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'Court curtails Met surveillance' of protesters

McQn | 21.05.2009 11:56 | Analysis | Repression

Judges have ruled that the Met. must destroy photos of arms trade campaigner Andrew Wood, according to the BBC.

Judges have ruled that the Met. must destroy photos of arms trade campaigner Andrew Wood, according to the BBC. Andrew Wood, like many protesters these days, was photographed, asked questions and harassed by police whilst attending the AGM of an arms company (which, as a token shareholder, he was entitled to attend). He was not arrested or charged with any crime so judges have ruled the retention by the police of photos of him at the AGM is wrong. Please see the original MSM article below:

'Court curtails Met surveillance', BBC news online, 21/05/09

This may be a turning point in protest movements fighting back through the courts at invasive and unjustified surveillance, however, as in the parallel situation of innocent people seeking to remove their DNA from police databases, I expect the police to appeal, drag their feet and finally agree to remove data, photo's etc from the databases years, even decades, later by which time the damage is most certainly done.



Hide the following 7 comments


21.05.2009 12:14

"The Metropolitan Police had argued its actions were reasonable in helping officers to detect crimes that may have occurred in the past or may do so in the future."

It is not normal for the police to go following and photographing people going about their lawful business in any other walk of society and then argue it is to "detect crimes that may have occurred in the past or may do so in the future". So to single out protesters is open discrimination.



21.05.2009 12:32

"The destruction of the photographs will be delayed while the Met decide whether to mount an appeal to the House of Lords." - Daily Mail

By the way Reed Elsevier are a seriously dodgy company. They have their own internet hub in Amsterdam that they use to monitor internet communications, according to two of their drunk, stoned but credible staff I met while I was still a suit.


The poliec haven't appealed yet

21.05.2009 12:36

And in any case they might just ignore the order.



21.05.2009 13:14

They might claim to follow the ruling: still take photos but destroy them if no crime committed.

Except of course there's no way to check that they *have* destroyed them without writing to the Met giving your name, address, places you were that you might have been photographed and a photograph of yourself so they can check they don't have any photos of you...


How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

21.05.2009 13:24

With no disrespect to the activist, a more important story was just broken by the Independent. I don't have anything original to add so I've tacked it on to this article. (I was once told by someone who claimed to be MI that if I opposed him I would 'lose everything', which made me laugh since I already had)

'Work for us or we will say you are a terrorist'

Five Muslim community workers have accused MI5 of waging a campaign of blackmail and harassment in an attempt to recruit them as informants.

The men claim they were given a choice of working for the Security Service or face detention and harassment in the UK and overseas.

They have made official complaints to the police, to the body which oversees the work of the Security Service and to their local MP Frank Dobson. Now they have decided to speak publicly about their experiences in the hope that publicity will stop similar tactics being used in the future.


good judgement

21.05.2009 13:52

Haven't read the judgement yet, but this appears at first sight to be quite a helpful decision, at least in stopping them from their current obsession, which is compiling the details of 'thousands of protesters' on their criminal intelligence database.

It all went a bit wrong for the Met when they admitted to keeping images and personal details of protesters on a database during a FITwatch trial. After this was published in the Guardian, Liberty started asking questions about why the Met mislead the court in the first hearing of the Wood case, when they claimed that they did not retain images. "it's not about compiling some secret national database" the Met's lawyers said.

When of course, that is exactly what it is about...

Fighting Fit
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The police are not appealing

25.05.2009 11:35

Their solicitor has said.

Andrew Wood
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