This is a guest post by Harmit Kambo, Campaigns Director, Privacy International
Imagine going to a peaceful protest and having to show your ID to the police before you can join it. Or having to fill out a form about why you are attending that particular protest. Sounds absurd, right? Surely we should all be free to protest, without the police knowing who we are?
But high tech surveillance of protests is real, and it enables the police to identify, monitor and track protestors, indiscriminately and at scale.
For example, your face is increasingly becoming your ID card with the rapid development of facial recognition technology and its deployment at protests.
The makers of the controversial film Injustice, which the Police Federation tried to suppress on its release in 2001, will begin screenings of a hard hitting follow up film starting this weekend. Ultraviolence, which was 10 years in the making, revisits the deaths and also reveals shocking new evidence in other cases.
Migrant Media will launch the film at the BFI Southbank on June 26 in a screening that will gather the families of several cases of victims of police violence, particularly of black people, from the last three decades. These include cases of murder and manslaughter. The event will include the announcement of a major initiative by the families of the victims of police violence which is supported by Black Lives Matter, 4WardEverUK, the United Families & Friends Campaign and Migrant Media.
A police officer has been convicted of the manslaughter of the former professional footballer Dalian Atkinson, after firing an electric stun gun into him for 33 seconds and kicking him twice in the head as he lay on the ground.
PC Benjamin Monk, of the West Mercia force, was convicted of the killing by a jury at Birmingham crown court.
Monk was accused of lying in court about his account, and of kicking and stamping on Atkinson’s head while he was barely conscious on the ground. He is the first police officer to be convicted of manslaughter during the course of their duties in more than three decades.
Atkinson was kicked with such force his blood was found in the laces of Monk’s police issue boots.