24 Apr 2010

Protests against new powers for Govt agencies

3:21 pm on 24 April 2010

More than 100 protesters have marched down Queen Street in central Auckland, demonstrating against the government's search and surveillance bill.

Two other rallies took place in Wellington and Christchurch earlier on Saturday.

Protest organiser Cameron Walker says the protesters hope to raise public awareness about the bill, which is going through the Justice and Electoral Select Committee, and its implications.

Mr Walker says the bill takes away the right to silence and gives 70 other government agencies the same powers as police.

The Auckland Council for Civil Liberties says it gives vast powers to search and detain individuals.

Council president Barry Wilson likens the powers it will give to the 70 state agencies, as similar to Stalin's Russia.