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

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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.

Continue reading

Police Liaison Officer assaults press photographer

4 Feb

The video below shows a Police Liaison Officer hurl a member of the press across the pavement, ‘for her own safety’ during a protest by the English Defence League (EDL) in Slough on Saturday. Press members have claimed this was just one of a number of incidents in which Police Liaison Officers used excessive force against them on the day.

“For Your Own Safety!” – Police Liaison Assaults Press from Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital on Vimeo.

Police in Slough also used horses and batons to drive back and disperse anti-fascist protesters who attempted to obstruct the route of the EDL march. Four arrests were made.

Police Liaison Officers were developed, according to the Metropolitan and Sussex police forces, as a way to enhance communication and dialogue between the police and protesters, and to facilitate the policing of peaceful protest. Instead they have largely lost the trust of protest groups, following reports that they have routinely engaged in the gathering of intelligence, harassed activists and enthusiastically enforced public order strategies such as protest pens, kettles and mass arrests.

Anger at police kettle of student activists

30 Jan

birm student kettle 2

Students have spoken out at their anger and frustration at being kettled, filmed and questioned at the end of a demonstration at Birmingham University last night.

There had been a national meeting, followed by a march and an occupation of Birmingham University’s Great Hall. As the students left the occupation, they were met by lines of police. They were then held in a kettle, in cold and wet conditions, for up to four hours.

One student told us she had struggled to cope with the cold and wet and the lack of toilet facilities,

“It felt like forever, I needed the toilet and it was so horrible and uncomfortable and cold. When I finally got out my friends had to hold me up I was so cold and drained. I felt really helpless and wanted to cry.

My friend was in tears – this was the first demo she’d been on. She doesn’t want to go on another one ever again. The police terrify her now.

They kept us like that to keep our morale down, to absolutely smash our morale. I just feel really bitter and angry”

Continue reading

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