Yesterday outside the hotel NO2ID held a protest as the people attending this meeting turned up. Some managed to get into the meeting room in order to make their points to the minister, but when they refused to leave they were arrested by the police for breach of the peace. As would be standard procedure under such an event their DNA samples would be taken and will no be held on the Government's DNA database, even if no charges are eventually brought against them.
Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:
"When government ministers refuse to attend public meetings but instead hide behind secretly organised "consultation" meetings, we know New Labour is losing the plot.
"But when peaceful protesters are arrested for simply standing up against a government's abuse of power, then anyone who cares about liberty should be outraged."
Our liberty is being eroded bit by bit by this Government, up to 42 days detention without trial, freedom to protest (wasn't that how the Labour Party was formed), our right to privacy. While this Government has been adding stealth taxes they have also been nibbling away at our freedoms, they claim in the name of freedom. Yet when we go beyond the time scale that China can hold prisoners. When we arrest peaceful demonstrators for breach of the peace when 'consultation' meetings concerning the people go on behind closed doors are we any better than some of those we abhor.
Our Government is protesting that Robert Mugabe is not listening to the voice of the people, yet this Government itself seems adamant to not heed any of the arguments against a national ID database. The fact that three times in the last two weeks more records and sensitive files have been mislaid is one strong one indicator of just how insecure our publicly held information is. Beware what you think, if it doesn't agree with Gordon who knows where you may end up.