Sat, 18 Nov 2006
A few of the upcoming events you may want to participate in, attend or watch. I'll be at several of them. Come and say hi if you're there as well.
Henry Porter's Suspect Nation documentary
Monday 20 November, 21:00 (repeat Wednesday 29 November 22:00)
Since Tony Blair's New Labour government came to power in 1997, the UK civil liberties landscape has changed dramatically. ASBOs were introduced by Section 1 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and first used in 1999. The right to remain silent is no longer universal. Our right to privacy, free from interception of communications has been severely curtailed. The ability to travel without surveillance (or those details of our journeys being retained) has disappeared.
Indeed, as Henry Porter (the Observer journalist famous for his recent email clash with Tony Blair over the paring down of civil liberties) reveals in this unsettling film, our movements are being watched, and recorded, more than ever before.
London Assembly, 7 July Review Committee
Wednesday 22 November, 14:00 (will be webcast live)
The Chamber , City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA
The meeting will be attended by senior representatives from the emergency services, Transport for London, and the National Health Service. The Committee will ask them questions about what progress they have made on key issues such as underground communications, digital radios / alternatives to mobile telephones, and putting in place plans to care for survivors of major incidents.
Civil liberty vs. the database state
Wednesday 29th November, 19:00 - 21:00
Lecture Theatre One, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, South Kensington, London SW7
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, QC, MP, Ross Anderson and Henry Porter consider where we go from here. The Identity Cards Act 2006 is law, and must be repealed, but meanwhile the government is already working on extending its scope, through "information sharing" across the public sector and an "Identity Management Action Plan" to be produced by the end of this year. What new threats does this offer to personal liberty? How can the slide to the database state be halted?
Reclaiming our rights
Saturday 2nd December, 10:00 - 17:00
Libeskind Building (Graduate School), London Metropolitan University, Holloway Road N7, (tube Holloway Road)
Plenary speakers: Gareth Peirce, Mark Thomas, Craig Murray, Mark Muller, Brian Haw, Bill Bowring, Nafeez Ahmed
Themes: Anti-terrorism measures, detention and repression of asylum seekers and other migrants, new police powers against demonstrators, ASBOs, ID cards and state surveillance; and how foreign policy and new state strategies for social control relate to all of these measures.
The Terrorist Threat and Freedoms Today - Learning from the US and UK experience
Tuesday 5th December, 19:00
House of Commons Committee Room 14, Parliament, Westminster
Speakers: David Cole (Professor of Law at Georgetown University and author of Terrorism and the Constitution) and Louise Christian (Human Rights Lawyer and Liberty Board Member)
Chair: Katy Clark MP
David Cole and Louise Christian will discuss whether sacrificing civil liberties has in fact made us safer, and suggest that some trade-offs in liberties may have actually made us less safe. They will discuss what has and has not changed since the terrorist attacks of September 11 and July 7, respectively, and how we should proceed as we seek security and justice for all in the future.
Informing yourself is one aspect of how you can act
to help halt and reverse the erosion of our civil liberties.