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Anti-terrorism laws - links update #7

Interview: John Howard
Sunday Channel 9 - 30 October 2005
The Prime Minister will think all his Christmases have come at once if he can get his counter-terrorism legislation through Parliament, but he may have to wait until Christmas before it is passed. This week the Federal Solicitor-General and his State counterparts worked on ways to deal with constitutional doubts about some aspects of the radical legislation. But John Howard is confident the States will approve his new measures. He says the argument about the legislation isn't about the agreement reached recently between the Commonwealth and the States — just the details. The Federal Government's controversial Industrial Relations reforms will also be introduced into Parliament next week — reforms described by former Labor Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, as unfair and un-Australian. - http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/political_transcripts/article_1901.asp

Stanhope hit with terror law gag
The Age, October 30, 2005
ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has been forced to sign a confidentiality agreement ahead of receiving the final draft of the Federal Government's controversial anti-terror laws. http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/stanhope-faces-terror-law-gag/2005/10/30/1130607137750.html

Antiterror laws damage Australian liberties
International Herald Tribune, France - 27 October  2005
Support may be waning in the United States for extraordinary antiterror measures, including torture and internment at Guantánamo Bay, but Australia is about to extend arbitrary government powers in the name of citizens' security. http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/10/27/opinion/edbowring.php

Emperor Howard
The Age - 29 October 2005
Is the Prime Minister misusing the Government's Senate majority by rushing to introduce two major pieces of legislation? By Michael Gordon.
"I want to assure the Australian people that the Government will use its majority in the new Senate very carefully, very wisely and not provocatively."

Jumping the gun on terror
The Age, by George Williams ,October 27, 2005
Britain inspired our new anti-terror laws. Unlike us, they are proceeding with caution. AFTER the London bombings in July, it comes as no surprise that Britain, like Australia, is in the midst of heated debate about new terror laws. These debates cover the same ground because the new Australian law is largely based on UK precedents. Indeed, John Howard has sought to justify our new law on the basis that it represents "best practice" from overseas. - http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/jumping-the-gun-on-terror/2005/10/26/1130302840036.html

Anti-terrorism negotiation enters final phase
ABC Online, Australia - 31 October 2005
Prime Minister John Howard is in final negotiations with the state and territory leaders to clear up the outstanding issues over the Commonwealth's latest ... http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200510/s1493995.htm

PM faces pressure on terror law
The Age (subscription), Australia - 31 October 2005
By Michelle Grattan. JOHN Howard is under pressure to make further changes to his controversial counter-terrorism legislation, as ... http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/pm-faces-pressure-on-terror-law/2005/10/30/1130607151948.html

WA worried about shoot-to-kill issue
Australian, Australia - 31 October 2005
WEST Australian Premier Geoff Gallop still has concerns about proposed shoot-to-kill powers for police in the latest draft of the federal government's anti ... http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17083834%255E1702,00.html

Australia to have anti-terror laws by Christmas
Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand - 31 October 2005
SYDNEY: The Australian Government is committed to having tough new anti-terror laws in operation before Christmas, well before the Commonwealth Games start in ... -http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3461953a12,00.html

Australia ready to act once terror laws are passed: Ruddock
Gulf Times, Qatar - 31 October 2005
Australia could put terrorist suspects under surveillance and possible house arrest immediately after tough new counter-terrorism laws are passed ... http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=58712&version=1&template_id=39&parent_id=21

No deal worth paper without review
Australian, Australia - 31 October 2005
OPPOSITION Leader Kim Beazley wants the government to crack down hard on extremists who use hate books and preach violent hatred. - http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17087530%255E2702,00.html

Last-minute jitters to dilute terror bill
Sydney Morning Herald (subscription), Australia -  31 October 2005
By Mark Metherell, Mike Seccombe Tom Allard and Andrew Clennell. A de facto alliance of Liberal Party moderates, state premiers and ... http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/lastminute-jitters-to-dilute-terror-bill/2005/10/30/1130607152193.html

Terror law turmoil hits Labor
NEWS.com.au, Australia - 31 October 2005
KIM Beazley faces an internal Labor Party revolt on two fronts today over failing to argue against "draconian" anti-terrorism legislation and unveiling his own proposal to ban books that promote hate and violence - http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,17086193-2,00.html

Why the odds are in Howard's favour
Sydney Morning Herald (subscription), Australia - Oct 28, 2005
IT'S quite possible that John Howard will beat Sir Robert Menzies' record and become Australia's longest-serving prime minister. I was reminded of this on Wednesday while listening to John Singleton address the Fabian Society on the subject of whether Labor can win the next federal election. He said people only win anything if they believe they can. Labor, riven by dissent and self-doubt, clearly doesn't believe in itself. http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/why-the-odds-are-in-howards-favour/2005/10/28/1130400365278.html

Beazley's amazing backflip
Sunday Times.au, Australia - Oct 29, 2005
By GLENN MILNE. IN a dramatic reversal in the debate over John Howard's anti-terror laws, Kim Beazley will move to amend the new ... http://www.sundaytimes.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,7034,17076231%255E949,00.html

Blog Views

Sedition, or How I Learned to Love Howard's Terrorising Legislation
South Sea Republic, Oct 25, 2005
It didn't occur to me until John Quiggin linked to an op-ed in The Age on the Federal Governments amendments to the Crimes Act, that I am a filthy seditionist. Somebody lock me up for five years quick, because I've urged disaffection against the Government, twice, I've urged disaffection with the Constitution, and I'm certainly not overbriming with respect for our sovereign, Her Majesty the Queen of Australia. http://www.southsearepublic.org/story/2005/10/25/131546/21

Heavy weapons in the home of democracy
Barista, October 26, 2005
Let's assume you think the new terrorism legislation is just a way for the government to be seen to do something. Let's assume you think that the lawful have no need to fear the consequences of law breaking. Let's assume you think the thirty people the British have shot under their "shoot to kill" privileges must have done something to justify being butchered in public... - http://dox.media2.org/barista/archives/002473.html

Democracy Meltdown Update
Manicnotes, October 27, 2005
There’s so much happening right now. More stories on people being duped into appearing in WorkChoices ads. The employer that volunteered its unwitting employees was Calbah Industries.
The proposed anti-terrorism laws are more pointed threat. Bloggers should take special interest because you can be locked up for 7 years for criticising eg the Iraq War. http://manicnotes.blogspot.com/2005/10/democracy-meltdown-update.html

Anti-Terror Laws Threaten Press Freedom
Desikangaroo, October 29, 2005
Anti-terror laws threaten press freedom.The anti-terrorism laws proposed by the Australian Federal and State governments will be yet another stumbling block for press freedom in Australia - http://desikangaroo.blogspot.com/2005/10/anti-terror-laws-threaten-press.html

Australian Anti-Terrorism Law
Amal's Blog, October 29, 2005
Behold, fellow Australians! Well, fellow Malaysian Muslim friends and Muslim friends those are in the land down under.
I guess you guys are well-informed that the government led by Howard is planning on his anti-terrorism law. At first, we just think it’d be the same thing as Malaysia’s Internal Security Act (ACT) but in fact it’s not. Well it’s the same thing as our ISA, but only a small proportion of it. About an eighth or a tenth of the whole cake. - http://amalbukharisaleh.blogspot.com/2005/10/australian-anti-terrorism-law.html

More on Australia’s draft anti-terror bill
Magna Carta Plus News,  October 29, 2005
Following on from my earlier article on Australia’s version of control orders, more information... the legislation as being no different to that passed in the UK, however this is disputed since Australia does not have an equivalent of the UK’s Human Rights Act:- http://www.magnacartaplus.org/news/index.php/?p=27

Australia's New Anti-Terrorism Legislation
Strange stuff, October 28, 2005
Australia's New Anti-Terrorism Legislation follows where Blair leads introducing:* 14-day secret detention without arrest by security services * Shoot-to-kill "on suspicion" powers for police * Imprisonment and fines for revealing an individual has been the subject of an investigation - http://strange_stuff.blogspot.com/2005/10/australias-new-anti-terrorism.html

