Tory new definition of terrorism in a crackdown on all opposition to Zionist genocide

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MICHAEL Gove, the Tory Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, is due this week to unveil plans to ban individuals and groups who ‘undermine the UK’s system of liberal democracy’ from all aspects of public life.

Yesterday, the Observer newspaper revealed details of a leaked document from Gove’s department that sets out plans for ‘trailblazer’ departments to spearhead this assault on all those groups and individuals accused of being in breach of a new official definition of ‘extremism’.

Gove’s department started work on this new definition of what constitutes extremism in Spring 2023, long before the Israeli regime launched its genocidal war in Gaza that has led to a massive uprising of millions of workers and young people across the world.

According to documents leaked to the Observer last November the new definition states: ‘Extremism is the promotion or advancement of any ideology which aims to overturn or undermine the UK’s system of parliamentary democracy, its institutions and values.’

Martin Bright, editor-at-large for the campaign group Index on Censorship, said at the time: ‘This is an unwarranted attack on freedom of expression and would potentially criminalise every student radical and revolutionary dissident,’ adding: ‘It has never been the British way to arrest people for thought crime.’

If the Tories are allowed to get away with it then ‘thought crime’ will openly become the ‘British way’ and any dissent, no matter how peaceful, will be cracked down upon by the courts and police.

All the demands for the Tories to stop and think again before implementing this plan, including warnings for government officials that it would be liable to challenge through the courts, have been ignored and this week Gove will reveal the first steps in criminalising all those who oppose the UK’s complicity in genocide.

This involves any organisation or individual in breach of the new official definition of terrorism being excluded from any engagement with ministers, senior civil servants, government advisory boards and funding.

But this is just the start, as Gove made clear in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph where he pledged to expose groups trying to ‘subvert democracy’.

Gove was at pains to portray the half million workers and youth who marched through London on Saturday as ‘good-hearted people’ who had been cruelly misled by the organisers, saying: ‘Some of the events that have been organised, have been organised by extremist organisations.’

Gove even managed to accuse Iran of being behind the massive outrage of millions of people at the mass murder and deliberate starvation being carried out by the Zionist regime, with the support and complicity of the UK government.

Gove told the Telegraph: ‘It is undoubtedly the case that there are individuals who are either linked to or who admire the Iranian regime, and who are extremist in the UK’, before adding: ‘but I can’t say more than that’. Gove also expressed the Tory determination to overturn a recent ruling over the case of Bristol University professor David Miller who was sacked for anti-Zionist views.

The court ruled Miller was unfairly dismissed, that anti-Zionist beliefs are not anti-Semitic and are protected in the workplace.

Gove told the Telegraph: ‘We do need to revisit the law.’

The Tory intention is clear, any support for the Palestinian struggle and opposition to the mass murder of nearly 40,000 men, women and children in Gaza will be illegal, in fact, any individual or group that stands against Tory laws can expect the police to turn up at their door.

Workers rising up against Israel’s genocidal war and against a Tory government that fully supports the right of the Zionist regime to slaughter tens of thousands of Palestinians, are not good-hearted dupes of anyone.

Workers have shown that they have had enough of imperialist war and slaughter and will not sit back while the Tories plan to use the full force of the capitalist state to crack down on their opposition.

The time has come for the working class to force the TUC to act and call a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers’ government that will provide all the aid required by Palestinians to smash the occupation and go forward to the independent state of Palestine.