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<nettime> Report on EU plans to control protests
Ben Hayes on Thu, 23 Aug 2001 20:57:14 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Report on EU plans to control protests


STATEWATCH Press Release, 22 August 2001

THE "ENEMY WITHIN":

EU PLANS FOR THE SURVEILLANCE OF PROTESTORS
and THE CRIMINALISATION OF PROTESTS 

A special report by Statewatch on the EU's plans to combat future protests
at EU and international meetings in Europe shows the EU plans would:

* give control of operations to the newly-created EU "Task Force of Chief
Police Officers" which has no legal basis for its activities

* create mechanisms for "operational" cooperation for which there are no
legal powers

* legitimise the ongoing surveillance by "police and intelligence
officers" (internal security services) of "persons or groups likely to
pose a threat to public order and security"

* create national databases of "troublemakers" based on suspicion and
supposition without any legal standards or data protection and allow the
unregulated exchange of this data

* allow EU member states to pass laws to prevent people from going to
protests in other countries if their names have been recorded as
"suspects" or if they have been convicted of minor public order offences
(ie: obstructing the highway)

Statewatch editor, Tony Bunyan, commented:

"The plans by EU governments to counter protests threaten the right of
free movement and the right to protest. They were rushed through in secret
meetings in just two weeks without any reference to national or European
parliaments.

The plans will have little effect on the ground where we are likely to see
more authoritarian policing of protests on the streets. But a green light
has been given to the law enforcement agencies to put groups concerned
with global issues under surveillance on the grounds that they are all
potential "troublemakers".

EU governments should spend their time and resources resolving the
underlying issues which are bringing the people onto the streets instead
of targeting a new "enemy within" which smacks of Cold War ideology."

The report and full-text documentation is on:

<http://www.statewatch.org/news>

For further information:

00 44 208 802 1882 (international)
0208 802 1882 (UK) 

______________________________________________________
Monitoring the state & civil liberties in Europe
Online news service: <http://www.statewatch.org/news>
Statewatch, PO BOX 1516, London. N16 0EW. UK
Phone: 0044-(0)20-8802-1882
Fax: 0044-(0)20-8880-1727




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