Auckland Marches Against "Terror Suppression" Raid
Auckland Marches Against "Terror Suppression" Raids
By Joseph Barratt
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Growing momentum against recent police so-called “anti-terror” raids and opposition to the Terrorism Suppression Bill saw around 1000 protesters march to Mt Eden Prison this afternoon.
With African drums beating and people chanting, the protest marched to the prison to show their anger at police threats to charge the 17 activists arrested in recent police raids around the country with Terrorism Suppression Act offences.
Protests were planned around the world for today. Global Peace And Justice Auckland spokesperson John Minto said today the whole world was paying attention to New Zealand with protests on just about every continent.
Minto told the crowd many New Zealanders that live overseas see what effect increasing anti-terror laws are having where they are are now shocked to hear the same thing happening in New Zealand.
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Protesters leaving Aotea Square on the march to MT Eden Prison today - INFONEWS.CO.NZ IMAGE
Green Party MP Keith Locke told the crowd Terrorism Suppression Act 2003, which is presently being amended in Parliament, is not about combating Islamic terrorists.
“It was about controlling the sort of people that are here today. People that have a social conscience and care about the world.”
He then called on people to write to their Members of Parliament asking them to vote against new amendments to the Terrorism Suppression Act before it passes its third reading and becomes law.
“The government is an all too willing recruit to George W. Bush’s war on terror,” he said.
Barry Wilson from the Auckland Council of Civil Liberties agreed saying, “people who care about making a better world are under attack.”
“It was activists that helped keep New Zealand out of the Iraq war,” he said.
Among other changes under the proposed new legislation the New Zealand Prime Minister will have the power to designate terrorist groups without any court review.
The new legislation also removes the provision allowing people to support groups designated as terrorist groups if their goals are human rights and democracy.
Opponents say that if this legislation had been in place in 1981 then potentially it would have made it illegal to support the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and to support the African National Congress in South Africa in its struggle to end apartheid.