Tuesday, August 19, 2008

International Action Day "Freedom not fear - Stop the surveillance mania!" on 11 October 2008

A broad movement of campaigners and organizations is calling on everybody to join action against excessive surveillance by governments and businesses. On 11 October 2008, concerned people in many countries will take to the streets, the motto being "Freedom not fear 2008". Peaceful and creative action, from protest marches to parties, will take place in many capital cities.

Surveillance mania is spreading. Governments and businesses
register, monitor and control our behaviour ever more thoroughly. No
matter what we do, who we phone and talk to, where we go, whom we are
friends with, what our interests are, which groups we participate in -
"big brother" government and "little brothers" in business know it more
and more thoroughly. The resulting lack of privacy and confidentiality is putting at
risk the freedom of confession, the freedom of speech as well as the
work of doctors, helplines, lawyers and journalists.

The manifold agenda of security sector reform encompasses the
convergence of police, intelligence agencies and the military,
threatening to melt down the division and balance of powers. Using methods of mass surveillance, the borderless cooperation
of the military, intelligence services and police authorities is
leading towards the construction of "Fortresses"
in Europe and on other continents, directed against refugees and
different-looking people but also affecting, for example, political
activists, the poor and under-priviledged, and sports fans.

People who constantly feel watched and under surveillance
cannot freely and courageously stand up for their rights and for a just
society. Mass surveillance is thereby threatening the fabric of a
democratic and open society. Mass surveillance is also endangering the work and commitment of civil society organizations.

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