London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Reclaiming Our Rights

Saturday 2nd December 2006, 10.00 - 17.00

Libeskind Building (Graduate School)

London Metropolitan University, Holloway Road N7

Co-sponsored by CAMPACC, Institute for Human Rights and Social Justice (London Metropolitan University), Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Garden Court Chambers, Statewatch, Campaign against Racism and Fascism (CARF), The Muslim Parliament, Islamic Human Rights Commission, Institute for Policy Research and Development, Redress, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and Mark Thomas

Also supported by; Haringey Kurdish Cultural Centre, Tamil Centre for Human Rights, Article 19, Index on Censorship, Panjaab National History Society, 1984 Genocide Coalition, 1990 Trust, Cageprisoners, London Guantanamo Campaign, Iraq Occupation Focus, Scotland Against Criminalising Communities (SACC), Jean Charles de Menezes Family Campaign, Tamil Centre for Human Rights and the list is growing...

Plenary speakers:
Gareth Peirce, Mark Thomas, Craig Murray, Mark Muller, Brian Haw, Bill Bowring, Nafeez Ahmed

Themes: Anti-terrorism measures, detention and repression of asylum seekers and other migrants, new police powers against demonstrators, ASBOs, ID cards and state surveillance; and how foreign policy and new state strategies for social control relate to all of these measures.

Objectives of the conference:
1. To develop a coherent analysis of the real political agendas behind anti-terrorism and other repressive policies, especially their links to foreign policy: for example, UK government complicity in global 'state terror', the international 'war on terror'' (involving actions by the USA, EU, and UN), corporate counter-strategies against protest, repressive migration management, etc.
2. To bring together the broadest possible array of organisations so as to deepen their understanding of these policies, to strengthen their capacity for resistance, and to help to build alliances.
3. To analyse the repression of asylum seekers and illegal migrants within the overall context of an assault on human rights and civil liberties
4. To encourage and extend everyday resistance to repressive laws, as well as solidarity with the communities affected.
5. To develop broadly based initiatives: for Parliamentary lobbying, for mobilisation of civil society, for mass-media interventions, for work within political parties and trade unions, for protests, etc.
6. To stimulate longer-term collaborations on these issues.

CAMPACC (Campaign Against Criminalising Communities),

Tel; 0207 272 4131

ANALYSIS: attacks on our rights

The government has been attacking our basic democratic rights through unjust principles: a presumption of guilt, punishment without trial, and pre-emptive restraints on liberty. These principles link diverse measures and pretexts. Through ASBOs the definition of 'anti-social behaviour' has been broadened to prohibit activities which would not otherwise be illegal, even to criminalise individuals who contravene an ASBO. 'Anti-stalker' laws have been used to prohibit and criminalise political protest against companies. Having broadened the definition of terrorism, 'anti-terror' laws are used to deter, suppress and criminalise political activities.

In these various ways, individuals are readily treated as guilty and punished without a normal criminal trial, or they are prosecuted for political activities. By targeting individuals, the state persecutes and intimidates entire communities. Yet all these measures have met overt defiance and everyday resistance. Indeed, to persist is to resist. Such opposition could be strengthened through broader understandings and alliances.


Punishment without trial; Control orders, ASBOs, house arrest under immigration bail; 28-day pre-charge detention of 'terror suspects'; impact of these measures on those restrained. Led by Doug Jewell, Liberty, with help from CAMPACC, Peace and Justice in East London, and Cageprisoners; groups involved in challenging punishment without trial and supporting detainees

Freedom of expression and association; banned organisations; the new crimes of association, support of `terrorist' organisations,'glorification' of terrorism; the impact of these measures on migrant communities, media/journalists, and charities. Led by Les Levidow, CAMPACC, with help from Sikh and Tamil human rights campaigners, Haringey Kurdish Cultural Centre, Article 19, Islamic Human Rights Commission, journalist Paul Donovan and others

Right to protest; how new laws are being used to restrict the right to peaceful protest, how campaigners are challenging them and what can be learnt about new strategies for resistance. Led by; Emma Sangster, Parliament Square Peace Campaign, with contributions from People in Common, Maya Evans (the first person to be convicted under new SOCPA laws banning unauthorised protest near Parliament) the Smash EDO Campaign in Brighton and with an overview of recent changes in law by leading human rights lawyer, Mike Schwarz from Bindmans.

Privacy, surveillance and profiling of `suspects'; How we can resist the threats to civil liberties posed by security/surveillance measures, including ID cards, security measures relating to travel and airports; stop and search, `profiling' of `suspicious' people. Led by Statewatch, with help from Newham Monitoring Project, Justice for Jean Charles de Menezes Campaign, Muslim Parliament, Privacy International and anti-ID card campaigners.

Global context of the `war on terror'; imperialism and repression; how and why certain communities and movements become stigmatised as `terrorist'. Led by Richard Harvey and Liz Davies, Haldane Society, with help from Clear Conscience, Cageprisoners, Kurdish Federation UK, writer Desmond Fernandes, and the Save Chechnya Campaign.

Migrants, refugees and terror suspects; Detention centres, prison without trial under immigration law, deportations, torture, rendition, extradition, SIAC. Led by Liz Fekete, Institute of Race Relations, with help from Emma Ginn, NCADC, Frances Webber of Garden Court Chambers, Redress, and London Guantanamo Campaign.


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