Vilifying Australia
Sandgroper, October 31, 2005
Vilifying AustraliaThe perverse ideology of our adversary cultureKeith WindschuttleQuadrantSeptember 2005This is the 2005 Earle Page Memorial Oration, delivered at Parliament House, Sydney, on June 22 2005
Two years ago, when the journalist and broadcaster David Marr gave the Colin Simpson Lecture, he chose the title “The role of the writer in John Howard's Australia”. He opened with a quotation from the novelist Patrick White: - http://westernoz.blogspot.com/2005/10/vilifying-australia.html

Stanhope gagged
kevgillett.net, 30 Oct 2005
Channel Ten tried to get him to spill confidentiality again but he didn’t bite. “I’d very much like to like to but … I can’t do that without risking some sort of legal response from the Commonwealth,” he told the Ten Network. - http://www.kevgillett.net/?p=749

Anti-terrorism laws threaten freedom
the Daily Irrelevant By John Sinteur
This draft legislation was not supposed to be public yet, but the Australian Chief Minister of the ACT revealed it on his website last week in defiance of a federal government request not to do so. - http://weblog.sinteur.com/?p=11155

What Do I Stand For? Part 4 - National Security
The Right Left, October 29, 2005
What do you really expect on the national security issue from someone who stepped into office not knowing our who are friends are to the north in Canada and to the south in Mexico? National security should always start at home, not by fighting other countries unless it is really necessary. This is why we are in the trouble we are in now.
http://callendamornen.blogspot.com/2005/10/what-do-i-stand-for-part-4-national.html See also other three parts - http://callendamornen.blogspot.com/

Taking Liberties
The Thin Man Returns,  October 29, 2005
One reason why we should be cautious about softening proposed anti-terrorism laws: Keysar Trad, from the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, says... "This legislation has been referred to as draconian by the premiers themselves and it is a legislation that very strongly attacks and dismantles civil liberties and we can't have enough safeguards for such legislation, but at the moment there's hardly any safeguards," - http://thethinmanreturns.blogspot.com/2005/10/taking-liberties.html


'WMD terrorism': Sum of all fears doesn't always add up
USA Today, 30 October 2005
After the warehouse raid in northern Jordan, the word from authorities horrified the people of Amman.
Terrorists linked to al-Qaeda had assembled a fearsome array of chemicals and planned a bombing that would send a 2-mile-wide "poison cloud" over this Middle East capital, killing as many as 80,000 people, military prosecutors said. - http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-10-29-terror-vision_x.htm

US: 'Good Signs' In The War On Terrorism Stratfor, D.C. - 31 October 2005 It is difficult to gauge whether the war on terrorism is being won, although there are "many very good signs," US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told the ... - http://www.stratfor.com/products/premium/login.php?err=3&prodid=&subid=&url=/products/premium/read_article.php?selected=Situation%20Reports&sitrep=1&id=257828
(Registration is required) please use http://bugmenot.com


Chaotic markets are sitting ducks
Times of India, India - 31 October 2005
``These are dastardly acts of terrorism,'' Singh said in a brief televised statement. ... We are resolute in our commitment to fighting terrorism in all forms.''
Behind twinkling lights and array of clothes, make-up, sparklers and sweets hide the narrow access roads, naked electricity wires, gas cylinders and crowds that provided the perfect recipe for disaster on Saturday. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1280256.cms

Are we crossing the line?: Forum on national security laws and human rights

The new Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 has generated considerable public and political debate. This important bill has raised questions about the need to consider both national security measures and the interests and human rights of all citizens in a time of heightened concern about terrorism.

Where should we draw the line in the sand? How far should our civil liberties be wound back in the interests of national security?

The ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission are very pleased to co-present a forum on the bill to discuss these issues.

The forum will be hosted by Helen Watchirs (ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner) and will include the following speakers:
- Mr Jon Stanhope (ACT Chief Minister)
- Mr John von Doussa  (President, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission)
- with further speakers to be confirmed.


