Protest the detention of David Miranda!

August 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm (Civil liberties, Free Speech, Guardian, Human rights, Jim D, law, media)

.@ukhomeoffice: Theresa May, review the use of Schedule 7 of Terrorism Act

Above: Miranda (left) and Greenwald

“Freedom only for supporters of the government, only for members of one party — however numerous they may be — is no freedom at all. Freedom is always and exclusively for the one who thinks differently. Not because of any fanatical concept of ‘justice’ but because all that is instructive, wholesome and purifying in political freedom depends upon this essential characteristic, and its effectiveness vanishes when ‘freedom’ becomes a special privilege” – Rosa Luxemburg, The Russian Revolution, 1918.

Regular readers will know that I think Glenn Greenwald is a self-important jerk with views that are symptomatic of a lot of what’s wrong with much of the so-called ‘left’ these days: third-worldist, petty bourgeois, often downright bizarre, and generally indifferent to working class struggle.

None of that changes the fact the detention of his partner David Miranda for nine hours at Heathrow under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, is an outrage and an obvious attempt to intimidate not only Greenwald, but all investigative journalists taking an interest in the activities of the US National Security Agency and the UK’s GCHQ.

Everyone who cares about free speech and a free press should sign this petition:


By Adeel Akhtar:

On Sunday David Miranda, the Brazilian partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald who has written stories about revealing mass surveillance programmes by the US Government, was held at Heathrow Airport under the UK Terrorism Act. He was released without charge after nine hours.

Being detained by authorities can be terrifying for an innocent person. Unfortunately I know how David feels. Ten years ago, I was returning to New York from London where I was studying when I was detained for several hours on ‘suspicion of terrorism’ – their reason? I looked ‘familiar’. It was a traumatic experience which left me feeling powerless and let down, fearful that when travelling I’ll be singled out and have to go through the same thing again.

Glenn Greenwald told the BBC: “They never asked him about a single question at all about terrorism or anything relating to a terrorist organisation. They spent the entire day asking about the reporting I was doing and other Guardian journalists were doing on the NSA stories.”

Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 allows the police to detain anyone at the UK’s borders without any requirement to show probable cause and hold them for up to nine hours, without seeking further justification.

Schedule 7 has a become a blunt legal instrument that the UK government can use to intimidate people who it doesn’t agree with. I think it’s time for the Government to review how it uses Schedule 7. Please join me.


  1. | PETITION Theresa May to review the use of Schedule 7 of Terrorism Act! | | truthaholics said,

    […] Protest the detention of David Miranda! ( […]

  2. Boleyn Ali said,

    One imagines David Davis will be holding another by-election in protest sometime soon

  3. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Glenn Greenwald is a self-important jerk with views that are symptomatic of a lot of what’s wrong with much of the so-called ‘left’ these days: third-worldist, petty bourgeois, often downright bizarre, and generally indifferent to working class struggle.

    He is much worse than that with whatever politics he (and Snowden and Assange) does have being right-libertarian.

    But this is indeed a fundamental issue of civil liberties and ultimately of self-preservation.

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