Brave New World (re: Terrorism)

November 8, 2005 11:22 AM

Australian Associated Press

So the Australian Government passed several amendments to existing anti-terrorism laws during an emergency recall of the Senate late last week. The changes took approx. 20 minutes of debate and so forth to pass. Quick by any standards. Said changes include additional powers of police to arrest:

  • people who belong to what the government deems as “terrorist organisations”
  • people who are in the stages of planning an unspecificed terrorist attack

Vague wordings no?

Before you can even say, “Hmmm…?” 400 state and federal police carried out simultaneous raids in Melbourne and Sydney early this morning (2am EST) and arrested fifteen people. According to Victorian Police Commissioner Catherine Nixon, “Some of the arrests Tuesday were made possible by the new legislation.” Complete round-up of the story can be found at The Australian.

I applaud the Australian Government for looking after us. I do feel safer knowing that there are laws and vigilant police personnel helping to keep the peace. But somehow this all reminds me of the oft-quoted:

“When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am not a gypsy.

When they came for the Jews, I did not speak, because I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak, for I am not a

And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak.”

Martin Niemöller

What say you?

4 thoughts on “Brave New World (re: Terrorism)

  1. Ally

    they’re taking a leaf outta America’s books and making a law that allows them to persecute anyone they see fit without having anyone question their motives lar.

    it’s such an insecurity thing. australia’s always been insecure about everything anyway, it comes from being an island in Asia that’s full of Westerners who have a poofed up sense of their own importance.

    democracy my cute furry butt.

  2. mooiness

    it’s ironic – the PM once said, “The most important civil liberty you and I have is to stay alive. To protect people from attacks is in favor of, not against, civil liberties.”

    He’s basically asking you: do you want to stay alive or have more freedoms? And the choices are mutually exclusive.

    I do understand how difficult and complex it must be to draft laws like these. Well at least they are willing to rediscuss this in 10yr’s time. 😉

  3. Ally

    yes but are those threats real or imagined? are we condoning these laws because we think there’s something there that doesn’t exist?

    we are only aware of them because the media has been hyping up bombings and terrorist threats (imagined or no) since 9/11. i believe that the government is aware of how to use the media to their advantage, after all, newspapers have to find content everyday.

    yeah i wanna stay alive, but i dont wanna be restricted to the point where armed men can tackle me while i’m walking on the street because i look remotely suspicious.

  4. mooiness

    True that. Just like when after the London bombings, you really didn’t want to be wearing a hood or carrying a backpack when there are nervous and trigger-happy police around. Let’s just agree that this is a more complex world that we are living in now, and that this is the new reality that we have to contend with.

    Like it or not there are no easy answers – we may have to put our faith in organisations like Amnesty International and the Civil Liberties Union to provide the check & balance against the governments.


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