Date: Monday, 31 October 2005, Time: 4 - 6pm
Venue: Reception Room, ACT Legislative Assembly, London Circuit, Canberra City
(Entrance via the public entrance, Civic Square)
The forum is open to the general public and admission is free. However seating is limited, so please RSVP to:
Gina Sanna on 02 9284 9645 or email
Leslie Roberts on 02 6207 0544 or email

HREOC President says anti-terrorism bill needs debate on practical considerations before it is too late
Media Release, 27 October 2005

President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, John von Doussa QC, today stressed the need to stop and consider the practical implications of the Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 and the context in which it will operate before it is passed as law.

Mr von Doussa said it is important to acknowledge that the government can and should legitimately make tougher security laws in a time of heightened concern about terrorism. Everyone wants to make sure that they have done everything to help prevent terrorist activities occurring in this country.

“I also recognise that there may be circumstances for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to seek urgent restrictions on particular people, be it through a control order or a preventative detention order. Indeed, in the case of preventative detention orders, the urgency that arises with imminent or actual terrorist attacks may require that a judge be initially bypassed from the process altogether (as currently proposed in the bill),” said Mr von Doussa.

“However, what concerns me most about the current version of the anti-terrorism bill is what happens after a person is first detained or served with a control order and their liberty is restricted.

“International human rights law requires that a person who is detained must have the right to challenge this detention in a court without delay. Review before the court needs to include: consideration of whether the order is based on a correct understanding of the facts; whether the detention is fair; whether it is reasonably necessary in the circumstances; and whether it is proportionate to the goal of protecting national security. The current form of the bill simply fails to meet these basic guarantees.”


Rally to defend civil rights, defend Muslims and bring the troops home

rally leaflet

DEFEND Civil Liberties
Our democratic rights are being eroded in the name of fighting terrorism. These restrictions on our civil liberties have not made us safer—they have simply given more power to repressive government agencies like ASIO. The recent deportation of US peace activist Scott Parkin shows that the government is misusing its powers in order to silence critics. We need to stand up and say loud and clear that we will not tolerate any more of our democratic freedoms being taken away.

DEFEND Muslims
The relentless focus on so-called “Muslim extremists” by the government and the media is creating a backlash in which Islam is blamed for terrorism. Any Muslim who speaks up against government policy risks being labelled an extremist. This is unacceptable—Muslims have the same right to voice their views as anyone else. The Muslim community should not be scapegoated for problems they are not responsible for. Muslims and non-Muslims need to stand together for peace and against racism.

Bring the troops home
The war in Iraq, far from spreading freedom and democracy, has bred violence and instability. 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died along with 2000 US and British soldiers. John Howard says we must stay in Iraq until “the job is done” —what job is he referring to? Supporters of the occupation say that if foreign troops are withdrawn then violence and chaos will rule. But isn’t that exactly what is happening now?

The Stop the War Coalition believes the primary source of violence in Iraq is the presence of occupying troops. We are campaigning for an end to the occupation and to bring the Australian troops home.

Rally endorsed by: AID/WATCH, Al-Ghazzali Centre, Australian Islamic Friendship Association, Australian Islamic Mission, Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network, Australia- Venezuela Solidarity Network, Canterbury-Bankstown Peace Group, CFMEU (NSW Construction div.), Civil Rights Network, Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth, Green Left Weekly, Islamic Association of Australia, Justice for Hicks and Habib, Leichhardt Peace Group, Marrickville Peace Group, Muslims for Peace, Newtown Peace Group, NSW Council for Civil Liberties, NTEU, Randwick Peace Group, Refugee Action Coalition, Resistance, Socialist Alliance, Sydney University Peace Group, Ian Cohen MLC, Arthur Chesterfield Evans MLC, Sylvia Hale MLC, Jack Mundey, Senator Kerry Nettle

Donations welcome
We would like to place an ad in The Sydney Morning Herald to advertise the Nov 5 rally, at a cost of about $2000. We would welcome any donations towards this. Donate money directly at any Commonwealth branch (BSB 062 498, Acc no 10046565) or send a cheque payable to “Stop the War Coalition” to PO Box 82, St Clair NSW 2759.

