Right to protest & free expression


Standing up to Surveillance Conference

A Conference hosted by the Network for Police Monitoring.
Sunday 17th April.  10.30am – 5pm.
Venue : Rich Mix 35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA

Speakers include: Tom Fowler (activist and editor of Radical Wales), Marc Vallee (photojournalist and investigative journalist), Jason Parkinson (videojournalist), Kevin Blowe (Community centre worker, writer and commentator), Sam Walton, (activist with green and black cross and climate camp legal teams), Emily Apple (Fitwatch activist) and others to be confirmed.

The gathering of ‘intelligence’ by police on political protesters and minority communities is now a commonplace activity.  Some initiatives hit the press – the use of undercover police officers to infiltrate pacifist and environmental campaigns, for example, or installing ’covert’ cameras with counter terrorism money to watch the movements of Birmingham’s Muslim population.

Others have become routine and systematic; photographing people attending demonstrations; demanding names and addresses; ’mapping’ communities; gathering information from universities, Mosques and community organisations; building up a database of protesters and their activities.  Intelligence gathering is big business, and there are huge sums to be made by the companies that produce and supply the latest surveillance equipment or analytical software.

What is driving this rapid and seemingly unstoppable descent into a surveillance state?  Why are so many of us potential targets for state scrutiny?  Is an increasing demand for intelligence driven by a fear of ‘extremism’?  Or by the availability of technology and the millions that can be made from it?  And what can be done to stop it?

Many of the speakers at the Standing up to Surveillance conference have first-hand experience of the personal and political consequences of intelligence-gathering by police or security services.   The aim is to provide a space to share experiences, pool knowledge, and develop a deeper understanding of how our society as a whole is affected.

Everyone is welcome.

More information on programme, speakers and registration here.

The Network for Police Monitoring includes campaign groups Fitwatch, CAMPACC, Newham Monitoring Project, Climate Camp Legal Team and The Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp.