Monday, July 26, 2010

Activists win court case again Police snoopers

London NoBorders welcomes the Crown Court decision to clear three activists of the charges of "obstructing the police". The Inner London Crown Court ruled that police surveillance of a public political meeting had not been proved to be lawful and that the police had failed to provide any evidence that they were pursuing a "legitimate aim".

Three activists were arrested at the meeting called by London NoBorders in June 2008 when they protested against the surveillance of the meeting by the Metropolitan Police's "Forward Intelligence Team."

The aim of the public meeting, which took place in a community centre
in Southwark, London, was to discuss a demonstration which later took place at the UK Border Agency in Croydon in July 2008. The Metropolitan Police turned up at both public meetings in June 2008, taking photos and filming everybody who attended the meeting.

Thomas Haberg of London NoBorders said: "The fact that the police could not show that their surveillance was authorised in any way is worrying and shows that the Forward Intelligence Team appears to work outside the law. The purpose of the police presence was clearly to intimidate and keep people from organising around political issues.
It also shows that it is important for the future to continue to challenge
the Forward Intelligence Team wherever they turn up."

Therefore London NoBorders welcomes campaigns like FitWatch [1] . "We should not be watched, it is the activities of the police we should have an eye on", added Rosie Young from London NoBorders.

During the trial one witness involved in London NoBorders, who had been followed by police armed with cameras around the area before the meeting, was asked by the prosecution if "he did not think that he is exactly the kind of person the state should be watching?". It appears that the mere fact that London NoBorders disagrees with the UK immigration politics makes them and their supporters a target for close surveillance by the police. The prosecution also asked the witness, who stated that he felt intimidated by the police presence: "Why don't you stay at home when you are concerned about being filmed?"

London NoBorders believes that the issues of increasing surveillance in this society are connected to the militarisation of the national borders, and organised a demonstration around those issues titled "Life is too short to be controlled!" in January 2010. [2] Another demonstration with this title is planned for 30th October 2010.

London NoBorders is a group campaigning for freedom of movement and active in London for more then 6 years. We see ourselves as part of a transnational European wide network.

http://london.noborders.org.uk

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