Phone 0404 015 789 or 0401 900 690 or visit www.stopwarcoalition.org for more information

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re: Anti-terrorism laws - links update #7

How many people do you expect to turn up to that rally? Any bets?

re: Anti-terrorism laws - links update #7

In his new role as Defender of the Faith, against hate speech and writings, I suggest Kim Beazley needs to consider the wisdom of Gamaliel:

But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then he addressed them: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourself fighting against God." (Acts 5:34-39, NIV).

There could be some prominent examples from living history that suggest there are gaping holes in this counsel, but what's faith if it isn't a risk?

If Mr Beazley is disturbed by what he reads in extremist literature, what bandwagon will he jump on when he stumbles across web porn?

re: Anti-terrorism laws - links update #7

For Webdiarists in Darwin:

Are we crossing the line? Darwin forum on national security laws and human rights.

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, in conjunction with the Law Society NT, is holding a free public forum in Darwin on Thursday, 3 November 2005 to discuss national security laws and human rights.


TIME: 12.30pm

VENUE: Law Society NT, Level 1,
Paspalis Centrepoint, 48-50 Smith St Mall, Darwin

Chair: Allison Robertson, President, NT Law Society

Speaker: John von Doussa QC, President, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

Admission is free and open to the general public, however bookings are essential as numbers are limited.

Phone: (08) 8981 5104 or email

re: Anti-terrorism laws - links update #7

Oh, and don't miss this story of what happens in the real world of the UK police state:

"...This Reuters story was written while the police were detaining me in Southwark tube station and the bomb squad was checking my rucksack. When they were through, the two explosive specialists walked out of the tube station smiling and commenting ‘nice laptop’. The officers offered apologies on behalf of the Metropolitan Police. Then they arrested me.

...So, basically the Police have decided that wearing a rain jacket, carrying a rucksack with a laptop inside, looking down at the steps while going in a tube station and checking your phone for messages just tick too many boxes on their checklist and make you a terrorist suspect."

re: Anti-terrorism laws - links update #7

For those who are interested at what is really happening in the UK can I refer you to this URL.

re: Anti-terrorism laws - links update #7

EVENT: Laws of Terror - A Public Forum to Discuss Federal And State Anti-Terror Legislation

Friday 04 Nov 2005 17:45 - Social Sciences Lecture Theatre, University of Western Australia

Mark Cox - Lawyer; Dr Carmen Lawrence; Senator Rachel Siewert Three representatives from civil society organisations will offer their perspective on the legislation. Speakers will present for one hour in total with the remaining time available for questions, comment and discussion.

More and more Australians are deeply troubled about the unprecedented powers contained in the Federal Government’s draft anti-terrorism legislation. Powers include house arrest, wearing of tracking devices, increased sedition, detention of juveniles, shoot to kill provisions and further restrictions on the media. Never before has such an important piece of legislation been presented to the Parliament with such little scrutiny and public discussion. As a recent Age Editorial suggested the manner in which these changes are being handled is reminiscent of repressive regimes. This Forum is being organized by a variety of civil society groups and organizations concerned about the lack of public scrutiny and discussion and the withholding of information about the Commonwealth draft anti-terrorism legislation and its interface with State based legislation. The Forum is being held to coincide with the presentation of the Bill to the Federal Parliament.

The event is sponsored from the following groups:

People’s Health Movement; Public Health Assoc. of Australia (WA Branch); Social Justice Network; The Greens (WA); The Australian Democrats; Matrix Consulting Group; Amnesty Australia WA Branch; WACOSS; WA Sustainability Collaboration; Aboriginal Legal Service; National Tertiary Education Union (WA Division); Uniting Church Social Justice Commission; Unions (Unions WA, CPSU/CSA, ASU, SSTU); Institute of Advanced Studies, University of WA; West Australians for Racial Equality (WARE); Curtin Centre for Human Rights Education; Edmund Rice Centre; Ethnic Communities Council; Christian; Centre for Social Action; Perth Indymedia; WA Peace Network; Labor Lawyers; The Fremantle Anti-Nuclear Group; The Anti-Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia

For more information:
Institute of Advanced Studies
email: ias@admin.uwa.edu.au
(08) 6488 1340

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