Terrorism Acts and police states
I understand that South Africa’s notorious Terrorism Act of 1967, which made South Africa a fully-fledged police state, has been repealed.
In Britain, a Terrorism Act has recently been introduced, and, has been having a similar effect to the South African one, of turning Britain into a police state. This incident, which took place a few years ago, is an example.
The Labour Party has apologised after an 82-year-old member was thrown out of its annual conference for heckling.
Walter Wolfgang, from London, was ejected from the hall after shouting ‘nonsense’ as Foreign Secretary Jack Straw defended Iraq policy.
Police later used powers under the Terrorism Act to prevent Mr Wolfgang’s re-entry, but he was not arrested.
When such draconian legislation is introduced, government spokesmen give the usual reassurances that the innocent have nothing to fear, that the police can be trusted not to abuse their powers, and so on.
And almost inevitably, the powers are abused to suppress the civil rights of ordinary citizens, which seems to have happened in this case. In the light of this kind of thing, Gordon Brown’s Vorsterian urge to introduce 90-day detention to Britain is even more scary.