Here in the UK we have more cameras per head of the population than any other country in Europe, if not the world. A recent visitor to Glasgow from Italy, that I spoke to, was shattered at the volume of cameras watching her every move. She said she felt intimidated and found it difficult to relax when out and about in town. She wanted to know was this array of cameras because Glasgow was a more criminal city than anywhere else. Of course the answer to that is most definitely, NO. Glasgow as well as being plastered with CCTV cameras on every street corner, lamp post, and lots at bus stops, (six at the bus stop at my home) we also have them on buses, in pubs, cafés, restaurants, underground stations, bus and train stations. On top of this, until the recent tragic crash at the Clutha pub, we had a police surveillance helicopter, fitted with an array of sophisticated surveillance equipment, flying low over the city. All of this, we are told, is for our own protection. Are we really that untrustworthy, violent, vicious a bunch of people, that we have to be watched at every move, our every trip to the shops, pub, church, train station, monitored? Would the city descend into mayhem and self destruction, if our lords and masters did not watch our every movement?
Forget “our protection” and think “control”. With this volume of detailed surveillance, we are living in a large prison, our minders are watching our every move, and ready to control you should you not be where the deem you should be, if they assess that you are not doing what they think you should be doing. Your patterns of behaviour are being analysed, you are being profiled. Who is big brother protecting? You are in prison.
Though other cities in other countries, don't suffer the same intrusion of privacy that we do, there is still an anger and indignation at the volume of surveillance they do suffer, where is our anger and indignation?
The following is a translation from Catalan and appeared in Anarchist News:
Read the full article HERE:"We refuse to live in a prison" (translated from Catalan)Today, the society in which we are obliged to live appears ever more like a prison. Our movements are registered and our conversations listened to and controlled systematically via our cellphones. Our emails are analysed and maps of our social networks are created using, for example, Facebook and Twitter.The national press gets indignant about the tracking of [European] politicians by the NSA but what's certain is that for a long time they have been not only complicit, but directly promoting the sharing of data on a large part of the population between European agencies and the NSA. And on the other hand, we have not seen the same indignation for the dozens of cases of spying on activists carried out by CESICAT [an extralegal or private security apparatus formed by the government of Catalunya, as part of its bid for independence].An element of devastating quotidianity in this web of social control are the surveillance cameras. They seek to train us to accept "for our own safety" being filmed from the moment we leave our houses in the morning until the moment when we come home at night. Some cities are already installing systems of integrated surveillance with all the cameras in a region linked up to facial and other recognition software.None of this surprises us, since the very nature of the State is to want to exercise absolute power over life. Freedom is not possible under a power that aims to control and surveille our lives in their entirety. Any attempt to transform this world in accordance with our needs or to recover control over our own lives will be surveilled and punished by the State as an act of criminality. For this reason the struggle for freedom must take the path of illegality.We refuse to live in a prison. We refuse to be listened to and followed. We refuse to have our movements recorded. We refuse to allow anyone to be obliged to grow up in a world in which they will be recorded, filmed, Twittered, and localised 24 hours a day.