Weekend protests on Search and Surveillance Bill

It was great to see so many people turn out in

weekend protests

against the Big Brother Search and Surveillance Bill. There were some novel touches. In New Plymouth a ‘surveillance camera’ was set up outside National MP Jonathan Coleman’s office.

In Wellington the march ended at the National Party offices, where I was able to explain how the Bill expanded not only Police search and surveillance powers, but also those of several other state organisations, from Internal Affairs and DOC, to the Ministry of Economic Development. Also worrying are the Examination Orders, which require both suspects and witnesses to answer questions, breaching the traditional right to silence. Two other Green MPs, Metiria Turei and David Clendon were able to speak to protesters in Christchurch and Auckland.

After some controversy regarding overt Police surveillance of protests, it is interesting that uniformed Police stayed out of sight until just after its leaders had declared the protest over.