Saturday, August 11, 2007

Inspector Knacker on the alert

The Guardian leads with the story that the police are to use anti-terrorism laws - section 44 of the Terrorism Act (2000) - to "deal robustly" (a charming euphemism) with anti-climate change protesters. The police will use stop-and-search powers and can, in theory, hold people for up to a month without charge. One climate change protester - Christina Fraser - was held for 30 hours after being arrested while cycling near Heathrow airport. Liberty are making the perfectly reasonable point that such laws should be used to counter the threat of terrorism and should "not be used routinely against peaceful demonstrators". It was under section 44 that the notorious terrorist Walter ("The Jackal") Wolfgang was briefly detained after having the temerity to heckle Jack Straw at the 2005 Labour Party Conference (thus waking half the audience). Cycling? Heckling? These terrorists will stop at nothing.


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