We’ll probably be howled down by ‘control freaks’ in our society, but ARCO will go on record as warning against copying Dutch ‘police state legislation’.
Not only will we be howled down, people will deride us and say that we exaggerate. Well, maybe we do exaggerate, but the fact is that this kind of legislation creeps in slowly, a small step at a time, until all of a sudden we realize we have lost our freedoms (‘to save liberty’, as we are being told).
We are generally in favor of the move to integrate into Holland, but that does not mean we should follow every step Holland is taking. There are two articles in the WolBES which should be thrown out.
One allows the Lt. Governor to designate certain public areas as ‘security-risk areas’, where the police have the right to search for weapons ‘pre-emptively’. Obviously we don’t want people on Bonaire to carry illegal guns and other weapons. So why are pre-emptive searches bad?
Well, in a sense they are good, of course, because pre-emptive searches can prevent crime. And what’s the big deal if the police search you, when walking in a ‘security risk area’? If you have no illegal weapon on you, you have nothing to fear.
True. But we remind people that this is how fascism began, the police out on the streets acting tough. Everybody was cheering at first, but gradually it turned against the people. Because one thing leads to another. Searches in ‘security-risk areas’ will turn into ‘pre-emptive searches’ in your home, first with a warrant, next without warrant etc. We’d better say ‘No!’ from the beginning.
Give us a break!
We cannot deny that criminality in ‘security risk areas’ in Dutch cities did go down. One feels more secure also in such areas. Nor do we want to defend criminality. But we should realize that if you clamp down on crime in one area, it will move to the next. And the major point is that once you have lost your freedom, you will not easily get it back.
And do we really need this on Bonaire? There is crime everywhere in the world, but on Bonaire (Saba and Statia) there simply are no areas that are so infested with ‘criminals and terrorists’ that we need to desginate them as ‘security risk areas’. Give us a break. Let’s throw this article (153) out of the WolBES, please!
Camera’s in public places
The same with camera’s in public places. Not in the BES-islands, please! Throw the article out (154)! In London there are camera’s on every street corner. It is true that they prevent and solve crime. So our warning will probably go unheeded. But we insist that these kinds of measures will lead to intolerance. Not only ‘zero tolerance’ to crime, but also zero tolerance to somebody else’s differing opinion, race or religion. Security is important, but so is liberty.