Selective CCTV 25


The last week has seen an outbreak of mutual name-calling between bloggers and the meainstream media, with one of the silliest contributions coming from my colleague Iain Macwhirter, the normally sensible Rector of Edinburgh University.

http://iainmacwhirter2.blogspot.com/

But beyond argument, the Guardian’s ground-breaking work on police brutality in the last week has been a huge reinforcement to the cause of liberty. The democratisation of video capture is something the Police have not caught up with – it is hard for them to blindside the referee now.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/14/ian-tomlinson-assault-film-ipcc

We are used to institutional cover-up and fake inquiries to whitewash the truth, but the blatant nature of much of the corruption is still astonishing. In particular, over eighty per cent of street area in the City of London is covered by CCTV, and at the G20 protest this was supplemented by 83 police video cameras, plus the security services.

If you remember the “Tiger Tiger” attempted car bomb, to give just one example, the video footage was immediately released by the police to the public.

Yet different rules apply when the footage captures police brutality. None of the footage that has proved the police violence, has come from official sources or cameras. Instead we have a series of contradictory lies about whether official camers were not there, not working or had just nipped off to the loo, at the moments police violence was captured by amateurs.

I have no doubt that there are many other instances of criminal police behaviour on the thousands of hours of official video. Those videos are being pored over by police and security services to capture images of individual demonstartors, identify them and add them to their secret security files. In so doing they are deliberately overlooking and most likely deleting evidence of police violence.

We must demand that every single second of the official video of the G20 demonstrations, filmed with public money, is released to the public. Online will be good.

What is secret about video of events at a public demonstration on public streets, witnessed by thousands of people?

The selective use of this public resource to gather “evidence” against demonstrators while ignoring and even destroying that against police, must be halted.


25 thoughts on “Selective CCTV

  • Strategist

    “The democratisation of video capture is something the Police have not caught up with – it is hard for them to blindside the referee now.”

    Actually Craig there is apparently a new regulation just come in that makes it an offence to photograph or film a police officer in the course of their duties. I’m afraid I don’t have the details to hand; others may be able to assist. But it has certainly led to police officers demanding cameras off people at demos and trying to wipe film or digital records. It didn’t work at G20 because literally everybody there seemed to have a camera going, the proportion of people doing something to people filming them doing it (not just media) seemed like about 1:20.

  • mary

    Strategist – Spyblog, run by WatchingThemWatchingYou, is a good source of info and comment on the mind boggling amount of stasi-type legislation that NuLabour have introduced.

    http://spyblog.org.uk/

    eg Operation Pathway arrests – where are the explosives or weapons ?

    By wtwuon April 15, 2009

    Re-appointment of the Interception of Communications Commissioner and the Intelligence Services Commissioner

    By wtwuon April 4, 2009

    There are also several pieces about the banning of photography.

    All that is missing are instructions as to how we organize a revolt!

  • xsdogskin

    Yes, is not amazing that when evidence detrimental to the state is captured by CCTV, the footage disappears or the cameras inoperative?

    From memory,

    De Menezes murder

    7/7 bombings

    9/11, plane hitting the Pentagon

    Princess Diana’s ‘accident’

  • Jon

    @Strategist – there are comments from the JCHR (admittedly not unanimously seen as the most independent of bodies) that the law was only to prevent the photographing of officers where this was “likely to be useful to terrorists” (see link). I will continue to openly photograph police at demonstrations, and will be interested to see what the response is.

    There are some good comments from the link about the chilling affect of this law in practise, however.

  • Jon

    @Strategist – this PDF link from Statewatch looks pretty good, although I’ve not had time to read it.

  • Merkin

    A London A-Z has been found to be of use to terrorists.

    Water cleansing tablets have been found to be of use to terrorists.

    The police will decide what they think is of use to terrorists – whether it is sachets of Salt’n’Pepper or pictures of the SPG beating up someone.

    ‘A former pig farmer was arrested and held by police for more than six hours after a police officer who lived next door complained about an ornamental swine statuette in his garden.’

    http://tinyurl.com/cywks8

  • ingo

    We are being subjected to scaremongering, fear creation and outright brutality, all factors that have turned protesters in the past to become more violent, exactly what these political goons policing us want, ideally.

    Narfuk’s getting extra tasers, hurray, they must feel frightfully insecure when their ‘rave’ brigades hit on unsuspecting youngsters at the weekend.

    Joke aside, if you organise, keep the electronic means out of it, try old fashioned postal services, and if you go on an action leave your phone at home, a sure way of finding out whats going on.

    If, for example, some five to ten protesters telephones return their homing signal( every 15 seconds) from the same location, it gives em’ an idea of something happening.

    If you decide to be less open about your demonstrating, make sure you do not sink to the same violent and wretched level currently occupied by the police, there are many more imaginative ways of making a very apt point.

    Be safe, take a rest light scope if you can afford one for your group,try talking it through before hand, so you do your stuff in silence.

