Category Articles

UKHIP’s Calais Flotilla: Donations & Evictions

On 28th March UKHIP’s flotilla of solidarity made its way to Calais in a convoy which included a van full of donations – both given and bought with the funds raised by the crowdfunding campaign. Spirits were high as we made our way to the coast, two months of preparation finally coming together, but in […]

Supreme Court’s Catt judgment ignores reality of surveillance and seriously undermines privacy & protest rights

Yesterday’s Supreme Court judgment ( press summary here) in the Catt case marks a missed opportunity to protect the privacy rights of protestors and instead waves through the police’s runaway mass surveillance operations. By a 4:1 majority the Court allowed the Met’s appeal against the 2013 Court of Appeal decision which had said that the retention of intelligence records on John Catt (a […]

Police intelligence obsession ignores law and balks at accountability

Three issues have come to light over the last few days which raise yet more concerns around police operations, privacy and freedom of expression.  All three have a common theme in that they all show the police’s willingness to flout the law and desire to actively obstruct those who challenge their unlawful actions.   1. […]

Life in the ‘Jungles’ of Calais

Yesterday, myself and five others got up early, left our homes and made our way to Calais. Unlike many others making this trip from the UK, we were not on a booze cruise or European road trip. Instead, we were travelling with all the warm winter donations we could squeeze into six backpacks and heading […]

Cameron, Tabloids & Tyrants: Vous n’êtes pas Charlie

The tragic events that took place in Paris last week have stimulated heated debate about a range of difficult issues including where the limits of freedom of expression lie and how best to tackle extremism.  This post is not intended to deal comprehensively every aspect of this debate but to highlight the hypocrisy of those who […]

Arrest Targets: We Do Not Consent

Rule of Targets British police allegedly act under a philosophy of policing by consent (‘the police are the public and the public are the police’, as the saying goes), which encompasses a number of principles set out in General Instructions given to new officers from 1829 onwards. In so many ways contemporary policing makes a […]

To arrest and intimidate: State determination to undermine dissent laid bare

Black Lives Matter The arrest of 76 protesters following a die-in at Westfield shopping centre in London on 10th December 2014 was not just outrageous and callous, but provides one of the clearest recent cases of the state’s current determination to stamp out protest by any means necessary. The protest, which was called by the London Black Revolutionaries, in conjunction with […]

‘No Comment’ – Two Big Words

In an age of intelligence-led policing, ‘no comment’ is of fundamental importance. Police, especially insidious Police Liaison Officers, use our innate human dispensation towards communication against those who dare to dissent; orders/questions barked out by agents of the state carry with them an implied threat of punishment for refusal. This provides police with an all-too-easy strategy for […]

FITs, ‘domestic extremism’ & privacy rights: the law so far

This week the Supreme Court will hear a crucial case regarding the surveillance of political activists and protestors via forward intelligence/evidence gatherer teams and the national domestic extremism database. Catt v Association of Chief Police Officers was brought by peace protestor John Catt, who upon submitting a subject access request to police discovered that they had […]

Why the Tories can’t be trusted on freedom of expression or privacy

With last month’s announcement that a majority Conservative Government would repeal the Human Rights Act, replace it with a ‘British Bill of Rights’, and in all likeliness withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, the future of human rights protection in the UK has been thrown into some uncertainty. Ironically –  and as if […]