Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

Terrible Terror Bill Law Next Year

Terrorism Act coming into force early next year

18th November 2000

The Terrorism Act, hurriedly passed by parliament earlier this year, will finally come into force on Feb 19 2001 according a recent parliamentary answer. The Act creates a new wider definition of terrorism which includes the "threat of violence...against property" and implicates anyone who receives literature or campaign material from "proscribed organisations".

The Act goes much further than the previous Prevention of Terrorism Act, passed despite heated opposition in 1974, and paves the way for any organisation which promotes direct action for political, religious or ideological reasons to be proscribed as a "terrorist organisation".

The notable lack of political opposition to the extension of terrorist provisions, previously the subject of such intense parliamentary debate, suggests civil liberty concerns have disappeared from the parliamentary agenda all together. The original draconian powers of detention afforded by the Prevention of Terrorism Act were always officially justified on the basis of the situation in Northern Ireland. However, the new Terrorism Act has come onto the statute books despite the long held IRA cease-fire and Northern Ireland peace process.

The new Terrorism Act is widely acknowledged to have potentially dire implications for anyone involved in extra-parliamentary political activity of any kind.

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