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A Tragedy in Three Acts by Mr No Name

This article was written by a musician and artist about the experience he had as a resident in Amsterdam when new identity laws were introduced…

I remember being present at an informal and rather intimate talk given by Timothy Leary in a small nightclub in Amsterdam called The Mazzo.  The theme of his discourse was the coming onslaught of the digital age, computer technology and the internet. As usual he had a lot to say… about that, and indeed about numerous topics. In passing he said how happy he was to be in Amsterdam ‘the most liberal city in the world’. That was in the 1980s.

In January 2005 the city of Amsterdam passed a law which gave new and extensive powers to the police of the kind which they had not previously enjoyed. This was the power to stop members of the public on the street or in any public place and ask them to show identification papers. This they could do with impunity so long as there was suspicion that the said member of public had perpetrated a crime (or was thinking to do so!). Read more