Two films we say you need to see..
Although this film is set in 1979, dealing with the Sus stop and search laws that helped to provoke the 1981 riots in places like Brixton (London), Toxteth (Liverpool), St Paul’s (Bristol) and Chapeltown (Leeds), it remains painfully relevant to today’s Britain – where if you’re black or Asian you’re six times more likely to be stopped by the police.
Section 44 of the Terrorism Act, introduced by the Labour government in 2000, was so similar to the original Sus laws that 17 judges in the European court of human rights decided, unanimously, that it was a serious violation of the right to privacy open to severe misuse and a suffering from a complete lack of accountability (Labour are currently appealing the decision).
The Tories like to portray Labour as being a bigger threat to our liberties than they are, but the situation will be just as bad, if not worse, if they win the next election. Although they say they will abolish Section 44, they still seek to reintroduce old Sus-style searches, eliminating the receipt we are entitled to receive as evidence. Without the form, there is even less accountability and fewer safeguards for the person searched.
Erasing David, a documentary about privacy, surveillance and Britain’s ‘database state’, is coming to cinemas on 29th April. Despite all the usual waffle about living in a ‘free country’, the UK is now one of the top three surveillance states in the world. As it says on the documentary’s website…
David Bond lives in one of the most intrusive surveillance states in the world. He decides to find out how much private companies and the government know about him by putting himself under surveillance and attempting to disappear, a decision that changes his life forever. Leaving his pregnant wife and young child behind, he is tracked across the database state on a chilling journey that forces him to contemplate the meaning of privacy and the loss of it.
Here’s an interview with David…
And you can watch the official trailer here.