the right to free speech was revealed yesterday by an unlikely source, the new Tory business secretary, Sajid Javid. In a leaked memo to David Cameron, dated 12 May, Javid makes clear his opposition to Home Secretary May’s proposal to vet every television programme before they are transmitted and ban the broadcasting of anything deemed by the Tory government to be ‘extremist’: here.

Surveillance of young British Muslims by parents and police seeking to counter radicalisation is “McCarthyite” and a “danger to everybody,” campaigners warned yesterday. The comments come after Britain’s most senior Muslim policeman said that “private space” should be scrutinised for signs exhibited by children as young as five: here.

15 thoughts on “British government attacks civil liberties

  1. Many believe Britain has becoming a police state by design of the establishment over some decades, we must remember the British public are culpable in cooperating with this outcome either they have become asleep or and being alarmed now struck with fear have become unable or paralyzed to make the effort towards change.

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  2. LIBERTY director Shami Chakrabarti warned yesterday the Tory attacks on human rights could spark a return to the apartheid of South Africa.

    The human rights campaigner and lawyer reminded Equity delegates that in 1965 it called on its members not to support apartheid in South Africa.

    But Ms Chakrabarti said Conservative plans to axe the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights amounted to “British rights for British workers.”

    She warned that once a government starts determining who is more deserving of human rights it will start treating people as less than human, risking a return to the apartheid in South Africa.

    “We need your help again to save human rights,” she told delegates at the acting union.

    “Why should human rights abuses around the world be an excuse for wars when they are being attacked at home?”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-9b3a-Equity-Conference-Liberty-fears-Tory-plans-to-erode-rights#.VVrv3EZZN1Q

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  3. From the USA:

    Hi friend. Just wanted to check in and make sure you’ve signed our petition urging Congress to repeal the Patriot Act.

    The USA Freedom Act passed the House last week, and although it takes some good first steps, it just doesn’t go far enough to protect Americans’ privacy. So we’re pushing Congress to consider an alternative act: The Surveillance State Repeal Act, which would actually repeal the Patriot Act.

    There is bipartisan support in the House for repealing the Patriot Act, as well as support from privacy advocates and whistle-blowers like Daniel Ellsberg.

    Help us put pressure on Congress to enact real privacy reforms by passing the SSRA and repealing the Patriot Act. Sign our petition.

    http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=11245&tag=BLee20150511&track=BLee20150511

    Thanks,

    —Team Lee

    —- Begin Forwarded Message —-

    Dear fellow activist,

    On Wednesday, the House passed the USA Freedom Act, which reauthorizes portions of the Patriot Act through 2019. The Act was billed as a way to put limits on the Patriot Act, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough in protecting Americans’ civil liberties. That’s why I voted no.

    House progressives have proposed a real solution: The Surveillance State Repeal Act, which would do exactly as it says: Repeal the Patriot Act. This month, the Progressive Fund is teaming up with RootsAction to urge Congress to take action on ending mass surveillance by repealing the Patriot Act and passing the SSRA.

    Under the USA Freedom Act the NSA is still able to access Americans’ privileged phone conversations as long as they have a reasonable suspicion that those conversations are related to international terrorism. That’s an incredibly flimsy level of justification that can be easily abused.

    Congress should be considering legislation that truly protects Americans’ privacy, and this legislation does not go far enough. Sign our petition urging Congress to pass the Surveillance State Repeal Act and repeal the Patriot Act once and for all.

    Thank you,

    Barbara Lee

    Like

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  8. Monday, 27 July 2015

    UK Martial Law plan

    A REPORT published in error on National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) website and quickly taken down, has revealed a secret plan for the deployment of 5,000 armed troops on the streets of the UK.

    The military contingency plan, codenamed Operation Temperer, is revealed in the minutes of a NPCC meeting held on April 22nd at a hotel in Leicester. The plan would see troops guard key targets alongside armed police, providing ‘protective security’ against further attacks while troops and counter-terror experts and MI5 officers hunted down alleged terrorist plotters.

    After this year’s Paris massacres, senior police officers discussed raising the terror threat level in Britain from ‘severe’ to the highest level of ‘critical’, meaning a terror attack is ‘imminent’ rather than ‘highly likely’. Under the heading ‘Counter Terrorism Post Paris Large Scale Military Support to the Police’, the NPCC meeting minutes reveal that deputy chief constable Simon Chesterman, the ‘national lead’ for armed policing, briefed the other chief officers.

    The paper says up to 5,100 military personnel could be deployed ‘based upon force assessments of how many military officers could augment armed police officers engaged in protective security duties’. The minutes add: ‘Discussions were ongoing with government,’ saying: ‘Chiefs recognised that the army played an important part in national resilience and supported the work going forward.’

    Yesterday it was revealed that prime minister Cameron has ordered that plans be drawn up for a new military intervention in Libya to take the fight to IS.

