Press Release from Scotland Against Criminalising Communities
Nicky Moss, producer of the acclaimed new film "Taking Liberties", will be taking part in a panel discussion following a screening of the film at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Saturday afternoon (7 July). Naomi McAuliffe of Amnesty International, Geraint Bevan of the NO2ID campaign, human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar and Osama Saeed of the Muslim Association of Britain will also be joining the discussion. The discussion has been arranged with the help of civil liberties group Scotland Against Criminalising Communities.
"Taking Liberties", directed by Chris Atkins, documents New Labour's long-running war on freedom. It shows how people of all communities have found their rights under attack in a staggering range of situations - and how they are fighting back. And it shows how the suppression of protests against war has been a central theme of the wider attack on rights and liberties.
The screening comes at a moment when we can expect to see the Brown government exploiting recent events to gain our acquiescence in the loss of some of the rights we still have left. Blair tried something similar in the aftermath of the far more destructive London bombings of July 2005. He found himself in deep political water. Parliament wouldn't grant him the right to hold terror suspects for up to 90 days before charging them. Regrettably, Parliament agreed to a number of other repressive measures, including the notorious prohibition against "glorifying terrorism." In New Labour's language, "terrorism" doesn't just mean events like the apparent attack on Glasgow airport. Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the word can also cover a wide variety of political acts, including actions that don't involve violence to the person.
Blair only got his way over "gloryfying terrorism" after a tough fight and after promising a review of the definition of terrorism - a review that has turned out to be a rubber stamp. "Taking Liberties" should come as a reminder that we shouldn't let Brown sleep-walk us out of the freedoms that Blair tried to wrestle from us.
The screening of "Taking Liberties" will follow a Glasgow demonstration against terrorism. Called at short notice by a number of Glasgow's Islamic groups and supported by many other people, the demonstration aims to give people of all communities a chance to show that they stand united against terrorism in all its forms. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be speaking at the event. SACC supports the demo.
Chris Atkins, Director of "Taking Liberties", said in advance of the film's release:
"Taking Liberties tells the story of how, over the last ten years, a group of sharp suited PR Men and management consultants called New Labour have stolen the rights and freedoms of the British People. This story is not told by celebrities or politicians, but by ordinary people whose lives have been turned upside down by injustice. What is probably most fascinating is to see how these people - whether they have been arrested for a peaceful protest or tortured in Guantanamo Bay - have reacted to their injustices in startling and uplifting ways.
...We have been told that we must lay down our freedoms for our lives. I prefer to remember those people in past generations who laid down their lives for our freedoms."
SACC hopes that Saturday's demonstration and film screening will give everyone a chance to reflect on those words.
- Taking Liberties will be shown at the Glasgow Film Theatre (12 Rose Street) at 2.30pm on Saturday 7 July. Box Office 0141 332 8128
- poster - Taking Liberties screening and discussion
- The rally - entitled "Scotland United Against Terror" will assemble at 1.30pm on Saturday 7 July in Glasgow's George Square
- See Glasgow airport incident - SACC Press Statement, 1 July 2007
- See alsoSACC welcome demo against terror - SACC Press Statement, 4 July 2007