Enough! It’s time to fight back against out-of-control state surveillance. Liberty has joined the Don’t Spy On Us coalition – a group of organisations defending privacy, free expression and digital rights. We’ve come together to combat the breathtaking, unfettered surveillance exposed by Edward Snowden.
Over recent weeks, you’ll probably have received a leaflet through your door at some point entitled “Better information means better care”. Remember reading it? Probably not – who reads junk mail anyway, right? Either way, it won’t necessarily have been clear what’s at stake – your private medical records, to be precise.
Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, a day to remember all those who suffered and died during the Holocaust and later genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. A day to honour the memory of these deaths with a renewed pledge of ‘never again’.
Water cannon, often considered a symbol of inflammatory and brutal policing, have never before been used in England and Wales. Boris Johnson and the Metropolitan Police are currently arguing they are necessary to prevent disorder.
A terminally ill 84-year-old has died in handcuffs in a hospital bed. He was cuffed and restrained while being taken from an immigration detention centre to an outside hospital. A second elderly man was held in similar circumstances and died shortly after restraints were removed. We still don’t know what these men were doing in detention in the first place. Almost certainly they shouldn’t have been there at all.
What do we want from our legal system? For a start, it must be fair: the law should apply to one and all, and in the same way. And, among other things, we want criminal law to punish appropriately and deter whenever possible. Britain led the way on some of these principles for centuries. But the parameters of criminal justice have already been muddied by anti-social behaviour laws and the homes of innocent people will now be put at risk by a poorly-thought out clause currently going through parliament.
The government should have known it had a fight on its hands as soon as its rushed ‘Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill’ was dubbed ‘the gagging bill’. Scores of charities and their supporters lined up to voice criticism that the bureaucratic obstacles created by the Bill would effectively prevent them from being able to campaign in the lead-up to the General Election.
Who hasn’t annoyed someone at some point? We’re all guilty of it on occasion, whether it’s being a little too loud or jumping the bus queue. But it’s not something you’ll get punished for here in Britain, right?