It’s easy to joke about the criminalisation of #antifa, but UK folks might have missed new legislation here that's massively expanding surveillance, police powers + sentencing for terrorism suspects. Let’s talk about the new #CounterTerrorism and Sentencing bill. [THREAD 1/]
The bill ends the prospect of early release for serious terrorism offenders and widens the list of offences classed as terror-related to ensure they carry tougher sentences. It also increases the maximum penalty for membership of a proscribed organisation from 10 to 14 years. 2/
It includes a £90 million funding boost for counter-terrrorism police + an extension of maximum prison sentences across the board. With UK prisons increasingly run for profit by private companies, it’s unlikely this is borne purely out of a concern for public safety. 3/
But the most worrying changes concern Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures. Tpims restrict movement, financial access and communications for suspects.

The bill removes any limit on the maximum length they can can be imposed (currently the limit is set at 2 years) 4/
This bill also downgrades the standard of proof necessary for imposing a TPIM notice. Instead of relying on a “balance of probabilities” to justify the intrusive surveillance of unprosecuted suspects, it’s now enough to cite “reasonable grounds”. Sound familiar? #warondrugs 5/
It also removes the current statutory deadline for an independent review of #Prevent - the racist surveillance program known for, among other things, targeting Muslim children under the age of 10 for questioning. This is despite any evidence of its efficacy let alone morality. 6/
And to top it all off, the bill ensures adult offenders will now also be required to take lie detector (polygraph) tests. You can read about why this is dangerous here: 7/
So where does that leave us, and how does it relate to what’s happening in the states right now?

The 'counter-terrorism' aspect of the Counter Terrorism and Sentencing bill is a red herring to usher in an acceleration of incarceration and surveillance by a Tory government. 8/
The prison industrial complex disproportionately affects black people, poc and - hot on the heels of an immigration bill expanding the scope of indefinite detention and deportation - migrants. It is racist to its core and violent at every level. And it works for profit. 9/
LET'S BE CLEAR: there's a benefit to the government of increasing the number of prisoners - it makes it look tough on crime, stifles dissent and cements relationships with companies who get lucrative contracts and in some cases profit off of exploitative prison labour. 10/
Trump has named anti-fascists as terrorists, but in the UK we have already seen the cop-loving @XRebellionUK briefly designated as such, and over the last few years calls grow louder for greater surveillance of the ‘far left’ based on lone-wolf attacks from the far right. 10/
As more migrants are finding themselves criminalised based on conditional immigration statuses, how long before groups resisting ICE find themselves proscribed? Or @ukblm ? Or, as we enter another recession with a decimated welfare system, even anti-austerity networks? 11/
This bill takes us much further from the dream of centring rehabilitation over imprisonment, or even of prison abolition. It gives cops huge powers over anyone the state decides to criminalise. And it increases the scope for punishing them to the benefit of private companies. 12/
If you're looking to @UKLabour for help, give this a read: The party campaigning for more bobbies on the beat hasn't signaled any opposition to the bill (perhaps bc it assumes its implementation will focus exclusively on Muslims - it won't). 13/
So to sum up: the counter-terrorism bill ushers in increased surveillance + incarceration by relying on Islamophobic frameworks to justify their expansion. It will disproportionately affect black people and poc, but may enable the stifling of dissent across the board. 14/
Trump’s America isn’t as far away as it seems. I’m really glad everyone is #antifa now, but as well as protesting racialised violence in the states, there is work to be done at home. 15/15
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