Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) Statement
The new Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill 2020, will not enhance public security. On the contrary it will:
- extend punishment without trial, including even internal exile, renewable indefinitely;
- Turn ordinary crimes into ‘terrorist’ ones, as subjective grounds for more severe sentences;
- Incentivise racist stereotyping of ‘non-violent extremism’ to justify those two powers;
- and thus go further in criminalising communities.
“The UK anti-terror laws have been designed and used to punish solidarity with national liberation movements such as the Kurdish Freedom Movement” Les Levidow. A co-founder of the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), is interviewed by journalist Erem Kansoy.
28 May 2019|Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)
Oppose new powers to prosecute returnees from designated overseas areas
In the wake of the panic caused by British citizens travelling to North East Syria to join ISIS, and the terrorist threat they may pose upon their return, the British government rushed through the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019. It created a new offence of entering or remaining in a “designated area” overseas (Section 4, amending section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000). The offence would apply to UK nationals and residents, with a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment, a fine, or both. A “reasonable excuse” defence is available; limited exceptions are permitted. But the onus is on the defendant to provide the reasonable excuse. In other words, this Act has eliminated the presumption of innocence and replaced it with a presumption of guilt.
System D media has released a short video on Rojava and the Kurdish struggle for Democratic Confederalism in the region. Featuring interviews with Kurdish activists Memed Aksoy and Zeynep Kurban, the International Initiative’s Havin Guneser, academics Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley and Dr David Graeber and more, the film offers a useful introduction into the revolution in Rojava and its origins, as well as the role of the PKK, and the theoretical influence of Ocalan.
Many of the interview were filmed during CAMPACCs recent workshop on National Self-Determination and the Global ‘Counter-Terror’ Regime, which took place in February.
Many thanks to Solene Cravic for her work!
CAMPACC has initiated a research and outreach project which aims to critically examine the contradictions between national struggles for self-determination and the global ‘counter -terror’ regime, which has begun with a series of workshops focusing on key case studies – the Kurdish question; the Tamil struggle and the Somali struggle. Below is the report from their first workshop, which includes videos of each of the presentations.
On the 21st February 2015 CAMPACC, in association with SOAS Kurdish Society, hosted the first workshop in a series on Self-determination against the global ‘counter-terror’ regime. This was on the Kurdish liberation struggle. Continue reading “CAMPACC reports on the first of their innovative workshops series on self-determination”
There has been growing conflict between struggles for national self-determination (SD) versus the global ‘counter-terror” regime’ and its effects on diasporic communities. ‘Anti-terror’ legislation has been used to advance the imperialist agendas of governments and a wider military-industrial-securitisation complex. Their agenda has attacked political organisations (as well as others such as lawyers, investigative journalists, publishers) that are perceived to be linked with SD struggles.
CAMPACC is initiating a research and public outreach project critically examining those issues, especially in relation to UK migrant communities. An initial outcome will be briefing papers drawing upon discussions at workshops that we will organise. These will involve active engagement from various diaspora community groups, researchers, lawyers and academics involved in these issues. The first three workshops will focus on specific migrant communities (Kurds, Tamils and Somalis) with additional participation of representatives from other migrant communities.
A key aim will be to facilitate cross-community learning to develop strategies for self-determination in the current global context.
The first workshop will take place on 21st February, focusing on learnings from the Kurdish liberation struggle.
You can find out more about the project on the CAMPACC website
But why do UK government and intelligence agencies and special forces remain publicly unaccountable for their promotion of ‘extremist-terrorist activities?’
by Desmond Fernandes
The government, with much fanfare, has just announced new funding for the Charity Commission to “tackle abuse, including extremist activity, in the charity sector”. The Charity Commission is to receive £8 million of funding over the next three years to boost it’s ability “to tackle abuse, including the use of funds for extremist and terrorist activity”, the government press release reports (‘New funding and powers to tackle abuse in the charity sector’, UK government press release). The announcement is timed to coincide with Prime Minister David Cameron’s chairing of a meeting of the Extremism Task Force “to discuss progress on delivering the government’s counter extremism strategy” […]
Read the article in full at Kurdish Question
CAMPACC PUBLIC EVENT
Includes a screening of Dirty Wars, a film by Jeremy Scahill
Date: Tuesday, 5 August, 7-9.30pm
Venue: Council Chamber, Camden Town Hall, Judd St, London WC1H 9JE(near Kings Cross tube/rail station)
Revelations over mass electronic surveillance by US-UK state agencies have provoked public outrage at this threat to democratic freedoms. State responses have further revealed its assumptions about the public as a potential source of various dangers. Indeed, the state has a long history of targeting political dissent through human surveillance, which continues today alongside mass electronic surveillance of everyone. In the past decade Muslim and migrant communities have been increasingly targeted to become informers. This pressure has been reinforced by blackmail threats linked to anti-terror powers which can impose various punishments without trial. An extreme form has been deprivation of UK citizenship, sometimes followed by drone assassination.
The global expansion of drone attack has been documented by Jeremy Scahill’s book and film, Dirty Wars. This public event will first screen the film, followed by speakers linking various forms of surveillance and their political roles. The discussion will consider how to oppose the state’s dangerous surveillance.
For background on Somalia, see ‘Somali communities targeted by UK “counter-terror” measures: the need for solidarity’ (pdf)
Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), Statewatch, National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (CPBF), Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers invite you to a
PANEL DISCUSSION ON
State Surveillance, Counter-Terror Powers
and Global Securitisation Strategies
Tuesday 10 December 2013, 6.30-8.30pm
Venue: National Union of Journalists, 308-312 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP
Speakers: Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary, National Union of Journalists (NUJ); Tony Bunyan, Director, Statewatch, journalist and author the The Shape of things to Come; Rob Evans, Guardian journalist and co-author with Paul Lewis of Undercover: the True Story of Britain’s Secret Police; Matthew Ryder QC, Matrix Chambers, representing David Miranda; Dr Nafeez Ahmed author, investigative journalist, international security scholar, environment writer for The Guardian; latest book, A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It. Les Levidow, CAMPACC
Chair: Kat Craig, Reprieve, Legal Director of the Abuses in Counter-Terrorism (ACT) and Vice-Chair of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers