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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 9. June 5, 1952

What Price Freedom?

What Price Freedom?

Addressing the second session of the weekend school on the subject "Crisis in Our Civil Liberties.." Miss Shirley Smith said many New Zenlanders did not regard their democratic rights very highly. A large number of middle class folk shrugged their shoulders at Emergency Regulations and Police Offences Amendment Acts. Unfortunately Aristotle's definition of man as a political animal was dreamed up in days when citizens were marc conscious of their rights and duties.

Merely voting every 3 years was not fulling these rights and duties we must persistently exercise our right to express our views, and bring them to the notice of our governors. People have to be encouraged to do this. Many people avoid activity In politics because they "don't want to get into trouble." Such people were the "law-abiding citizens" at whom Mr. Webb's propaganda was directed when the Police Offences Bill was being debated. Milton called such people "common steadfast dunces."

The attack on civil freedom over the post period was a [unclear: manifestation] of the breakdown of capitalism, she said. When the ruling class felt they were losing their grip by other people's rights to criticise thorn and organise against them, they had no qualms about suppressing those rights.

Discussion centred around what methods the Socialist Clubs should adopt to oppose further encroachments on our freedom.