Hostile Reconnaissance a pre-election rally on Terror Laws, Civil Liberties and Press Freedom
7pm, Tuesday 13th April 2010
Friends House (formerly known as the Friends Meeting House) opposite Euston mainline Railway and Tube station.
173-177 Euston Road
Google Street View of the main entrance on the Euston Road.
N.B. for those of you who may wish to enter or leave more discretely, there is also a back entrance in Endsleigh Gardens. (Google Street View)
13th April, 2010
The London Photographers’ Branch is proud to announce a pre-election rally on Terror Laws, Civil Liberties & Press Freedom at 7pm on the 13th of April at Friends Meeting House in Euston.
The rally will be chaired by award winning photographer Jess Hurd and speakers include:
- Jeremy Dear, General Secretary National Union of Journalists
- Paul Lewis, Guardian journalist & British Press Awards Reporter of the Year 2010
- Keith Ewing, Professor of Public Law at King’s College London & author of Bonfire of the Liberties
- Henry Porter, Observer columnist, author & British editor of Vanity Fair
More speakers are TBC and will include high-profile photographers, journalists and lawyers who have dealt with the raft of terror laws that we face today.
Remember that not a single real terrorist or mere terrorist suspect, who was not already under intense surveillance by the authorities, has ever been caught in the act of conducting" hostile reconnaissance" of potential terrorist targets.
SInce you do not need any special equipment to do so, even the most innocent tourist or business journey can be misconstrued as "hostile reconnaissance", once the dirty allegation of terrorism has been leveled at you.
Recently, there has been a bland and ineffective re-packaging of the old "Crowded Places" advice / training / "Climate of Fear" propaganda, which has been directly responsible for some of the slanderous incidents leading to harassment of innocent members of the public by various "useless jobsworths".
See the Home Office's Office for Security and Counter-terrorism's Working Together to Protect Crowded Places guidance
The main document:
See Chapter 4: Reducing Vulnerabilities: What works ? which mentions
- Project Argus (general propaganda awareness interactive DVD session - 3 hours including coffee break),
- Project Griffin Police and Security Industry Authority accredited security guards one day course.
- Operation Lightning - "a police coordinated hostile reconnaissance operation, to identify those who might be concerned in terrorist activity and /or domestic extremism.
N.B. We are also "concerned" about "terrorist activity and /or domestic extremism", but that does not mean that we participate in any !
See also the Spy Blog article
How can , for example the notorious Terrorism Act section 44 stop and search without reasonable suspicion legal power, act as a deterrent, when the supposedly strictly limited geographical location and the supposedly limited time period is kept secret by the Home Office and the Police ?
Also of relevance to this "pre-election rally" is our (failed) Spy Blog Freedom of Information Act request:
Spy Blog Hints and Tips for attending this sort of anti-surveillance state public event:
- Tell all your friends and family about the meeting, eben if they are not interested in attending themselves, at least have someone worry about you if you are late home from such a meeting.
- Although there will obviously be journalists at this particular event, tell any other journalists or broadcast media contacts you have about it - these issues affect them and their readers / audiences, it not not just a a London thing.
- Switch off your mobile phone(s) when you are within, a couple of blocks, or Tube or train or Bus stops from Euston. Even if you do not make or receive a voice call or send or receive an SMS text message or use your mobile phone internet connection, then your phone will register its Location every 10 minutes or so with the nearby mobile phone Cell tower base stations, simply to be ready for any such normal mobile telephony uses.
This will generate Communications Traffic data including Location Based Services data, which will be trawled through, en masse, by various police and intelligence units with an interest in trying to identify and track some or all of the attendees of this meeting.
- Take note and photographs if possible, of anybody seeming to record or photograph vehicle number plates of nearby parked cars or the people entering or leaving the meeting rooms / building etc.
- If you are "stopped and searched" under the Terrorism Act 2000 section 44, you do not have to give your name and address (although this can be demanded if you are actually arrested under the vast swathe of other legislation ).
- Remember that Police Community Support officers have no powers under the the Terrorism Act 2000 section 44, unless they are being physically supervised by a real , sworn, Police Constable in Uniform (plain clothes or undercover police also have no section 44 powers)
- Neither Police Constables nor PCSOs can demand that you delete any photographs or video you have taken on your camera or mobile phone (that is potentially "destruction of evidence") .
- This is a peaceful meeting, but just in case you are arrested, or stopped and searched etc. do have the contact details of a firm of solicitors who deal with criminal law and human rights etc. Say nothing until you have access to proper, independent legal advice.
- Do not rely on keeping these solicitors details in your mobile phone - that is one of the first things that will be taken away from you by the police - memorise them and / or keep them on paper as well.
- Set a security PIN code on your Mobile Phone. This will not prevent the police from examining it forensically if you are actually arrested, but it may be enough to prevent casual, illegal, snooping by Police Constables or by ill trained Police Community Support Officers.
- Delete all your stored SMS text messages (sent, received and draft). These can be forensically recovered or reconstructed from central records, but again, there is no need to give anything private away to nosey snoopers who might have your phone in their possession.
- Ideally, do not take your normal mobile phone to such a meeting - use a cheap / disposable, prepaid, unregistered mobile phone, with little or no Friendship Tree history or stored contacts or SMS messages.
- Leave your passport, driving licence, union membership card, credit cards, bank ATM cards, supermarket loyalty cards, airline travel miles, car breakdown service cards, library cards, club membership cards, business address cards or registered Oyster travel cards etc. at home. These will be used to obtain your name and address without your consent, if you are "stopped and searched" or arrested. Surely none of you will have been so stupid as to obtain and carry a new National Identity Card to such a meeting ?
- Since this meeting will be in the run up to the General and Local elections, do please make very clear your views on the creepy Labour Surveillance State and its counterproductive effect on innocent people, to any politicians who might be trawling for votes at or near the meeting.
- If you are going to publish any photos or articles or emails or blog entries or tweetsl or other reports about this meeting, especially if you are inspired to participate in or plan some sort of peaceful action against the Labour Government or Whitehall, or other tentacles of the surveillance state, then please bear in mind our http://ht4w.co.uk - Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers etc. - Technical Hints and Tips for protecting the anonymity of sources for Whistleblowers, Investigative Journalists, Campaign Activists and Political Bloggers etc.
It is very frightening that this "pre-election rally" meeting is needed at all, in our supposedly liberal western democracy.
The bureaucratic surveillance police state which this unpopular, inept, yet desperate to cling on to power Labour government, has encouraged, make these simple precautions worth considering, even for a peaceful public meeting.