Page 2 of 13 FirstFirst 12345612 ... LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 193

Thread: London's Congestion Charge Two Years On

  1. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Liverpool UK
    Posts
    264

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor

    Regarding ID Cards, currently if you are stopped, you could be either taken into custody for questioning or asked to go to your local police station within a certain number of days. These cards would essentially negate this requirement to go to a police station as essentially the card is bringing together current databases into a single database, rather than many which opens the chances of greater corruption and inacurracies. What I'm against is the cost and I personally believe the card should go further, ie an all encompassing passport/drivers licence, etc which again means fewer databases delays for the person in question. On the continent, ID cards have been used and Britain used to have them only until 'recently'. In the ideal world, we wouldn't need these things because nobody would do no wrong, but generally I believe the card is about the amalgamation of databases and creating a system that is less open to corrupt influences due to less access to these multiple databases.
    You could not be more wrong about this and I suggest you go to http://www.no2id.net/ and explore all of the arguments.

    The police have no power to take you into custody without being arrested. I don't understand what you mean about avoiding corruption as I have never encountered this in the UK. Except.....the driver vehicle & licensing agency has been illeagally selling private details of driver license holders and their vehicles to private companies. Except...the government claimed that ID cards would help combat terrorism; the London bombers were British nationals who didn't try to hide their identity and Italy, France, Spain, Germany have had ID cards for years and have had at times, chronic terrorism. Except...the government then claimed the cards were now not an effective weapon against terrorists but against the explosion in ID theft and that therefore, they were for our protection. They later had to apologise for putting out misleading and exagerted data on ID theft.

    As to inaccuracy in databases you are naive in the extreme if you have confidence in their infalability. Read these forums and you will find examples of indivduals who have be renditioned by the American government and tortured in Egypt and Syria becuase thyey were erroniously on a database. Of course they can be accurate in other ways; in the last election the labour party, the party behind ID cards, used a powerful database which could predict with 94% accuracy the way housholds would vote and taget those households INDIVIDUALLY. ID cards linked to such databases could be used to curtail your travel on i.e. World Economic Forum events in i.e. Edinburgh, Arms exhibitions in London Docklands, Visits by controversial presidents, i.e. Chinese, American, labour disputes, anti government protests. You think this will never happen? It already has; inthe '80's whole towns were road blocked by the police to stop trade unionists moving around the country, Demonstrators were stopped from going to the exhibtion centres to protest about the arms industy (Britains third largest industry), during the visit of the Chinese premier the police ripped out of the hands the citical banners of protestors and held them in custody until the visit was over. During the Econimic summit last year train movements were constrained and road blocks set up to prevent people getting there from other parts of the country. ID cards and databases will enable these things to be done with surgical accuracy at the touch of a button (you will need an ID card to buy a rail/bus/plane ticket) but of course, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear and mistakes will never happen to you. Will they.

    I could go on and on. In Europe they live by the old "Code Napoleon" in which the state is supreme and the citizens are subbordinate to the state. The ONE defining characteristic that generations of Britains fought for going back to magna carta and before is personal freedom in its truest sense. That the sate is subordinate to the citizen and as individuals, we have freedom to go about our business unmolested by agents of the state. It is what defines us as a nation. We gave this quality to America.

    I am afraid that you just do not seem to recognise that the imposition of ID cards and their associated databases fundamentally changes these true freedoms in changing the relationship between the state and the individual. I am shocked in your bovine like complicity and acceptance of ID cards in exchange for some minor convenience in your personal life.

    I for one will not be marched by a political party down to an "approved government centre" for registration, have my biometric data taken against my will and told to pay £400 for a license to live in my own country!

    Costs of the ID cards have been cost by the London School of Economics at £19 billion/$33 billion, greater than NASA's space shuttle budget. The author of the authoratative LSE report into the true costs of ID cards recently stepped down citing the kind of government harrasment that led to another respected government advisor commiting suicide ove a certain Iraq (dodgy) dossier - you know who I mean....

    Sorry if thise seems like a British only theme but as I said, our government says its being done partially at the behest of the US government so you ought to start asking what they have in store for you.
    Last edited by Marksix; March 3rd, 2006 at 05:49 AM.

  2. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marksix
    Sorry if thise seems like a British only theme but as I said, our government says its being done partially at the behest of the US government so you ought to start asking what they have in store for you.
    Freedom is being eroded everywhere by available technology. If it can be done it will be done. Not even constitutional assurances prevail against a government hell-bent on surveillance of citizens; Bush has already proved that with his illegal wiretaps.

    You can also thank Osama bin Laden; he pretty much determines the tenor of the times.

  3. #18

    Default

    You don't have to be arrested to go to be escourted to a police station, eg drunks to spend a night in the cell, those willing to be taken to the police station, etc...

    I wouldn't exactly call that website balanced and without more balanced views we go to the other extreme of under-security. We need to get a balance which appeases to all sides.

    I also don't believe that they will combat terrorism, they do have scope for aiding against external actors acting within the UK, but this is not their main benefit. One good example is 'NHS tourism' would be radically cut.

    With more single databases you increase the human interaction with these databases which can thus increase the chance of these databases being corrupted or errors popping up.

    Personally I'm unsure how they could be used against you moving around the world or visting arms exhibitions (but then again I'd hope that there are added security checks to ensure that you're actually associated in the business of buying guns).

