Magazine of the Socialist Party in Australia

Terror raids used in scare campaign

Seven teenagers have been arrested across Melbourne in a series of alleged anti-terror raids. Police have carefully stage-managed the publicity, and media reports of the events have not deviated from official lines. These events have been used to claim a need for more anti-democratic powers to be given to police.

By David Elliott, Socialist Party

Socialists always oppose individualistic acts of terror, and have no sympathy for violent right-wing movements of any kind. However, there are many questions around these terror raids and the actions of police.

The offenses include possession of weapons and alleged explosive devices and conspiracy to commit acts of terror. One of the accused has been held under a ‘preventative detention order’. These orders violate basic concepts of natural justice, allowing police to hold a suspect without charge for as long as two weeks.

‘Anti-terror’ legislation has already been used against political activists overseas. The Australian laws are written so broadly that they could be used against all sorts of people that criticise the government. Working people have no cause to believe that these draconian powers will not be misused.

The best way to fight terror is not through anti-democratic laws but by building a decent and just society for all.