Saturday, 23 January 2010

Life Is Too Short To Be Controlled

22 January 2010
- For Immediate Release -

Activist group London NoBorders calls for a day of demonstrations in London on 23rd January under the title "Life is too short to be controlled"[1]. The day will start at 2pm at St. Pancras International to protest against the border controls at the Eurostar Terminal and will end with a rally at Piccadilly Circus, where Westminster Council's CCTV HQ is located. [3]

"Surveillance has become ubiquitous" says London activist Thomas Hardenberg. "In a globalised economy, both are aimed at exercising control over people's lives and maintaining what is considered 'public order', from extended police powers, CCTV in the streets to surveillance of internet communication. Migration management and immigration control is nothing else then surveillance on a global scale."

Britain's strong migration controls means that every year thousands of migrants sleep rough in the so called "jungles" in Calais and along the French coast, denying them freedom of movement and the choice to move inside Europe. The UK maintains the biggest complex of detention centres in Europe, detaining 2500 people including minors at any one time, some for several years.[4]

"London is the perfect place for a demonstration against the increasing madness of surveillance and data retention",Rosie Young, of No Borders, says. "It is the city where people get arrested for photographing buildings, where the Met's notorious Forward Intelligence Team is monitoring any political activities, and where each of its inhabitants passes past 300 CCTV cameras every day!"

London is known as the the "City of CCTV" with over 500,000 public and private CCTV cameras, part of about 4.2 million security cameras in the UK.[5]

London No Borders is opposed to the increase in police harassment in the UK in recent years, in particular of political activists and those from immigrant communities, and welcomes last week's decision from the European Court of Justice declaring that the UK stop and search powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 are unlawful.

For questions or interview requests please contact
Press contact on 23rd January: 0753 5319119


Notes for editors:


[2] London No Borders struggles against all immigration controls and for freedom of movement and equal rights for all. It was set up in 2006 and is part of the No Borders UK network. The group was involved in organising NoBorder camps in Gatwick in 2007 and Calais in 2009.

[3] Westminster CCTV Headquarter praises itself as "the best-practice example on which the future of the UK's public surveillance system should be modelled" and is being used as an educational facility for security forces from all around the world.

[4] There are several large detention centres near London, including at Heathrow (Colnbrook, Harmondsworth), Gatwick (Brook House, Tinsley House) and Bedford (Yarls Wood). There are also smaller "holding centres" in the city, including London Bridge (Beckett House), Old Street (Communications House) and at the Eurostar terminal in St Pancras.

[5] For some statistics on CCTV in the UK, see:

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