Would Orwell be considered a terrorist?

February 11, 2014
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George Orwell as International Brigader in Spain, with the POUM militia at the Aragón front. Orwell is the tallest among the standing figures

George Orwell as International Brigader in Spain, with the POUM militia at the Aragón front. Orwell is the tallest among the standing figures

“If George Orwell and Laurie Lee were to return from the Spanish civil war today, they would be arrested under section five of the Terrorism Act 2006,” George Monbiot wrote in The Guardian yesterday,

If convicted of fighting abroad with a “political, ideological, religious or racial motive” – a charge they would find hard to contest – they would face a maximum sentence of life in prison. That they were fighting to defend an elected government against a fascist rebellion would have no bearing on the case. They would go down as terrorists. … People fighting against forces that run a system of industrialised torture and murder and are systematically destroying entire communities could be banged up for life for their pains. Is this any fairer than imprisoning Orwell would have been?

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