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 conviction of a US police officer for murdering George Floyd has reignited calls to tackle racial injustice in British law enforcement, with campaigners calling for an end to a “culture of impunity.”
Video of white officer Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd in Minneapolis last May by holding his knee on the unarmed black man’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds triggered protests around the world.
Campaigners have said his conviction on Tuesday on all three counts – second and third degree murder and manslaughter – should be a catalyst for change in the UK after 30 years in which no officer has been convicted of murder or manslaughter for a death following contact with police.
April 2021 is the 40th anniversary of the Brixton uprisings. On this date an ambitious cultural programme of events and activities will kick-off across Brixton.
It will be a culturally democratic programme…
In 1981, Black communities in Brixton first rose up in a bloody confrontation with the Metropolitan Police against a backdrop of racism, severe economic recession and high unemployment. For the first time since the uprisings in 1981, we will tell the unheard stories of this exuberantly defiant act of rebellion that fundamentally changed Britain.