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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Do not let the State have these new powers!

Nationwide protests against surveillance bill
Protesters took to the streets this afternoon to protest against the Search and Surveillance Bill. Student Cameron Walker, who organised the Auckland rally, said the bill overturned many important liberties which were an essential part of a free and democratic society. "There's the Pork Board and WINZ and 70 other government agencies. It seems rather bizarre to give all those other agencies the same powers as the police," he told One News. The Search and Surveillance Bill, based on a 2007 Law Commission report, is currently before Parliament. It would extend search and surveillance powers currently held by the police to another 70 state agencies with law enforcement responsibilities, including the Fisheries Ministry, Work and Income and the Pork Board. The bill would also give police the power to get a "production order" and possibly compel someone to give evidence against their will. Opponents say it overturns important aspects of civil liberties. The Human Rights Commission, trade unions and several lawyers have already raised concerns about the bill. Auckland Civil Liberties president Barry Wilson fears a Select Committee will simply wave the bill through. "I'd be amazed if the bill underwent radical surgery despite opposition from state agencies such as Human Rights commission and a whole range of non-government bodies." He told One News: "Tomorrow is Anzac Day and there'll be a tremendous outpouring of sentiment remembering the people who died for basic freedoms in two world wars. What this bill does goes a long way to undermining those basic freedoms." Mr Wilson said submitters to the Select Committee only had ten minutes to put their views across. Demonstrations took place at Cathedral Square in Christchurch, Cuba St in Wellington and the Auckland Town Hall.

It was so good to see so many people turn up in Auckland yesterday at the protest and well done to the rest of the country. I honestly believe that as more NZers actually see what is in this Bill they will recoil in horror at the vastness of these new powers, it is the single largest erosion of civil liberties this country has EVER faced.

Brothers, sisters - FOLKS - Do not give the State these surveillance powers, it doesn't matter if you are left wing or right wing or in the middle. It doesn't matter if you are straight, Gay, Bi or Transgendered, it doesn't matter if your are white, brown, yellow, green, male or female - EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US as NZers should be against this expansion of state power into our lives.

Now while Chester Burrows (who is normally a good man and whom is smarter than this and whom rejects any criticism of the Bill by claiming that it is not the Bill's intent to expand power.


Well whoopy doo Mr Burrows, it may not be the Bill's 'intent' to expand vast new surveillance powers, but it sure as hell is the product! 70 State Departments gaining the power to arrest you, strip search you and spy on you with the barest of Judicial oversight is what this Bill cements into place, now it may not be your intent to expand power but it sure as hell is the consequence of this ill thought out draconian attack on our civil liberties.

We must stop this, the Bill is going through in October.


At 25/4/10 11:26 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We must stop this, the Bill is going through in October."

Try 2014 when the next Labour govnt gers in. But then again they were never a friend of civil liberties either.

At 25/4/10 2:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tv 3 reporting of the march was poor, bomber i thought u may have given us a heads up that these marches were on i had no idea, wasnt till i heard the news on radio nz that i found out.

At 25/4/10 2:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does this all mean? Will WINZ be able to search your home to make sure you live in the way you have said on your benefit forms? Will mental health workers be able to arrest patients who smoke a joint in their own home? What has happened to this country!!??

At 25/4/10 5:13 pm, Anonymous AAMC said...

I agree, I found out it was on via a post on this blog and then spotted a small poster on a lamp post. I was already committed to something which prevented participation. There needs to be a better understanding and use of PR and advertising within counter cultural movements in order to build some more serious momentum. Questionable endeavors but our adversaries use these things very effectively. Lots of people need to know these things are happening!

At 25/4/10 5:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was on the march yesterday .. about 100 people, not too bad i suppose. there is i feel a general lack of awareness of this Bill amongst the general public.

i think there is a good argument to keep state powers vested in the police, and even then, subject to strict oversight. the extension of these powers to numerous other state agencies is a real concern.

to Anon above, yes, that will mean for example, a dog control officer could obtain a warrant to enter your property, by force if necessary, to check if a dog is registered or not. hmm. do we really want that sort of thing?

there needs to be a better debate in this country about civil liberties and state powers. we don't have a very good civil liberties consciousness in this country anymore, it has been steadily eroded over the years. hysteria around crime (and the hope of catching more crims) seems to fool most people into accepting massive extensions to state powers.

that, and the old "I don't do anything wrong therefore I have nothing to fear" - to justify any amount of state interference and spying.

At 25/4/10 11:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And they used to harp on about Helen's "nenny state"!

At 26/4/10 1:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

said he and the others had been accused of being part of an "evil, terrorist group", but they were simply "victims of police who have over-active imaginations".There's the Pork Board and WINZ and 70 other government agencies

counter cultural movements hysteria around crime



At 26/4/10 2:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

based on a 2007 Law Commission report,



At 26/4/10 2:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Auckland Civil Liberties president Barry Wilson fears a Select Committee will simply wave the bill through.THIS GUY IS A DISTRICT INSPECTOR FOR "MENTAL HEALTH".CAN WE TRUST HIM?

At 26/4/10 10:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no need to worry about any mad ayatollah or taliban bin ladden bogeyman, we should be more scared of our own government!

At 27/4/10 10:10 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 27/4/10 8:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the old "I don't do anything wrong therefore I have nothing to fear" -
.. that's what the jews in Europe thought


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