Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Defining Terrorism

Terrorism Act 2000:

1. - (1) In this Act "terrorism" means the use or threat of action where-

    (a) the action falls within subsection (2),

    (b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and

    (c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.

(2) Action falls within this subsection if it-

    (a) involves serious violence against a person,

    (b) involves serious damage to property,

    (c) endangers a person's life, other than that of the person committing the action,

    (d) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or

    (e) is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

(3) The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.

(4) In this section-

    (a) "action" includes action outside the United Kingdom,

    (b) a reference to any person or to property is a reference to any person, or to property, wherever situated,

    (c) a reference to the public includes a reference to the public of a country other than the United Kingdom, and

    (d) "the government" means the government of the United Kingdom, of a Part of the United Kingdom or of a country other than the United Kingdom.

(5) In this Act a reference to action taken for the purposes of terrorism includes a reference to action taken for the benefit of a proscribed organisation.

So, if we keep this as our provisional definition or terrorism, and combine it with the statements made by Clarke, everyone should be opposing this law. Now, obviously this definition could be applied to pretty much any military action taken by a government, but since this is at the DPP's dicretion, this is not likely to happen.

But, assuming this definition holds, think of what it will be illegal to do. Clearly all the resistance movements in the world today fall under this definition of terrorism, so proclaiming their 'right' to resist might well become illegal. Now, of course it will be said that this is only temporary, and will only be used against Muslim extremists. DON'T BUY IT. The apparently temporary public order act, prohibiting the use of political uniforms, so as to combat the fascists was used against the IRA god knows how many years later. Right, more on this later, but work awaits.

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