indyhack - a cellular semiotic revolution: APEC black list - Why are you surprised?

indyhack - a cellular semiotic revolution: APEC black list - Why are you surprised?

Are you on a list of "excludable persons" from APEC07?

Proposed laws around APEC are a draconian, unreasonable curb on the right to protest - a direct attack on every citizen’s right to dissent.

The APEC summit will discuss how to best push their policies of cuts, privatisation, free trade, and IR laws down workers throats. The world’s biggest war criminals, environmental polluters and exploitative bosses will discuss ways of increasing profits while ordinary people with legitimate concerns are locked out.

The unprecedented security operation to protect George W Bush and other political leaders will see the introduction of new APEC security legislation. These new laws will include the "suspension of normal bail provisions, new powers to do random searches, and exclude "prohibited" people from restricted zones. Anyone under suspicion can be arrested and held without bail.

The "APEC Meeting (Police Powers) Bill 2007" allows the Police Commissioner to create a secret list of people who are excluded from APEC "security areas". Police Minister, David Campbell:

"Those who have been involved in violent and disruptive protests in the past will most likely be on this list. They won't need to be informed - they know who they are."

Police will be able to compile a list of people or organisations without any fundamental justification, who can be listed as "excludable persons" - reminiscent of communist East Germany.

These measures are not aimed at possible terrorist attacks but at criminalising dissent and stifling opposition to the neo-liberal polices that APEC represents. The Police say they will "use any number of methods to gather intelligence about individuals and organisations"...

The APEC Bill will, according to the NSW government, prevent protesters from "terrifying the public". The law would:

- create "restricted" and "declared" areas in large parts of central Sydney;

- allow the police to stop and search anyone in or around these areas and confiscate items considered "prohibited", including banner poles;

- allow for six-month jail terms for simply entering a restricted area without justification and two years’ jail for carrying a “prohibited item”;

- and presume against bail for many offences (meaning people arrested could be detained for up to two weeks).

The law would also:

- severely limit police liability, raising the possibility that the police will be allowed to break the law with impunity,

- allow police to create secret lists of "excluded people" including those who fail to comply with a police order during APEC and those who the police consider pose a "threat" to people or property during APEC. These people will be prevented from entering parts of Sydney during APEC.

These extraordinary police powers, aimed at protesters, are designed to deflect the public discussion [around] APEC away from the real and terrible violence and injustice in the world today...

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