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New Labour™ Conference: 82yr Old Dissenter Forcibly Ejected

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  • David Mosley
    Isn't this called 'bringing the law into disrepute'? Ironic that it should be the very people who are supposed to be enforcing the law that should be doing this.

    the letter from the procurator fiscal’s office, which said that she would not be prosecuted even though “the evidence is sufficient to justify bringing you before the court on this criminal charge�.
    If there is 'sufficient evidence ' to justify bring a prosection against someone then they really ought to be prosecuted. Is there any other law where the justice system says 'we have enough evidence but we're not going to prosecute you'? :x

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  • Hawksun
    So far, I believe of the thousand-odd people arrested or detained under recent anti-terror legislation, a grand total of one person has actually been sent to court.

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  • Jules
    I believe Liberty are absolutely desperate for them to actually incorrectly charge (rather than arrest) someone under this act, so they can run it through the courts and actually get it proven to be the bad piece of law that it is.

    It's notable that when it was introduced, we were assured that it would only be used in the defence of the nation. Rather than when PC plod can't think of anything else and pulls out the Millennial version of the 'suss' laws (for those too young to remember or not UK based - 'suspicious behavior'. Actually many people outside the UK still have that type of law).

    But it's turning very much into 'If there's a gun in Act 1, you can sure it will have gone off by Act 3'

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  • Pietro_Mercurios
    That anti-terrorist legislation seems to come in handy for just about anything:,00.html

    Two wheels: good. Two legs: terrorist suspect
    October 17, 2005
    By David Lister, Scotland Correspondent

    WITH her year-round tan, long blonde hair and designer clothes, Sally Cameron does not look like a threat to national security.

    But the 34-year-old property developer has joined the ranks of Britain’s most unlikely terrorist suspects after being held for hours for trespassing on a cycle path.

    Ms Cameron was being hailed yesterday as Scotland’s answer to Walter Wolfgang, the 82-year-old heckler manhandled out of the Labour Party conference last month. She was arrested under the Terrorism Act for walking along a cycle path in the harbour area of Dundee.

    Yesterday, after receiving a letter from the Tayside procurator fiscal’s office informing her that she would not be prosecuted, Ms Cameron said: “It is utterly ridiculous that such an inoffensive person as myself should be subject to such heavy-handed treatment.�

    She was walking from her office in Dundee to her home in the suburb of Broughty Ferry when she was arrested under new anti-terrorist legislation and held for four hours.

    She said: “I’ve been walking to work every morning for months and months to keep fit. One day, I was told by a guard on the gate that I couldn’t use the route any more because it was solely a cycle path and he said, if I was caught doing it again, I’d be arrested.

    “The next thing I knew, the harbour master had driven up behind me with a megaphone, saying, �You’re trespassing, please turn back’. It was totally ridiculous. I started laughing and kept on walking. Cyclists going past were also laughing.

    “But then two police cars roared up beside me and cut me off, like a scene from Starsky and Hutch, and officers told me I was being arrested under the Terrorism Act. The harbour master was waffling on and (saying that), because of September 11, I would be arrested and charged.�

    Ms Cameron, who said that at one stage one of the officers asked her to stop laughing, described the incident as “like a scene from the movie Erin Brockovich, with all the dock workers cheering me and telling me to give them hell�. She said: “I was told that the cycle path was for cyclists only, as if walkers and not cyclists were the only ones likely to plant bombs. There are no signs anywhere saying there are to be no pedestrians.

    “They took me to the police station and held me for several hours before charging me and releasing me.�

    She said that she was particularly galled by the letter from the procurator fiscal’s office, which said that she would not be prosecuted even though “the evidence is sufficient to justify bringing you before the court on this criminal charge�.

    Keith Berry, the harbour master at Forth Ports Dundee, said yesterday that Ms Cameron had been seen as a “security risk�. Speaking about the incident, which took place in May, he said: “We contacted the police in regards to this matter because the woman was in a secure area which forbids people walking. It was seen as a security risk. We were following guidelines in requirement with the port security plan set up by the Government.�

    A spokesman for Forth Ports said: “We will robustly prosecute anyone who breaches these new security measures because they have been introduced by the Government and we are obliged to enforce them.�
    There are more stories of the use of Terror Laws, that don't involve attractive young property developers. It could be that the UK police have been handed such a catch-all piece of legislation that they've been encouraged to try it out! :(

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  • Jules
    Best letter was to the Metro newspaper - they threatened him with the Anti-Terrorism bill but he should have been charged under the Official Secrets Act.

