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Re Terrorism (Bombings and Financing ) Bill
30 November 2001
Today, the Catholic Worker and other citizens will be presenting the US consulate in Auckland a notice to pass onto their government that they must cease acts of terror against civilian populations otherwise the face prosecution under the Terrorism (Bombings and Financing) Bill.
A delegation will present the notice to the consulate at 12 midday today. Where: US Consulate, Citibank Centre, 23 Customs Street East, Auckland Central When: 12 midday. Today, 30th November
"Today marks the deadline for submissions on the Terrorism (Bombings and Financing) Bill. However, the reality of the Bill is that it does not address wholesale terrorism, rather, it undermines the rule of law and harkens a return to a McCarthyite era by rolling back civil liberties" comments Moana Cole of the Catholic Worker.
"The Bill undermines democratic processes, in particular the concept of natural justice, as individuals can be 'designated' terrorist on the basis of secret information and may never get to face their accusers". The presumption of guilt follows clearly from the section of the Bill that states that people can be designated 'terrorists' on the basis of 'good cause': "The prime Minister must treat the information as sufficient evidence... unless the contrary is proved" (17K (2)).
"The Bill can be seen as furthering a climate of domestic fear through manipulation and misrepresentation. The War on Terrorism has a character like that of the Cold War. Fear of terrorism is used to justify the restriction of civil liberties through legislation such as the one proposed in the Terrorism (Bombings and Financing ) Bill. However, those targeted will not be States that carry out acts of terror in a wholesale way, often with the support of the NZ government, but dissenting individua ls".
"This Bill is a reaction to the September 11th attacks against the Pentagon and Twin Towers. Osama bin Laden has been accused of masterminding the attacks. Yet the New Zealand Government is quick to forget who created bin Laden, the Taliban and Al Qaeda who were serviced by the Pakistan Security Service and hailed as freedom fighters by the US government during their proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. It is unlikely former US governments will be prosecuted for the financing of such groups that turned on their own citizens".
"If the New Zealand government were serious about addressing the true causes of terrorism, they would not be supporting a war against Afghanistan which is a violation of International Law and thus constitutes an act of terrorism in itself, nor would they would not be introducing draconian legislation that creates enemies of its own citizens who dissent.The New Zealand government should be initiating action to address the true causes of terrorism".