ALP's new "Terror Bill"

Kim Bullimore k_bullimore at
Tue Nov 19 20:19:23 MST 2002

The New South Wales Labor Party government is currently sprinting to be the
first state government in Australia to bring draconian anti-terror laws.
The new laws were approved by the Government State Cabinet on Monday night
(see article from  the DAily Telegraph below).

This comes quick on the heel of Michael Costa, the ALP Minister for Police
banning all street protests in NSW for two weeks while the WTO meet in
Sydney and his attempt to demonise a public seminar called Civil
Disobedience Today (hosted by a Green MLA) on the front page of the Daily
Terror (sorry....the Murdock rag - The Daily Telegraph).

During the  state ALP government ban on marches, a journalist, Patricia
Kavelis was trampled, along with a couple of other independent journalists
from Actively Radical Television,  when police on horse charged the peaceful

The Police attempted to enforce the ban, the day after the WTo protests had
finished  at a local Socialist Alliance rally against the war (held in
Bankstown).  Despite SA giving the cops notification of the rally two weeks
prior and gaining local council permission to hold the rally in the town
plaza, the local cops rang the various community speakers from the Arab and
Muslim community and told them the rally was illegal and we did not have
council approval (but some how forgot ring us and tell us).

Eventually, one of our members managed to get onto the cops and was informed
that the rally would not be granted a permit.  When we made it clear we
would go ahead anyway, the cops personally delivered a letter at 9.30 pm
that evening  to our contact person,  "officially" denying permission to
hold the rally.

The rally the next day, which attracted around 80 -100 people was attended
by 10 cops, including members of the TRG (tactical reponse) and either
federal police or ASIO, who spent the entire two hours filming everyone who
attended the very peaceful rally.   One of the young  Arabic men who
attended the rally that his father heard an announcement on the local Arabic
radio saying the rally was illegal (it seems the cops must have sent them a
press release or contacted the radio  in an attempt to scare away the any
body from the local community from coming).

It should be pointed out that the local Arab community and Muslim community
has been under sustained racist attack for the past year - as a result of
not only September 11 and the Bali bombings (the Asio raids on Indonesia
muslims were carried out in the local area) but also because a series of
terrible gang rapes committed by a number of  Australian Lebanese males.  As
a result the  communities have born the brunt of the racist attacks whipped
up by the war on terror, the Bali bombing and by the racialising of the
rapes and are  feeling very vulnerable and are terrified about being
ostracised and attacked.

The police actions clearly sought to exploit the vunerability of the local
community by attempting to scare them into not supporting the action.
However, all of the community speakers from the local Muslim, Arab and Greek
community were totally outraged at the behaviour of the cops and made their
opinion known during their speeches.

No doubt we will have more such police behaviour (and worse) to look forward
  if (when?)  the ALP's terror bill get up.

Kim Bullimore

By BEN ENGLISH, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

POLICE will be able to search terrorist suspects without warrants under
sweeping anti-terror laws approved by State
Cabinet last night.

Under the Terrorism (Police Powers) Bill, police will be given special
pre-emptive powers to deal with an emergency
terrorist alarm.

If police have reasonable grounds to believe there is an imminent threat of
a terrorist attack or a terrorist attack has
occurred, the Police Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner can authorise the
use of the special powers.

The powers can be used on a specified person, vehicle, premises or area, The
Daily Telegraph has learned.

The Bill will also reinstate the same powers that were temporarily enacted
during the Olympic Games. This enables
NSW to call on the army, navy or air force to protect would-be terror

But the Bill will not extend existing State limits on detention of suspects
-- now set at up to 10 hours.

Instead, suspects may be detained for longer periods under separate proposed
laws that transfer authority to federal
agencies, such as ASIO.

Federal Parliament is examining a proposed expansion of ASIO's powers that
includes the detention of suspects for up
to 48 hours without legal advice.

The Terrorism Bill represents Premier Bob Carr's first legislative response
to the Bali bombings.

It comes after the formation of a 70-strong NSW Police Counter Terrorism
Co-Ordination Command last month.

It is understood the Bill has been modelled on powerful anti-terrorism laws
introduced in the United Kingdom by the
Blair Government last year.

There, the wide-ranging powers of arrest allow a maximum period of detention
without charge of seven days.

It also empowers police to:

* Detain foreigners without trial, if there is "reasonable suspicion" they
are or have links with "terrorists";

* Prosecute activists for revealing (for instance) information about nuclear
sites or movement of nuclear material in
Britain or on a British ship, if such a disclosure might "prejudice the
security" of that site;

* Trawl any government departmental files without court authorisation;

* Demand disclosure of activists' files, phone calls and faxes;

* Charge activists for not revealing information about "terrorism";

* Use "reasonable force" to take photos of activists;

* Demand activists remove items of clothing believed to be used to conceal

The State Government's Cabinet Committee on Counter Terrorism will meet a
top FBI official today to discuss lessons
learned from September 11 and subsequent attacks.

The head of the FBI's Hazardous Materials Response Unit, John Fraga, will
brief the committee.

It comprises Mr Carr, Treasurer Michael Egan, Attorney-General Bob Debus and
Police Minister Michael Costa.

Mr Fraga, whose unit specialises in biological, nuclear and chemical
weapons, is leading a three-day counter-terrorism
conference in Sydney.

About 70 police, defence, ambulance and fire specialists from around the
nation yesterday converged on Sydney to
attend the three-day conference.

They have been hearing first-hand how the FBI gathered material from the
World Trade Centre site rubble and pieced
together the puzzle left by the anthrax saboteurs.

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