CTU Media Release 19 October 2007
CTU Calls for Repeal of Suppression of Terrorism Act
The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions biennial conference this week called for the Terrorism Suppression Act to be repealed, restating their original objection to the Act, that it could be used to suppress political expression.
“Normal criminal activity should be dealt with by the criminal law,” said Helen Kelly, CTU President. “While there is still more detail that needs to be known about some of the facts of recent events, regardless of what those facts turn out to be, the use of this law is unhelpful and is having the effect of making all political groups nervous about how this law is being and could be used.”
“The CTU does not support the use of firearms or any sort of weapons in political activity but equally it does not support the wide net approach which appears to have been used in recent days to intervene in the lawful activities of many peace, environmental and Māori political organisations. This “wide net” approach has been made possible by this terrorism law,” said Helen Kelly.
“Unions understand the importance of free speech and association and daily see the chilling effect laws like the Terrorism Suppression Act have internationally on political movements. We are concerned about the effect police actions, like those that have occurred in recent days, have on genuine expression of political dissent. The law leaves New Zealand wide open to this type of political oppression – we expressed our concern at the time and recent events confirm the need for this law to be repealed,” said Helen Kelly.