Mon 30 Jun 2008
This is an excerpt from "eurofact", a British think tank, May 9, 2008
The EU is becoming increasingly concerned about “troublemakers” and is currently trying to find ways of listing them in a data base as the first step in barring them from taking part in protests and demonstrations.
From G8 summit 2007, Heiligendamm,. Germany.
According to Statewatch, the civil liberties monitoring group, the German police reaction to the Heiligendamm G8 summit suggests that any protest can now be defined as “gatherings of individuals prone to violence”.
The working party charged with this responsibility has not yet come up with a definition of the word which it finds satisfactory, but it is clear that that it is intended to include those who demonstrate at EU summits and will certainly include a significant number who have not been found guilty of any criminal offence.
A Council Presidency paper says that a SIS/SIRENE (Schengen Information System) working party discussed the issue on 29th January this year, and concluded that the data to be collected would concern: “persons to be barred from certain events, such as European summits or similar venues, international sports or cultural events”. "Troublemakers” and what to do about them has been a topic for discussion at EU meetings for several years and has been a particular preoccupation of the German government. But what is disturbing is the failure of officials and national delegations to distinguish criminal activity from vigorous political protest and the evident intention of some to conflate the two.
Alerts might be issued in relation to those found guilty, suspected or accused of “significant criminal offences”.
But suspected by whom and accused by whom?
Moreover, the definition of “significant criminal offences” is absurdly wide including breaches of the peace, trespass and criminal damage as well as arson and causing an explosion.
Tony Bunyan, the Statewatch editor commented “We can now see a pattern emerging across the EU where people who exercise their democratic right to attend cross - border protests are confronted by aggressive para-military policing, surveillance, preventive detention and expulsion”.
“This is a reflection of the EU’s definition of ‘security’ at international events which is now defined as covering both ‘counter-terrorism’ and ‘public order’
“Back in 2003 the bilateral exchange of information on ‘suspected troublemakers’ between EU states for international events was agreed. What is proposed now is not the one-off exchange of information related to a specific event but a permanent EU-wide database of suspected‘ troublemakers’; this is utterly unacceptable in a democraticEurope.
”The right to demonstrate is arguably not as fundamental to liberty as the right to free expression. But as the gulf between Europe’s political elite and the voters yawns ever wider many may come to feel that direct protest is one of the few avenues available to them to express their opposition to EU decisions or indeed to the EU itself.
The Lisbon Treaty and the refusal of most governments to allow the people who elected them a say on the matter has guaranteed that there will be more anti-EU demonstrations and that they will be bigger and noisier than in the past. If the German delegation to the EU working party succeeds in its current intentions the demonstrators will be kept as far away as possible from EU summits and the television news crews that attend them by means of mass arrests, detention and expulsion.
In the long run nothing is more likely to produce violence, lawbreaking and the erosion of public order than the attempt to stifle political protest.
Of course, societies have a right to protect themselves from riots. And it may be better to prevent them than to combat them. I am thinking of autonomers and Muslim immigrants setting nearly all Denmark afire last winter – and of the French suburbs – and Heysel Stadium.
Left the Headquarters of Europol in the Hague
But it seems that the EU is planning something wider than that. Here we have a very vague definition giving Europol, the coming EU Parliamentary watchdog, and the national police – even the coming EU military task force a carte blanche to stifle any demonstration – including democratic protests against the EUSSR -as a first step. Considering the Lisbon Treaty is reintroducing killing/death penalty in riots this carries a very grave perspective.
Such initiatives are being passed by the EU without us being informed by our media or politicians. This is the sneaking police state planning having as its prerequisite the surveillance of us and our attitudes, of our reliability, submission to the system or our defiance.
In future posts I shall enter upon the surveillance system of the EU.
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