Written by Amber Whitman-Currier
After the States was attacked on that fateful day on Sept, 11th 2001, there was a swift call for anti-terrorism laws. The law came into effect Dec 18th, 2001. I don’t think any us will ever forget that horrible day! Many countries are calling for swift action against terrorists. While it is true that there are dangers in our world, some argue that these laws are draconian and strip us of our freedoms. If you look at the way these laws are enforced they are unnerving in their provisions. There definitely needs to be laws put in place to deal with the terrorists in our world, but there is also a fine line on how people should be handled and treated.
One of the provisions is to hold individuals without trial or under house arrest without being told why they are being held in the first place. A person could potentially be held for years because the orders for arrest are renewable after a year. There are thousands of people arrested but very few are convicted of terror plots. So they have lost a part of their life that they will never get back from sitting in a jail cell! There are four main areas to this bill. Shoot to kill, preventative detention, control orders and sedition offences. One of the more disturbing freedoms the government has taken with regards to these laws is the shoot to kill mandate.
This would give officers the right to shoot someone just because they were acting in a certain manner while they were holding them on terror related suspicisions. In Britain is has gotten so bad that people can’t take photos of police or any military personnel. There are some individuals who have been harassed for taking pictures near airports, government buildings or train tracks. Photographers who do not comply could face fines or 10 years in prison. There was a case of a family who was thought to have lied on a school application so they were spied on with anti-terrorism surveillance! It begs the question, “How far are we willing to go when it comes to anti-terrorism?
There is an alarming use of anti-terrorism ideals for the purpose of monitoring people’s emails, the noise at shelters, vets etc. It has been used for illegal fishing, disabled drivers and noisy children. This is all far from the protecting our freedoms. In fact, it could be said our freedoms are being stripped!
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