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Friday, June 09, 2006

GUEST BLOG: Symbolic protest action

-------------------------GUEST BLOGGER: M BRADBURY------------------------

Tim Selwyn should never have been charged with Sedition, let alone get convicted on it. The act he committed was a protest action against a Government intent on confiscation via legislation. The axe through the window was a symbolic protest action NOT an attempt to overthrow the rule of law and burn Parliament to the ground. Yes the axe through the window was an unlawful action, but Sedition must be more than unlawful acts, it must show an intent to create 'lawlessness' a-la East Timor. The threshold for Sedition is incredibly high, and the Crown case was no where near that.

The fact the Police brought these charges against Mr Selwyn surprised many commentators, but I believe it is a trend since September 11th that our security apparatus have been advancing by putting flesh to powers that control or contain 'terrorism' by creating test cases from our supposed domestic threats. Look at how the Animal Rights activists were targeted by the Threat Assessment Unit - a Police body set up to evaluate terrorists with special powers granted to them by new legislation. Look at how Ahmed Zaoui will now face secret trials with evidence his lawyers aren't even allowed to look at and the Media are not allowed to comment on. And look at Tim Selwyn, a man who made a conscientious stand against a piece of
legislation aimed at stealing ownership away from Maori, charged with Sedition.

There is a new Secret Police in NZ, hunting the threat from within, fuelled by the supposed threat from outside. They no doubt see such actions as justifiable by creating the legal thresholds they will need should terrorism ever reach our shores. But people with secret powers have always argued the ends justify the means, and free societies have always paid the price.

Freedom of Speech was limited by the state yesterday, yet the top news story was traffic jams caused by people desperate to shop at a new mall. Perhaps we get what we deserve.

Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury



At 9/6/06 3:01 pm, Blogger Russell Brown said...

I've been reading around a bit, and the sedition situation in Australia since they passed their "anti terror" legislation last year is quite alarming: much broader definitions, the removal of some defences altogether, etc.

The thing I find notable is the basically universal agreement across the political spectrum of local bloggers. Tim, you've brought the blogosphere together ...

BTW, we'll be discussing the case in that well-known crucible of constitutional debate, The Panel with Jim Mora, today.


At 11/6/06 3:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

somewhere along the line i got the feeling ths state didn't know how to deal with this protest offence, and that the sedition thing was all they could use, lets face it when i am napoleon and tj is sir tim, throwing the axw will still be dangerous,

At 11/6/06 7:24 pm, Blogger steve martin said...

Holy shit!


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