?

Log in

No account? Create an account

is protest illegal?

« previous entry | next entry »
Nov. 19th, 2002 | 11:28 am

From H.R. 5005.

The term "Terrorism" means any activity that-- (A) involves an act that-- (i) is adnagerous to human life or potentially destructive of criticial infrastructure and (ii) is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State or other subdivision of the United states; and (B) appears to be intended-- (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping. (Section 2.15)

The violation of criminal law to influece the policy of the government, would seem to declare the Seattle anti-WTO protests acts of terrorism. (Heck in states with sodomy laws, gay pride festivals could nearly be considered terrorism.)

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {6}

(no subject)

from: zuggy
date: Nov. 19th, 2002 11:44 am (UTC)
Link

I fear that these definitions will grow larger and eventually terrorism will become an convenient excuse to incarcerate people.

Reply | Thread

Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Nov. 19th, 2002 11:39 pm (UTC)
Link

Yes, I've been a bit worried about how loose the definition of terrorism will get. I wonder if the US is heading toward a state that can make white middle class people "disappear" in the night.

(Considering we already hold non-us citizens without due process)

Reply | Parent | Thread

Josh

(no subject)

from: irilyth
date: Nov. 19th, 2002 07:13 pm (UTC)
Link

The "violation of criminal law" part isn't the whole story -- it also has to include the violence & coercion aspect. A peaceful protest (e.g. a gay pride festival) will never fit the bill. A violent protest (e.g. the WTO riots) might...

I agree that stretching the definition of "terrorism" isn't useful for either stopping terrorism or improving the peace.

(Btw, hi! :^)

Reply | Thread

Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Nov. 19th, 2002 11:55 pm (UTC)
Link

I'm not sure if I'd agree with the law never being misused in the case of unpopular groups (like those attending gay pride). I'm imaging places where the norm is to strongly disapprove of gay pride and the people currently staffing the state want to find some excuse for harassing the attendees.

Take texas for instance, I saw a clip of a debate in the texas legislature about criminalizing heterosexual sodomy. The representative pushing for the criminalization had it listed as a class 3 misdemeanor. However when one woman representative questioned him on it, he suggested that he'd be quite happy to make it a felony.

Later in the debate she asked "you want it to be a crime, even if he [her husband] slipped?"

Since the definition of terrorism contained at least some weasel room, I can imagine such a texan trying to use it as a way of justifying wiretaps without warrants to see if someone (for instance a "terrorist" organizing a gay pride festival) is committing sodomy.

On the other hand because I want the state to have as many checks on it's power as possible I think everyone including terrorists should have the right to a trial, need warrants for wiretaps, and other traditional rights.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Josh

(no subject)

from: irilyth
date: Nov. 20th, 2002 12:49 am (UTC)
Link

Indeed; I'm most disturbed by the general idea that people who you can stamp with certain labels (like "terrorist") should be treated differently than other people, especially when it comes to things like the criminal justice system. Terrorism sucks, but I don't see why the law should treat a terrorist mugger any different from a regular old mugger (or insert other violent crime of your choice). Then again, on the other end of the political spectrum, I feel the same way about hate crimes: If someone commits a violent crime, it's more horrifying if they did it for hateful reasons, but I'm not convinced that the law should be different depending on their motivation.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Robin

(no subject)

from: solri
date: Nov. 20th, 2002 05:40 am (UTC)
Link

Heck in states with sodomy laws, gay pride festivals could nearly be considered terrorism.

I'm starting a new terrorist network: Ass Qaida.

Reply | Thread