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Netpol’s submission to Home Office on covert human surveillance

27 Mar

In February, the Home Office announced a consultation on proposals to update the covert human intelligence sources code of practice and the covert surveillance code of practice. The deadline for submissions was today.

As well as endorsing the submission by campaigners from Police Spies Out of Lives, we submitted the following comments.

A PDF version of our submission is available here (131kB). Continue reading

CALL OUT: Help Netpol’s legal challenge of secret police databases

11 Mar

netpol-database-banner-02As part of our campaign against the industrial-scale collection and retention of personal information on individual campaigners, Netpol has recently begun legal action that challenges the Home Secretary and the Metropolitan Police over the legality of their policies governing secret police databases.

Netpol wants to see these databases shut down, because there is every reason to believe that data gathered in secret, with no checks and balances and no effective accountability, is not only unnecessary and intrusive but also riddled with gossip and rumour.

Now we need your help to support our legal case. Continue reading

How to Spot an Immigration Raid

11 Mar

A new infographic produced by Occupied Times

Download High Resolution Version | PDF | JPEG
Raids_Graphic

Anti Raids Network | network23.org/antiraids | @AntiRaids

Campaigners Launch Call For Public Inquiry Into Undercover Police

28 Feb

CopsLast night, a packed and at times emotional meeting at Unite’s headquarters in London launched a new campaign calling for a public inquiry into undercover police surveillance against political activism.

The Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) brings together campaigners, trade unionists and lawyers targeted by undercover police operations and speakers yesterday reflected the range of police surveillance targets, including blacklisted construction workers, anti-racist campaigners, environmental activists and, as emerged last year, the family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence. Continue reading

Secret Diary of an Olympic Domestic Extremist

5 Feb

This post is by Netpol member Kevin Blowe of Newham Monitoring Project

Domestic-ExtremistAfter reports in June last year that Newham Monitoring Project, the east London community group I’ve been part of for over 20 years, was spied on during the 1990s by undercover Metropolitan police officers, I’ve wanted to find out if information about me is held on secret police databases. The Guardian reported estimates of up to 9000 people classified by police as potential ‘domestic extremists’ and so to find out if I’m one of them, I submitted a ‘subject access request’ under data protection legislation.

The Met were supposed to comply within 40 days but it has taken over six months and the intervention of the Information Commissioner’s Office to finally receive a response. If the details provided are complete, they confirm that the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU), part of the Met’s SO15 Counter Terrorism Command, began logging my activities in April 2011 because I spoke at Netpol’s ‘Stand Up To Surveillance’ conference – ironically, an event debating the rise of unaccountable police intelligence gathering on protests and local communities.

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NMP publishes report on community legal observing during the London Olympics

18 Dec

100_3613This is a guest post by Netpol member Newham Monitoring Project

The gloss and spectacle of mega sporting events can hide many potential threats to human rights and equality. Today, on International Migrants Day, we are reminded of one of the starkest examples of this: the pattern of exploitation of migrant workers that has cast a shadow over the preparations for global sports events in recent years. In September 2013, reports emerged of brutality and forced labour in Qatar, which is preparing for the World Cup in 2022. This is one of many instances of exploitation around such events that extend beyond the appalling denial of employment rights. These include the displacement of people from their homes (as witnessed in Rio’s favelas in the preparation for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Brazil), unfulfilled promises to create jobs and affordable housing, environmental damage and harassment of working class, black or migrant communities by security officials, enforcement officers and police.

During the 2012 Olympics, Newham Monitoring Project (NMP) set up a human rights observation project in an attempt to monitor, record and challenge any detrimental impact on or targeting of local communities in east London. Today we publish a report setting out in detail how one of the UK’s longest-established civil rights organisations deployed close to a hundred ‘community legal observers’ (CLOs) during last summer’s Olympics, what these volunteers witnessed and how the experience of monitoring street level policing during such a major event can help other organisations, both in the UK and abroad, to consider using community legal observers in the future.

‘Monitoring Olympics policing during the 2012 Security Games’ is available to download here [PDF, 1.1 Mb]

Continue reading

Bail Conditions point the way to the potential future of protest

26 Nov

This is a guest post by Harry Stopes (@HarryStopes)

education-for-allThe use of restrictive bail conditions on protestors, many of whom have been arrested en masse, is a worrying trend evident in policing over the last two and a half years. The most recent example to be reported was that of Michael Chessum, the President of the University of London students’ union. He was arrested under section 11 of the Public Order Act, for failing to notify the police of a demonstration, and was bailed on condition that he refrain from engaging in any protest, at any university, or within half a mile of any university.

These bail conditions are supposedly designed to prevent re-offending, but in fact do nothing of the sort: the risk of a person committing a section 11 offence is unrelated to their ability to protest in general. ‘Universities’ are specified precisely because it is Chessum’s role to campaign on behalf of students at universities across London

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