Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Home Forums Discussion Forum Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019 Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Kim Sanders-Fisher

J – I am not sure but the information should ve on the Electoral Commission site first.

The massive furore over Huawei with demonization of China is serving to distract us from the reality that we will rapidly become a seriously authoritarian Electoral Dictatorship within the coming year. As MPs compliantly grovel to US pressure and rant about the unquestionable Human Rights abuses of the Chinese state there is a glaring hypocrisy in the foe outrage of the declaration, “Is this the type of country we want to do business with? Victoria Derbyshire tried to elicit comparative criticism of Saudi Arabia who we directly supply with an arsenal of horrific weapons to bomb the children of Yemen, but it was swiftly brushed aside; the target was China, no deviation allowed. The BBC also started touting a second peak in Covid with warning threats of an even higher death toll of 120,000; prepare the Sheeple for the coming Slaughter! Despite genuine concern over China’s targeting of the Uighurs and the clampdown in Hong Kong we cannot ignore the imminent demise of UK democracy. Is this the type of country we want to become?

The Canary Article entitled, “While we’re distracted by coronavirus, Priti Patel quietly introduces new draconian powers” warns us o an ominous threat to our Human Rights in future as treacherous Home Secretary Patel is set to expand the Tory Government’s ability to criminalize and incarcerate the UK population. They say, “While we’re all focussed on dealing the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Priti Patel is quietly introducing a raft of new draconian terrorism powers.” However, “lawyers, academics, journalists, researchers, and activists are taking action to ensure these new powers don’t become law without a fight. In a joint statement, they argue that the government’s new counter-terrorism and sentencing bill ‘must be opposed by everyone’.” They say, “The statement, released by Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), argues that the greatest risk is for innocent individuals to be caught up and their lives seriously torn apart by the powers in the bill”. The CAMPACC Statement is printed below.

“CAMPACC statement: New Counter-Terrorism And Sentencing Bill Aims To Ratchet Repression
The new Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill 2020, will not enhance public security. On the contrary it will:
• Extend punishment without trial, including even internal exile, renewable indefinitely;
• Turn ordinary crimes into ‘terrorist’ ones, as subjective grounds for more severe sentences;
• Incentivise racist stereotyping of ‘non-violent extremism’ to justify those two powers;
• and thus go further in criminalising communities.
In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Home Secretary has tabled a draft bill on 20 May when any serious parliamentary and civil society scrutiny is well nigh impossible.

This is the eighth Counter-Terrorism Bill following the founding Terrorism Bill 2000 which made emergency powers permanent and became the basis of subsequent bills which were put in after significant terror attacks. CAMPACC have always argued that criminal law had sufficient provisions to deal with any terrorist threat. The creation of separate terrorism laws severely undermined civil liberties, the right to a fair trial, freedom of expression, the rights of association and criminalised communities. It has created a securitisation infrastructure that provides for funding and career advancement of securocrats. It has produced a burgeoning surveillance network. It has framed the ‘enemy within’ particularly Muslims to justify the involvement in wars and counter insurgency abroad.
The Bill follows in the wake of the terror attacks at Fishmongers Hall on 29 November 2019 and in Streatham on 2 February 2020. The draft bill claims to aim to protect the public better by ensuring that serious and dangerous offenders are locked up longer enabling more time for their disengagement and rehabilitation. When outside custody, it aims to monitor and manage the risk posed by the offenders. In all such terrorist incidents there were intelligence failures. Instead of tackling such failures which have happened too often, the government aims to ratchet up further repression. The greatest risk is for innocent individuals to be caught up and their lives seriously torn apart by the powers in the bill.

We, together with a coalition of other organisations, fought the control orders, a system of indefinite house arrests introduced by the Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2005 over four years. The Act was repealed and replaced by the Terrorism Prevention and Investigative Measures (TPIMS) in 2011. Although repressive in every way, TPIMs had a term limit of two years. This act removes the two year limit and hence make TPIMs with annual renewal indefinite. Furthermore, it allows the government to relocate an individual to any place within the country, without due consideration of his family and community relationships. This is akin to internal exile used in the British colonies, where individuals were totally isolated.

TPIMs are imposed by the Home Secretary. Previously the evidence for imposing this was subjected to ‘balance of probabilities’, a proof used in civilian law. That has been swept aside. They can now be imposed if there was a reasonable grounds of suspicion, which is an arbitrary judgment made by officials. So, as with previous counter-terrorism measures, individuals suspected of non-violent extremism, who have committed no crime, could fall in the net without any recourse to a fair trial. Individuals who have not committed any crime at all, would have their lives ripped apart by this measures. We are especially concerned in the way that the bill widens its application to common law offences where determinations will have to be made whether each case has a ‘terrorist connection’. Under this, whether a crime like stabbing is considered to be a ‘standard’ crime, a ‘gang-related’ crime or a ‘terror-related’ crime will leave it open to discriminatory decisions with the outcome likely to depend on whether the perpetrator is black or Muslim, respectively.

The bill defines a range of serious terrorist offences which intend to cause serious harm and introduces the Serious Terrorism Sentence for the most serious and dangerous terrorist offenders. This sentence carries a minimum of 14 years to be spent in custody, with an extended licence period of up to 25 years. It also increases the maximum sentence that the court can impose for three terrorism offences (membership of a proscribed organisation, supporting a proscribed organisation, and attending a place used for terrorist training), from 10 to 14 years, properly reflecting the seriousness of this type of offending.

Proscription of political associations is already a serious issue for many British communities. The bill would have a chilling effect on the Kurdish community who have a long history of resistance against the authoritarian Turkish state. Their organisations PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) has been proscribed since 2001. The law outlaws political activity and organisation within the Kurdish community. The community members have never been involved in acts of terror in Britain. The recent Belgium Court judgement that the PKK was not a terrorist organisation but a party in conflict is notable. It is about time PKK was de-proscribed. Its continued proscription has always given the Turkish state an excuse to ratchet up repression and deny Kurds of any of the political and human rights.

The Tamil community will be similarly intimidated. It is a community recovering from a genocide and defeat and subjected to repression by the Sri Lankan state. The Basque, Somali Baloch and Palestinian community are in a similar situation with their main political organisations banned. The truth that the government has not confronted, is that, for two decades its counter-terrorism strategy has failed. We have seen sporadic terror attacks where critical intelligence has failed to pick them up. No level of repressive measures eroding civil liberties and the rule of law in the name of security has protected the public. The government has failed to recognise that its unjust wars and support for repressive regime has led to increased threat of terrorism.

Lord Steyn’s critical observation when discussing the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 remains true in 2020: ‘…it is the first duty of Government to protect citizens from harm ….but it does not excuse the endless excesses and acts of lawlessness committed in the name of the war on terror… Surely, objectively speaking, the Bill can be seen to be an attempt to lead the public to think that it is a serious attempt to improve security. It does nothing of the kind.’ More powers for cops, spooks and judges are not in the interests of ordinary people—the bill must be opposed by every one and every organisation who are defending civil liberties and are fighting against the criminalisation of innocent civilians and vulnerable communities.”

On the 17th of January a Guardian Article entitled, “Greenpeace included with neo-Nazis on UK counter-terror list” highlighted the broad net that this Tory Government is prepared to cast to eradicate all areas of potential public protest against the increasingly authoritarian regime. They report that, “Extinction Rebellion and Peta also named in anti-extremism briefing alongside Combat 18 and National Action. A counter-terrorism police document distributed to medical staff and teachers as part of anti-extremism briefings included Greenpeace, Peta and other non-violent groups as well as neo-Nazis,” the Guardian has learned. “The guide, produced by Counter Terrorism Policing, is used across England as part of training for Prevent, the anti-radicalisation scheme designed to catch those at risk of committing terrorist violence. Last week, police said documents uncovered by the Guardian that listed the environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion (XR) alongside far-right extremists and jihadists were a local error.”

An impressive list of signatories added weight to the CAMPACC Statement above, but this could easily be ignored by the Tories determined to pursue increasingly repressive measures to hobble British protest. The Canary report that, “This bill follows on from the 2019 Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act. Amongst other provisions, this Act widened the offence of ‘inviting support to a proscribed organisation’ to: cover expressions of support that are reckless as to whether they will encourage others to support the organisation. The 2019 legislation also included a new offence of streaming or viewing material useful for terrorism online even if it’s not downloaded and outlawed travelling to ‘designated areas’. The new bill extends the maximum prison sentence for the offence of supporting a proscribed organisation from ten years to 14 years. Other offences that will see the same increase in sentencing powers include: Being a member of a proscribed organisation – Attending a place used for terrorism training.”

The Canary article focuses on the ominous potential of these ill-defined expansions to ant-terrorism laws stating that, “In reality, there are questions over what the bill will mean for Kurdish people and their supporters in their everyday lives. For example, will someone on a protest, holding a flag of PKK leader and political prisoner Abdullah Öcalan, face 14 years imprisonment for supporting a proscribed organisation?” Referring to the peaceful establishment of Kurdish communities with strong female leadership in Rojava and Bakur, they say, “What will it mean for those of us who support one of the biggest women’s movements in the world? And will British citizens who fought with their Kurdish comrades against Daesh in Syria also face 14 years in prison? Where is the line drawn?” The powerful Israeli lobby in the UK have already used their undue influence to pushback hard against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign protesting Palestinian oppression; the Tory Government will likely target BDS.

