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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Picket Bow Street Magistrates Court

Monday 13 January 2002 at 9.45am

In support of those facing charges under the Terrorism Act 2000

People Against the Terrorism Act (PATA)

Six men and women appear at the Bow Street Magistrates Court on Monday in connection with charges brought against them under the Terrorism Act 2000. They are Rory O'Driscoll, Allaatin Kalander, Gurkan Gur, Songul Ozgur, Selver Kapan Birten Kalayci. The Terrorism Act 2000 enabled the authorities to raid the homes of these men and women in the early hours of the morning and drag them from their beds for interrogation. They were then detained and questioned for a further 7 days without being charged with any offence. The Terrorism Act 2000 permits all this to take place against any one of us without the need for any evidence connecting the accused to any “terrorist act” to be brought before a court of law. All that is required is a "suspicion". The 6 have now been charged with membership of and fundraising for a proscribed organisation under the Terrorism Act 2000. The evidence which has so far been brought against them is far from damning, indeed harmless and perfectly legitimate forms of activity have been pointed to – photos of some of the accused performing at music concerts; and involvement in the distribution and sale of a magazine, legal in Turkey, which highlights the appalling human rights situation in that country. In this respect the British state has gone to even further lengths of repression than the Turkish state, implying terrorist connections to a magazine which is legal and freely available in Turkey.

All 6 men and women are human rights activists who work courageously to expose and to oppose the gross human rights violations of the Turkish government. Abuses which occur on a daily basis include the routine imprisonment and torture of political prisoners; extra-judicial killings; rape by police officers; cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners in isolation cells.

The label “terrorist” exists to stigmatise and smear the accused, avoiding the need for any evidence to be brought against them. It destroys any possibility of a fair trial. It is also increasingly being manipulated to ensure the British public remain unaware of what is really going on here. As far as we are concerned the only crime of these 6 men and women is their unceasing efforts to expose the true fascist nature of the Turkish state (a NATO ally) and to build public awareness about the situation in Turkey at a time when Turkey is gearing up for entry into the EU and occupies a key strategic position in the event of aggression against Iraq.

It suits the British state to turn a blind eye to Turkey’s ongoing abuses and to clamp down on Turkey’s dissenters in this country in order to secure for itself the possibility of lucrative trade deals and investment in Turkish markets, in addition to the use of bases on Turkish soil to attack Iraq. Britain’s defence Minister, Geoff Hoon visited Turkey only last week to plead for the use of Turkish bases. The arrest of these 6 men and women coincided with an EU expansion summit in Copenhagen at which a date was set for negotiations to begin on the issue of Turkey’s admission to the EU.

Almost daily now the newspapers carry reports of yet more arrests of so-called “terrorists” in this country, those arrested are almost without exception asylum seekers and the details of their alleged terrorist activity are hazy at best. It is clear that this is just the latest attempt by the British state to sell a very unpopular war against Iraq to a highly sceptical public by creating fear and panic and through stirring up racial prejudices.

We are here today in order to demonstrate that the British people will not allow these violations of our most basic human rights and liberties to go on unchallenged. We protest against the erosion of our rights to hold views or support organisations which oppose the policies of the British state. We denounce the escalation of racist scapegoating orchestrated by the government and a craven media, directed against the most vulnerable and voiceless sections of our communities. We demand the immediate repeal of the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Anti Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 and the release of all persons currently detained or facing charges under either Act. We refuse to be duped into accepting war against Iraq or any state threatened under the so-called war on terrorism.

For more information about the Picket or about PATA please contact Beth on 07810 397 268 or email




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
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Index: Current Articles

12 January 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Political Violence and Questions of Legitimacy
Christina Sherlock


Acquiring Transmission Points
Anthony McIntyre


The Blood Stays on the Blade

Seaghán Ó Murchú


Identity Under Siege
Paul de Rooij


No War On Iraq
Davy Carlin


Picket In Support of Human Rights Activists


9 January 2003


Pressure on Sinn Fein Grows
Tommy McKearney


Hiroshima non amour: Desmond Fennell’s predictable dissent

Seaghán Ó Murchú


Bush and Blair are going for it: Time to Act
Davy Carlin


Lied His Way In - Lied His Way Out
Anthony McIntyre


Six Soldiers
Annie Higgins


Imperialism - It Hasn't Gone Away, You Know
Brian Kelly


Picket In Support of Human Rights Activists


The Letters page has been updated.




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