Posts Tagged ‘Sweet’s Way’

Labour May Oppose Cameron’s Anti-Terrorism Bill if too Draconian

October 19, 2015

The Guardian has reported today that Labour’s Andy Burnham has said that they will oppose the government’s new anti-terrorism laws if they are too harsh. The article begins

Labour has signalled it is prepared to oppose new surveillance and counter-terrorism legislation if it is too heavy-handed, as David Cameron announces more details about his anti-terror strategy such as measures to prevent teenagers travelling to join Isis.

Andy Burnham, the shadow home secretary, said Labour will support legislation that is “reasonable and proportionate” but stressed the party had a duty to make sure the government gets the balance right.

He warned Cameron to proceed with the utmost caution and make sure his laws do not fuel “resentment, division and a sense of victimisation”, especially among Britain’s Muslim population.

Cameron is planning to spell out more details of his strategy on Monday, as well as making the case for two new pieces of law – the investigatory powers bill and a counter-terrorism bill.

As part of the overall strategy, he will extend the powers of parents to cancel their children’s passports if they are worried that their children may be about to travel to Syria or Iraq to join Islamic State. The powers that currently apply to under-16s will now be rolled out to all those under-18.

There will also be new measures to automatically bar convicted terrorists from working with children and vulnerable people. Cameron will also announce that suspected jihadi returning from Syria and Iraq will be forced to attend classes to address their support for extremist ideology.

The article can be read at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/19/labour-warns-cameron-surveillance-and-anti-terror-laws-andy-burnham-counter-terrorism

The passage of unnecessarily and excessively harsh legislation under the pretext of combating terrorism by the Tories is a real threat. They’ve already passed laws providing for Kafkaesque secret courts, in which the accused may not know what he is charged with, the evidence against him, or even who his accusers are, if the information is considered sensitive and its divulgence a threat to national security. The have furthermore passed domestic legislation severely curtailing the right to peaceful protest and to go on strike. In the latter, trade unions on picket lines must give their names to the police. And Daniel Gardonyi, a Hungarian man involved in the Sweet’s Way protest, has been threatened with deportation despite the fact that he has not been charged with any offence.

The government has shown itself repeatedly more than willing to use the threat of terrorism to clamp down on domestic dissent. Burnham is absolutely correct to show that Labour is determined here to do something to protect civil liberties if the Tories threaten them further here.

Hungarian Protester Threatened with Deportation despite Innocent of any Crime

October 19, 2015

Mike over at Vox Political has blogged about this story, featured in this Saturday’s Guardian. Daniel Gardonyi, a Hungarian man involved in the Sweet’s Way protest, has been threatened with deportation by the Home Office despite not having been charged with any offence. The article begins:

Lawyers for Hungarian-born man say Home Office threat appears to be illegal and jeopardises right to peaceful protest. A political activist arrested but not charged during peaceful protests is facing illegal deportation from the UK, his lawyer has claimed.

It is thought to be the first case of its kind and has raised serious concerns that the right to peaceful protest, which is enshrined in English law, is being eroded.

Daniel Gardonyi, 34, is Hungarian but has lived in the UK for several years. He is self-employed and has been involved in several high-profile protests, including the occupation of Friern Barnet library in north London and the Sweets Way housing occupation in the borough of Barnet.

He was arrested during the recent Sweets Way protest but not charged with any offence. He then received a letter from the Home Office threatening to remove him from the UK as part of Operation Nexus, a joint police and Home Office operation designed to arrest and deport criminals from other parts of the EU living in the UK.

Lawyers say they believe it is the first time Operation Nexus has been used to target a law-abiding political protester rather than a foreign national offender.

Gardonyi’s solicitor, Daniel Furner, said parts of the letter to Gardonyi threatening to deport him appeared to be unlawful. “It appears that our client has been specifically and systematically targeted as a result of his peaceful, political activities in the UK.”

The full article can be read at http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/oct/17/law-abiding-activist-faces-deportation-from-uk.

This has serious implications for British constitutional freedoms. It shows that the government is willing to clamp down on protestors even when they have not committed a criminal offence. The decision to deport Mr Gardonyi is illegal. It looks like the authorities are determined to punish him for his participation any way they can, and have settled on deportation as they cannot jail him. No doubt they are hoping that they’ll be able to get away with this due to the fact that as foreigner, he doesn’t quite have the same social links and status as native Brits. It hardly needs to be said that if the Home Office gets away with this, they will use it on other foreign born protestors. Previous examples of the way this government has tried to deport foreign citizens has shown how ruthless they are. Some of these cases involve people, who have been here for many years, and are respectable, taxpaying citizens. This counts for nothing.

Furthermore, the crackdown on foreigners joining British protests is only the thin end of the wedge. If the government can break the law to deport a man without charge, then it won’t be long before they break the law to arrest and imprison British citizens for protesting. Cameron and the Tories have already passed legislation demanding that strikers on a picket line should give their names to the police. They and their Lib Dem enablers also set up a system of secret courts, in which those charged may not know who their accusers are, or what the evidence against them is, if the government considers this ‘sensitive’ information.

David Davies attacked the government’s legislation against the unions as ‘Francoist’. He is absolutely right, and this is another totalitarian measure by a government determined to suppress all dissent.