They feature, “Nik Matheou, a solidarity organiser with the Kurdish freedom movement in the UK,” saying that he previously told The Canary the proposed new legislation is “particularly scary” and that: “These laws have been accumulating since 2000 and removed more and more civil liberties each time. But up to this point, it’s been easier for a lot of people to be able to ignore some of these laws because of the way in which they’ve targeted particular communities associated with particular movements…But now we’re really at the point where anyone who associates themselves with these movements, anyone who does really important and necessary solidarity work for criminalised communities here is at risk themselves of being associated with the category terrorist and having all of their civil liberties taken away.”

The Canary say, “The government is slipping through this bill at exactly the same time as a worldwide pandemic. Patel and the others were perhaps hoping that we wouldn’t notice. Or that we were just too busy worrying about our families’ and communities’ health to care. But this sinister bill criminalises the same communities that we have been looking out for, delivering medicines to, and organising mutual aid with.”

Focusing on policy failures they report, “as the CAMPACC statement points out, the government needs to take a hard look at its own incompetency: The truth that the government has not confronted, is that, for two decades its counter-terrorism strategy has failed. We have seen sporadic terror attacks where critical intelligence has failed to pick them up. No level of repressive measures eroding civil liberties and the rule of law in the name of security has protected the public. The government has failed to recognise that its unjust wars and support for repressive regime has led to increased threat of terrorism. But of course, the government is not going to admit that its wars for oil and control in the Middle East are anything but just. The public is becoming more and more agitated by our government’s institutional racism and colonial policies, and we’re seeing mass movements on the streets. This new bill shows us what the government is really scared of: the people, rising up for real, radical change.”

An Article in the Independent entitled, “As Priti Patel quietly expands Prevent, let’s talk about why we shouldbe defunding it instead” raises serious alarm over the ramping up and expansion of the failed Prevent Program, but offer a progressive way forward. They say that, “This is not just about opposing a policy or programme, it’s about a systematic rethink of how to rebuild society, replacing ingrained suspicion with solidarity. Protesters demand that racial profiling and targeted violence by police must stop, they want to see an end to Tory austerity cuts, restoring youth programs and provision of positive alternatives to hanging out with gangs. The Independent expose the disquieting fact that, “With thousands on the streets for Black Lives Matter and increased attention on policing, there was a quiet announcement over the weekend that Priti Patel, the home secretary, was expanding the government’s Prevent programme in its largest shakeup since 2003.”

The Independent believe that, “Part of the rationale for this appears to be that there is a growth in individuals engaging with left-wing movements and environmental campaigning. With ‘counter-extremism’ historically being used as a tool for surveillance, discrimination and political repression – and Boris Johnson referring to Black Lives Matter protests themselves as being ‘hijacked by extremists’ – now is the time to connect calls to defund the police and making the case to defund and abolish Prevent and the wider ‘counter-extremism’ surveillance apparatus.” They say, “Many in the UK, especially on the left, have been unwilling to take on arguments on policing and counter-terrorism for fear of being “soft on crime” as the Labour leader’s comments this week show, but this silence has come at great cost to our collective freedoms and civil liberties, and weakened our commitment to anti-racism. Now is the time to reimagine what looking after each other looks like without a punitive system of surveillance and retribution.”

The Independent reveal that, “Prevent has been criticised since its inception but in its latest iteration, since 2015, it has flagged the drawings of 4-year-olds, trained young people to spy on each other and has been used to crack down on activism relating to the climate catastrophe. Activists in Extinction Rebellion fell into the crosshairs of Prevent, and guidance from regional Counter-Terror Policing teams identified groups with extremist potential to watch, including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition and Campaign Against Nuclear Disarmament. Indeed, the criticisms above led to the concession of an independent review. But the review, which was due to report to Parliament next month, has not begun, and the government is seeking to extend the review timeline indefinitely.” Never-ending reviews that fail to produce actionable conclusions: zero accountability or scrutiny!

Tories rant about the danger Huawei pose to our communications network, ignoring other Chinese contracts and multiple foreign powers in control of our critical infrastructure, utilities and transport. Probably both the security concern and the recent crackdown in Hong Kong are less relevant than the US demand that we pick a side: China has overtaken Russia as most vilified nation. But, some Human Rights are more equal than others, so innocent children in Yemen and Palestinians evicted from their stolen land are of no concern in UK foreign policy strategy, especially where profits from selling arms are involved. The public are being ruthlessly manipulated and primed to accept more restriction to our freedoms and a winter ‘Boris Spike’ as the Covid cull, a ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple,’ is ramped up as the Tories consolidate Dictatorship, unless we demand an Investigation to overturn the injustice of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. Target the evil, unelected, mastermind; Cummings is the grenade, oust him and you pull the pin! DO NOT MOVE ON!