'Anti-terror' laws slammed


Speakers at a meeting of 100 people at the Fitzroy Town Hall on November 15 slammed the "anti-terror" laws.

Adam Bandt, the Greens candidate for the seat of Melbourne, said that the suspension of fundamental rights is "increasingly the norm", pointing to the Northern Territory intervention and the Australian Building and Construction Commission as well as the "anti-terror" laws.

Julian Burnside QC argued that the anti-terror laws are unnecessary, since previous legislation was adequate to prosecute people planning terrorist attacks. He said that the new laws throw away gains won centuries ago in the fight against tyranny. For example, preventative detention orders and control orders can be obtained in secret hearings at which the accused are not allowed to know the evidence against them.

Lisa Farrance, from Civil Rights Defence, which organised the meeting, pointed out the contrast between the sensational allegations of "imminent" terrorist attacks made at the time of the arrests of the "Barwon 13" (a group of Muslim men who have now spent two years in jail awaiting trial on terrorism charges), and the actual charges. These make no mention of any plans to attack any specific targets. She called for the complete repeal of the anti-terror laws.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.