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.
NOT THE BILL'S INTENT?
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.