For immediate release: 13 November 2003
CND is concerned at the threat to public liberties by police use of anti-terror laws at next Thursday’s anti-Bush demonstration and today publicly challenged the home secretary to ensure that anti-terror police powers will not be used against protesters. The group, which has experienced over-zealous police use of the new powers in the past months, including at Fairford, has taken the unusual step of throwing down the gauntlet as it says the powers are affecting peaceful protest.

CND has called on all members of the public who are arrested under the terror laws, are searched under section 44 of the terror laws or are threatened with use of the laws, to report the incident in writing to themselves or Liberty – the civil liberties campaign group.

Liz Hutchins of CND, said,

“CND feels very strongly that people have every right to voice their opinions on George Bush. Already it looks like we’ll be stopped marching past parliament and Downing Street. CND has been holding large, public demonstrations for almost fifty years and never before have the police enforced such draconian powers.”

She continued,
“CND issues this challenge to the Home Secretary: During Bush’s visit next week, the Home Secretary should make a public commitment that the anti-terrorist legislation will not be used to limit people’s proper right to protest. We will be watching the use of these laws and will follow up any attempt to restrict our right to protest.”

CND has asked any member of the public who experiences the use or threat of use of terror laws to write to CND or Liberty with the full details.