Monday, February 16, 2009

don'watchme

Today I was woken up my my housemate accidentally bag-ringing me, ie, her phone accidentally called me while it was in her bag. I yelled out to her/her bag's contents to see if she'd hear me, but alas, she did not. So I'm awake fairly early, though last night I fell asleep at the pretty respectable time of 1 am (after watching Fringe- sooo awesome! Like a 00's version of the Xfiles).

SO. I had planned on doing a few things in central london today, and as I'm awake in time, was thinking about going to this protest type thing outside Scotland Yard, which, for those who don't know, is the Police Headquarters (wouldn't it sound so much better if it was called London Police Headquarters?). The reason for it is because from today, it will be a criminal offence to take photographs of police personel. I don't entirely understand how they can justify this, it's so clearly Orwellian and insane. I guess maybe they're doing it so when scumkids are beating people up and then the police try to stop them, and the kids film them and put it on youtube, they have some way to stop them from doing that?? Despite, you know, it shouldn't matter if they ARE filming them, unless the police are doing something they shouldn't be). I don't know- I think they SHOULD be being filmed, ALL THE TIME, seeing as we public are being filmed constantly. London has something like the most CCTV cameras per capita in the world.
On the one hand, sure, it is nice to think that evil crimz will be stopped and caught and crime will be less because of heightened security, and a massive DNA database, and information on all the citizens in the country to trawl through, but at the same time, it's fucking scary- I've been captured on CCTV countless thousands of times during my life, I've never committed a crime, but all sorts of information is available to the government and/or the police should they wish to look it up. I and every other private citizen in the country is on the same level to the popo- we are potential criminals.
CCTV doesn't make me feel safe, nor do the police. Nor does the never-open police station where I live. Nor do notices everywhere 'for my safety' make me feel like I won't be mugged or raped or killed for some arbitrary reason. Nor do the other signs warning me not to take photos of CCTV cameras, or to report people who do. The looming spectre of 'terrorism' is what allows them to push these things onto us, because, after all, it's 'for our safety'.
Excuse the cliche, but surely, if our civil liberties are being eroded to this extent, haven't the terrorists already won? /cheese.
So anyway, for me, it boils down to not wanting to feel like either a criminal or a potential victim of crime. I want to go to this thing because I figure I might as well be on the police database for something cool rather than something boring like I faredodged a bunch of times on the trains in the past and didn't pay my TV license once.

ANNNDDD on top of that I want to go shopping maybe. yup.

7 comments:

crazy-gabrielle said...

Have you read Little Brother by Cory Doctorow? It's an awesome book, and it's set in San Francisco after a terrorist attack where the "security" gets really really extreme.

Deborah said...

That's pretty awesome that you're doing that. I think that's ridiculous that you're not allowed to take pictures of police officers! That's how they get away with racial profiling and random attacks on civilians! I've heard about how London has hundreds of cameras everywhere and that's really messed up.

-Deborah-
http://nonrambfromdeb.blogspot.com

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