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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Scientology protest group 'Anonymous' celebrates founder's birthday worldwide; At least three detained by police

>>Click here for the full EXCLUSIVE story and photos from around the globe.

The Internet group Anonymous today held protests critical of the Church of Scientology.

The global protests started in Australia where several hundred protesters gathered at different locations for peaceful protests.

In a global speech, the internet protest movement said Scientology "betrayed the trust of its members, taken their money, their rights, and at times their very lives." The protesters welcomed the public interest their protests have led to, and claimed they witnessed "an unprecedented flood of Scientologists [joining] us across the world to testify about these abuses." The group said it would continue with monthly actions.

At least three protesters were detained by police in Buffalo, New York and questioned after taking photographs and video of the Church from across the street. Police approached the three and began to "yell" at them. One protester was told by police that "the Church want you arrested. Now how am I going to avoid that." The protester then willingfully handed over his videotape of the church and asked not to be arrested. Subsequently all three were released without being charged. They were filming only the areas of the church that were visible from across the streets.

In a press statement from its European headquarters, Scientology accused the anonymous protesters of "hate speech and hate crimes", alleging that security measures were necessary because of death threats and bomb threats. This also makes the Church want to "identify members" of the group it brands as "cyber-terrorists".

Wikinews had correspondents in a number of protest locations to report on the protests.

>>Click here for the full EXCLUSIVE story and photos from around the globe.

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