    Days after the Tunisia beach massacre last month, security forces and emergency services held a major training exercise called Exercise Strong Tower which Cameron said would ‘test and refine the UK’s preparedness for dealing with a serious terrorist attack’.

    http://wrp.org.uk/news/11177

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    • Britain having a history of bad karma we must ask ourselves is it surprising terrorism is at such a high level? the unfortunate activity of the terrorist campaign is they focus on soft targets such as the common people rather than targets of significance, this is because terrorist are unable to get to salient targets, and worst this targeting of the general public creates a police state that tends to amalgamate police and military becoming proactive and thus the individual loses individual freedom and also the cost of taxation becomes more expensive.
      I am not suggesting anarchistic as a power structure to overthrow the present elite of the rich, the problem with this solution is the new order becomes the same as those who are over thrown, what this shows is the truth of what the elite is? that is a primeval structure that by chance and opportunity has risen to power rather than a intelligent mind set that has the ability to have vision and rises above corruption and a a major contribution would be to above nationalism, globalism is not the same as wise steward government of our planet and resources rather than as at present cartels who monopolize resources and govern propaganda all for the most base outcome often resulting in violence of the individual and widespread violence as seen in Syria of some four hundred thousand killed or murdered in so called war and a toll of some million injured, this is all part of our present elite planning this destruction not for the betterment of the people of these countries but for profiteering for the elite.

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  9. Monday, 27 July 2015

    Martial Law plan for the UK as Cameron plans to strike Libya

    THE capitalist press over the weekend was full of ‘revelations’ concerning ‘Operation Temperer’ a plan drawn up by police chiefs to put Britain under Martial Law, with 5,000 armed troops ready and trained to support the police in massive operations against terrorists, or a terror attack that the state alleges is about to take place, and wants to pre-empt.

    In such an operation civil and democratic rights and the rule of law will be the first casualty as the police and the army move into action to kill terrorists or terrorist suspects (people who get in the way – remember Jean Charles de Menezes).

    The only law will be ‘Martial Law’, with army officers the judge and jury. The plans of the UK’s police chiefs go hand in hand with the rapid evolution of Cameron as a would-be ‘war leader’ in the service of President Obama.

    Cameron has announced to his media friends that he is ready to strike Libya after the murder of British tourists in Tunisia by IS forces allegedly trained in Libya. The immediate problem with Cameron’s new adventure is that there are any number of ‘governments’ in Libya, and any intervention by the UK in the air or on the ground would not be at the invitation of the Libyan people.

    This imperialist invasion would be a continuation of the disastrous 2011 intervention when, with Cameron in the van, NATO organised the Libyan Islamists to overthrow and murder Colonel Gadaffi, destroying what was a prosperous and advanced country and handing it over to Al Qaeda and then IS armed gangs.

    That failed intervention and the following failed intervention in Syria is responsible for the mass movement of hundreds of thousands of would-be migrants across the Mediterranian. These migrants have been drowned in their thousands. This disaster is the responsibility of the Cameron and other NATO governments. They are responsible for the mass drownings that would have been impossible under Colonel Gadaffi.

    Destroying Libya and then Syria is not enough for Cameron. He now wants to continue with the imperialist wars against the Arab peoples. The rise of the IS and other terrorist groups, and the willingness of many young British people to act as their suicide bombers, is the responsibility of Cameron and other imperialist leaders – it is their wars that have done it!

    A new UK attack on Libya and Syria will provoke terrorist actions in London and the UK, as Cameron and the police chiefs well know. They, however, intend to proceed. In fact, this attempt to enslave the Arab peoples is leading directly to the emergence of a military police dictatorship at home. Already MPs have been told that the Wilson Doctrine, under which their privacy as far as communications is concerned, has been scrapped as out of date.

    Already the British people are the most spied on in the world, with Cameron classifying anti-imperialist opinions as being responsible for terrorism and therefore, in themselves, criminal. The scene is being set for Martial Law in the streets where democratic rights are seen as an aid to terrorism, and therefore have to be suspended indefinitely.

    However, the war will not be directed just against ‘bomb throwing terrorists’ and those whose ideas are held to be supports for terrorism. The Tory government is determined to bring in new anti-union laws to make strikes illegal. This will see strikers being criminalised and their strikes being termed as terrorist actions, doing more damage to the country than bomb-throwers.

    The truth is that the bodies of armed men and the anti-terror forces, will be used against the working class and the trade unions at home, and also against the youth. The Police Chiefs are sure that ahead are major youth rebellions against the massive daily attacks on youth – that will have to be dealt with.

    The truth is that the enemy of the working class and the youth is the British ruling class, the same enemy that the Arab peoples face. Putting an end to terrorism will require overthrowing the British ruling class with a socialist revolution to end the terror that British imperialism has imposed on the world for more than a century.

    http://wrp.org.uk/news/11175

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