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State surveillance, counter-terror powers and global securitisation strategies - public meeting

When

Tuesday 10 December 2013

6.30-8.30pm

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Where

NUJ Headland House, 308-312 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8DP

Details

Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), Statewatch, National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (CPBF) and the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers have come together to organise a public meeting and panel discussion on state surveillance, counter-terror powers and global securitisation strategies.

Matthew Ryder QC, said:

"In recent months, responsible investigative journalism of the highest standard has revealed both the way in which undercover policing has been used to monitor legitimate political activity and also how UK authorities have apparently engaged in the mass collection of personal communications and data in the name of national security. Those revelations have started an important public debate, both nationally and internationally, that would otherwise not have taken place. This event is an significant contribution to that debate, bringing together many figures who have been at the forefront of these stories. The discussion will consider not only what is done in the name of 'national security’ but, as importantly, the role of  journalists and others in revealing what is going on to the public and the risks they face in doing so."

Speakers include:

  • Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary
  • Tony Bunyan, director of Statewatch, journalist and author of The Shape of Things to Come
  • Rob Evans, Guardian journalist and co-author with Paul Lewis of Undercover: the True Story of Britain’s Secret Police
  • Matthew Ryder, QC at Matrix Chambers and representing David Miranda
  • Dr Nafeez Ahmed, author, international security scholar, environment writer for the Guardian and author of A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization And How to Save It
  • Les Levidow, CAMPACC
  • Kat Craig, Reprieve, legal director of the Abuses in Counter-Terrorism (ACT) and vice-chair of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers (chair)

‘National security’ has been the common rationale for special counter-terror measures and mass state surveillance. State methods include: undercover agents, interrogation under Schedule 7, informers and electronic surveillance by the NSA and GCHQ. These practices systematically breach the right to privacy of one's correspondence. Recent revelations about pervasive, mass electronic surveillance have provoked public debate on such practices and their political rationale.

These measures have especially targeted migrant communities, Muslims and political activists. Counter-terror powers also impose various punishments without trial, e.g. 28-day pre-charge detention, freeze on bank accounts, travel restrictions, even revocation of citizenship.

Such extreme powers are not needed to protect the public. Rather, they are used to intimidate, disorganise and stigmatise opposition to state agendas for global domination and permanent war. Through a securitisation process, potentially all societal conflicts are portrayed as threats of disorder or of enemies. Threats – terrorism, extremism and suspicious behaviour – are defined so broadly as to target potentially anyone. Supposedly to protect us from such threats, ‘security measures’ are becoming all-pervasive, turning us all into suspects.  

This public meeting will analyse state strategies and will discuss how various resistances can converge more effectively.

To reserve a place at the event, please email:

Sarah Kavanagh, NUJ senior campaigns and communications officer

For background information:

Statewatch magazine No.10, September, 2013

Dr Nafeez Ahmed:
The cutting edge blog
The crisis of civilization

Institute for policy research and development

For more information please contact:

Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)
Estella Schmid, e-mail: estella24@tiscali.co.uk or call: 020 7586 5892

Further details and contact information

Sarah Kavanagh
Email: sarahk@nuj.org.uk

Event website

Tags: , surveillance, terrorism, security