    I have undertaken actions in total silence, everyone knew what they had to do.

    Finally, if you manage to make people laugh about what you’re doing, your action is more likely to be appreciated by the public. Have fun, but have it locally.

    Ganging up in London and being all together is a good feeling, but it makes for such easy policing its not true. They love us for it, if they had to police the same amount of people in 150 different locations, they ‘d have a serious problem.

    Organise and protest where you live, you can guess what the next traditional date is going to be, no need to talk about it. health and happyness, keep safe.

  • Chuck Unsworth

    Worryingly Paul Stephenson has ordered his officers to ‘review’ all CCTV images of the G20 Demos. Now, can he guarantee integrity of this evidence?

  • JimmyGiro

    If the public were to have live online access to all the CCTV networks in the land (cock-a-snook at google street view), then the police would probably hide in their bunkers, else they’d claim expenses for performing arts.

  • Strategist

    Thanks for your comments, Jon, but I can’t see the links you refer to.

    You say “the law was only to prevent the photographing of officers where this was ‘likely to be useful to terrorists’ … There are some good comments from the link about the chilling affect of this law in practise, however.”

    The effect in practice is the concern. In the heat of the moment the law is what the police officer says it is. I heard that a man was arrested under the new Prevention of Terrorism Act for walking along a cycle path in a completely mundane area of Dundee (apparently they do exist). It’s the return of the suss law.

  • Anas Taunton

    Don’t let’s all get caught up in this tiger trap, dangling from a tree waiting for some super-vet to come and tranquillise us and set us free.

    No. Getting back to the point, greedy bankers found a way to steal/ pay themselves the entire capital wealth of this country and whatever compost interest they could squeeze out as well. They did this over a period of 25 years and I for one do not believe we have discovered one tenth of the damage done.

    How can a wealthy country like ours go bankcrupt? Zillions have been raised by government by selling national assets to keep the show solvent, to hide what’s been going on. We pay zillions in taxes as well.

    They scammed trillions from trusting Far Eastern investors who still thought our word would be our bond.

    These people remain unprosecuted, having purchased acres and mansions of England’s green and pleasant land and many other places round the world as well. By syphoning the nation’s wealth into property, they have put themselves beyond prosecution. All they have to do now is to reinflate the economy at our expense. Gordon Brown has knowingly aided and abetted them at every turn. He still doesn’t understand, does he?

    I like the law and I like the police by and large, and I’m not scared of being spied on. I don’t like it because even I do stupid things from time to time. Obviously kettling people without toilets for seven hours and hitting them is vile, but it is a deliberate distraction. The thing I will not tolerate is a power-crazed fundamentalist Blair-corrupted British government working with a daft, pedantic, theory-nerd Chancellor of the Exchequer and ruthless banking criminals to bankcrupt the majority of hard-working people, in this country and in the world.

  • Stephen

    Craig,

    They may protest that releasing the footage would breach the data protection act, absurd as it may seem.

    But individuals are entitled, are they not, to obtain a copy of footage shot of them. Surely the thing to do would be for everyone there to use this to force the police to hand over the video.

    Best,

    Stephen

  • Anonymous

    ‘Yes, is not amazing that when evidence detrimental to the state is captured by CCTV, the footage disappears or the cameras inoperative?

    From memory,

    De Menezes murder

    7/7 bombings

    9/11, plane hitting the Pentagon

    Princess Diana’s ‘accident’.’

    Well if you are very kind and take each incident as a 100 to 1 shot you are looking at combined odds of 100 million to 1. Hmm…

  • LeeJ

    Another case of lost cctv is that of the Hillsborough tragedy. Is there a theme here?

  • Anas Taunton

    There are thousands of hours off CCTV of the House of Commons, showing Her Majesty’s Opposition refusing to take action against this government because their hands are even further into the nation’s till than the ones in power.

    While those of you with jobs have the priveledge of worrying about civil liberties, wich is good, most of us out here who can’t find work are more worried about rising debt and no work.

    Why are our politicians being let off the hook? Why isn’t this crisis getting addressed and solved. Never mind Selective CCTV, there seems to be Selective What everybody can see with their own eyes.

  • Gerard Mulholland

    Well it’s already an offence to photograph a police officer -and, presumably- to video them.

    Next -if it isn’t already- it’ll be an offence for anyone (newspaper, Youtube etc.) to publish such images.

    You watch.

    Before this parliamentary session is over…..

    Betcha.

  • George Dutton

    “Another case of lost cctv is that of the Hillsborough tragedy. Is there a theme here?”

    “Since then, the survivors, families, and supporters have faced two decades of avoidance, lies and cover-ups. To this day, there have been no answers and there has been no justice for the families of the 96.”…

    http://tinyurl.com/df5hr8

  • Jakseo

    Actually Craig there is apparently a new regulation just come in that makes it an offence to photograph or film a police officer in the course of their duties. I’m afraid I don’t have the details to hand; others may be able to assist.

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