The next hearing in the case of David Miranda vs the Home Secretary is scheduled for November 6th and is due to start at 10:30 am.
Our strategy is still a little up in the air with the feeling being that more alliances are required to make a success of a street protest. Also I was unable to find out what the subject of the hearing is precisely, though it does seem likely to be the first round of the judicial review procedure. As such, the above date and time may be a time for us to hit the streets or it may not.
If you are interested in taking action on a work day, then get in touch. Meanwhile, watch this space.
David Miranda is a Guardian journalist working with Glenn Greenwald on the NSA Files – a collection of leaked documents that revealed pervasive internet surveillance by US and UK authorities. On passing through Heathrow he was detained for nine hours and treated like a terrorist. Nobody, not even actual terrorists, had been treated this way before.
It was quickly admited that his detention took place under anti-terror legislation designed to help authorities determine if air pasengers were terrorists but the authorities seemed to know that David Miranda was not a terrorist before he was stopped. When the law is used in this way, it is no protection at all. A judicial review has been initiated by the Guardian to get to the truth of the matter and hearings will take place on an unknown date likely to be in October.
I would like to do something about this, in support of objective equally applied law and against arbitrary interpretation of the law by officials. I cannot do that alone and need help. I need to know:
- what support I can get from the community, and from beyond the meetup?
- what it is possible to say and do legally while the case is underway?
- what tactics will work?
- what materials are needed and how to pay for them?
I would like to get together at the usual venue of the Rose and Crown in Southwark for a meeting to consider these questions. You can RSVP on meetup.com, but this is optional. There is an indication of the seated capacity on the meetup page.
Also, please do share the graphic below.
Theresa May, in her capacity as a senior MP and minister is responsible, with 649 others, for setting out the law which which governs this country and for seeing it is governed in the manner they set down. It is her job to decide to how the country is run.
As Richard Carey said yesterday, the facts are obvious and Lord Falconer agrees, but lets spell it out anyway. In the David Miranda case she was informed, with the entire “senior tier” as David Davis put it, that a “port stop” would occur in the case of a journalist carrying US (not UK) state secrets with a view to analysing them. This did not mean he would publish them, or that any associate would, without them first being subjected to the usual tests of balance. Since, in fact, he could have published them from Germany without returning to Rio, it is clear the material was not for immediate publication. That fact alone makes Miranda, prima facie, one of the good guys. To justify a suspicion that Miranda was a terrorist it would be necessary to argue that his role in support of Glenn Greenwald is a cover for his terrorist plot. This has not been argued, and Miranda has been released. Carrying US state secrets, on its own, does not make him a terrorist. It simply doesn’t. No way. No how. What it does make him is a dissident.
It is entirely obvious to everyone that the law used to detain David Miranda was abused. It has also been admitted that the Home Secretary knew in advance that it would be used for the stop and she has also defended use of the law after the fact.
At the time, Theresa May must have been in one of two states of mind:
- She did not realise the law was to be abused; which means she has failed in her role of Home Secretary. She should express regret and face up to it.
- She did realise that the law was being abused and chose not to intervene because she felt that it was acceptable for laws to be repurposed ad hoc; which disqualifies her from office as Home Secretary.
This should be brought to a head. Her statement yesterday afternoon does not clarify matters, she could still be either deluded or evil, it simply takes her in deeper. To help cast some light on her state of mind I would like her to answer the question “Does she think it is acceptable for a law designed for purpose A to be used for purpose B as an expedient?”. I will be writing to my MP to suggest that this question is put to her. I suggest you do the same.
Getting this question asked, in Parliament, is something that can be easily achieved if a few people persuade their MPs to forward the question in writing or orally. Write to your MP so we can apply some pressure.
Write to your MP now and have them forward this question:
“Does the Home Secretary believe it is acceptable for a law designed for purpose A to be used for purpose B?”