    Oh, look how they back-pedalled on that one. That's also the second time the police have arrested protesters under the Anti-Terrorism laws and then failed to charge them. Does that count as wrongful arrest?

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  • David Mosley
    Now you see this could really work to our advantage...

    We've already seen that throwing condoms of purple flour at the Prime Minister results in the 'Strangers' Gallery' in the Commons being screened off behind bullet-proof glass, and the intrusion of - shock! horror! Commoners *faint - onto the floor of the Commons has seen a restriction in the public being allowed access to the Houses of Parliament. The heavy-handed reaction to Mr Wolfgang's rather mild heckle further demonstrates how divorced New Labour are from the Electorate.

    If we can just keep this up, and I see that a member of Fathers For Justice scaled the Houses of Parliament just the other day, with any luck they'll all retreat to the safety of "Fortress Westminster" and then we can just brick up the entrances and they can carry on pretending to run the country - isolated and secure from the revolting public - while the really important people (ie us) can get on with the proper task of living in Modern Britain.


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  • spaced_moorcock
    I heard about this on the radio yesterday. One of the comments from a member of the public on radio two had me chuckling for the rest of the afternoon.

    Politicians not being able to take being heckled? Isn't that what they do for a living in the houses of parliament?
    It shows how things have changed in the past few years. They were certainly a heavy handed in this case. Imagine what would happen now if someone tried to throw eggs at John Prescott again.
    I think that this shows how we're losing the power to debate issues in the UK. It's a perfect example of how politicians are avoiding critisism and debate about important topics although this case is a little more extreme than their usual methods of ignoring it until it goes away.

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  • Mikey_C
    The poor dear New Labourites, can't stand a little heckling. This is politics for Chrissake! :x

    On the Jeremy Vine show today a caller said his 80 yr old father in law was stopped on the way to a protest in Brighton, and searched for wearing an 'anti-Blair' t-shirt. Completing the paperwork, the Bill put a tick in the 'terrorism' box.

    Be scared. Be very scared: this sort of thing could soon mean 3 months detention, or deportation to a torture state (not) of your choice.

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  • DeeCrowSeer
    I saw some clips of that on the news. They really weren't shy about manhandling the old man, were they? If he'd been swearing his head off, then if might have made some sort of sense, but he seemed pretty docile to me... and he wasn't too far from the truth either. It would be nice if there were burly men employed to remove politicians from the stage when they start talking arse. :(

    Asked if he would apologise face-to-face to Mr Wolfgang, the prime minister said he did not expect to meet him, adding: "I can't do anything more than apologise profusely."
    Well, yes, Mr Blair, there's a lot more that you can do. Just think about it for a couple of minutes, and get back to us.

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  • New Labour™ Conference: 82yr Old Dissenter Forcibly Ejected

    New Labourâ„¢ Party Conference, 2005. Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw's Speech. As Straw briefly mentions how Britain is helping to bring Democracy to Iraq, someone shouts faintly from the back of the auditorium, "Nonsense! That's a lie!" Subsequent events were caught on video.

    The heckler, Walter Wolfgang (82), escaped from Nazi Germany in 1937 and he's been a member of the Labour Party for 57 years. He's also a Peace campaigner.

    Seeing him being chucked out, along with the younger chap, Steve Forrest, constituency party chairman for Erith and Thamesmead, who was only objecting to the way Wolfgang was being manhandled, put me in mind of the British Union of Fascists 1934 rally at Olympia, for some reason. Of course, they weren't beaten to a pulp by Blackshirts, like the anti-fascist protestors back then (also caught on film), so a lot has obviously improved since. Electronic Conference passes have certainly streamlined things, Walter Wolfgang's was blocked almost as soon as he was ejected out the double doors. The Anti-Terrorism Act (2000) also came in useful, allowing the police to hold Walter Wolfgang in custody for the rest of the afternoon.

    Like Tony Blair and Jack Straw, Sir Oswald Mosely was once a member of Labour, before he started his own new party.