|Urgent Action||14 July 2000|
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Two pieces of draconian legislation are being pushed through Parliament by Jack Straw that will seriously curtail democracy within the UK.
Wishing to protect your privacy will soon be a criminal offence.
The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Bill will place controls on the use of encryption. Failure to provide keys could lead to two years in gaol, tipping someone off that their e-mail is being monitored five years (or even who they communicate with). The proposals as they stand are a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). Jack Straw is granting himself the kinds of powers Robert Mugabe could only fantasise about.
One of the grounds for demanding keys will be if your action is in opposition to UK economic policy!
Please fax or write to your MP asking that he oppose this draconian legislation.
Also see SchNEWS 253, RIP IT UP.
If you are an activist, demonstrate against government policy, you will soon be treated as a terrorist.
The Prevention of Terrorism Bill should be opposed (unless of course you wish to be classed as a terrorist). Temporary legislation (annual renewal) covering Northern Ireland only, will soon be made permanent and cover whole of UK. Terrorism will be redefined. GM crop trashing would be an act of terrorism. Under this legislation, if arrested, you have very few rights.
Also see SchNEWS 242. It's an ongoing topic so probably in other issues too.
Are you digging a tunnel to prevent a road from being built through your neighbourhood? Have you pulled up a few Genetically modified crops from your local test site? Maybe you spoke at a meeting where a member of the Animal Liberation Front, for example, also spoke? Well I'm afraid to tell you that you are soon to be deemed a TERRORIST!
Are you opposing TAG, are you opposing corporate policy, are you opposing government policy? If yes, then you too could be branded a terrorist. Your e-mail will be monitored, those with whom you are in contact duly logged and added to the list of those to be monitored.
All those who attended the BVFoE demos against TAG earlier in the year were filmed by the police.
We are moving into a police state that was not possible in Communist Russia. Protest, a legitimate process of democracy, will soon not be possible.
Other attacks on democracy that are coming from Jack Straw include the denial of the right of silence when on trial, denial of the right to trial by jury, denial of access to government information, denial of the right to travel abroad.
A democracy can only function when there is fully informed public participation, when the citizen is protected from the powers of the state.
Please see the BVEJ July 2000 newsletter (# 0002) for further coverage.
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