    Also if you did your history, you'd know that trade unionists caused enough trouble as it was. Not only were their actions damaging the economy, but they began to target areas which were still economically active. You see, there has the be a line drawn: freedom and security. You can't allow groups taking law into their own hands to enact revenge on individuals who don't believe their philosophy. That said, you can't allow the state to govern all our actions and the only way forward is an equal balance: state and individual.

    I believe in peaceful protest, but like usual there are always fringe movements who spoil it for everyone and the result was that anarchists and the like destroyed the equilibrium. During the G8, there were 21 complaints about the police force, but around 20 police officers were injured, including two police horses and 40 police vehicles. You can't have unlimited movement because had this been the case, even more people would have been injured and the chance of violent protestors and police crashes would increase.

    Essentially the problems that you have now would most likely continue in the future, but the chance of this happening would decrease as you'd have fewer databases with fewer human interference.

    I think you don't understand Europe that much, for a start a few countries already have ID Cards and have had them for many years. Police activities also don't have to be publicly disclosed to the extent that they are in Britain, for example speed cameras and mobile speed cameras have to be clearly identified with signs and coloured in luminous yellow in the UK, in some countries in the continent its tough luck if you happen to go over the speed limit where unidentified speed cameras might be.

    I believe people should continually ensure that the state and police are in check, but admissions should be made on some fronts, while issues should be raised in others.

    I should note though that we can't allow people to go about their business if it interferes with the liberty of others. We can't allow others to rape or murder because its their right: we have to create a balance that creates a safe society with evolutionary boundaries.

    I personally believe the costs could be made more efficient by amalgamating together drivers licences, passports, etc... This way you bring together numerous departments which could be cut down red tape and thus human interference.

    By all accounts that individual committed suicide for his errors in life; I'm okay with whistleblowers as long as they fully take into account their own actions in creating the problem.

    Also I find it so annoying that people somehow align the UK with the US, simply because we share a few security concerns, when the UK is fully independent from the US. If anything France it could be argued has closer parallels with the US. Remember our country is more than just security.


    Remember though: this was a thread based on the Congestion Charge and like it or not: its been a complete success.

  4. #19
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Rutherford
    Posts
    12,773

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    Add on to this all of the surveillence cameras going up around the various cities (London, New York +): if they want to soon they'll know whenever you blow your nose.

    You mean the ones that can do things like track your face baced on thermal imaging and compare it to a central database?

    It IS big brother. And I do not care what people say "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear".

    What I fear is that what I am, and what I believe would some day be said to be "unacceptable" by whoever is in charge. If that happens, you become a criminal while doing nothing different and you are subject to search and seisure even before you get to your car/bus in the morning.

    Abuse of power is documented in almost EVERY human political system. How would it be any different now?

  5. #20
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    NYC - Downtown
    Posts
    32,654

    Default

    I agree -- 100%.

    One of the most frightening aspects of all of this is that younger people growing up today know no other world than the one that is being constructed by those in power. No doubt to many all of this seems "normal".

    And as long as these breaches of privacy and personal security do not appear to directly touch the masses then there will be little or no uproar.

  6. #21
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    East Midtown
    Posts
    6,832

    Default

    Words that are so true, and so chilling! The new reality is being constructed in increments; individually the incremental changes are not enough to rouse effective opposition. Point A to Point B seems like not much of a stretch, likewise B to C, but when you look up and realize you are at Z, what monumental changes have occurred, by now irrevocable!


    As for Osama, whose reality and goals I do not doubt, I nonetheless have to say he has been fulfilling the role of Goldstein for this regime.

  7. #22
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    8,113

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor
    ... I believe in peaceful protest, but like usual there are always fringe movements who spoil it for everyone and the result was that anarchists and the like destroyed the equilibrium. During the G8, there were 21 complaints about the police force, but around 20 police officers were injured, including two police horses and 40 police vehicles. You can't have unlimited movement because had this been the case, even more people would have been injured and the chance of violent protestors and police crashes would increase...
    You make a lot of snide comments about people "not know" things or "not understanding" others. I have yet to be at a demonstration and see "anarchists" as you and the politicos like to label them They are not anarchists they are environmentalist, anti-globalist, anti-fascists, and anti-corporate whores. They do not seek to create a world run amok - that would be anarchy. They seek to curb the powers of multi-national corporations and corruptpolitical parties that ride roughshod over the rights of individuals and steal the natural resources of poorer nations in horribly unfair debt reduction schemes.

    The fact is that you can have unlimited movement. It is when you create an opposing force that people get hurt. It is not only happening in Europe. It is happening here. The freedom to assemble, freedom of speech and by extension freedom to protest have been severely curbed in this country, as any activist can tell you. "Protestors" now must get permits, provide bonding and then submit to being held in pens surrounding by police trained to intimidate, harass and incite protestors.

    The yoke has been strapped to the working man - union activities have been curtailed by ridicuous judicial activisim by right-wing corporate sponsored judges like Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia. I acknowledge your right to presume what is good for Europe, but in America we were born of individual rights. They are now being stripped away. This country needs to start revoking Corporate rights, which were actually created in the same Amendment that banned slavery. The Congress in that amendment traded one form of slavery for another. That is what people are rebelling against, because they are finally waking up to the reality.

  8. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRider
    You make a lot of snide comments about people "not know" things or "not understanding" others. I have yet to be at a demonstration and see "anarchists" as you and the politicos like to label them They are not anarchists they are environmentalist, anti-globalist, anti-fascists, and anti-corporate whores. They do not seek to create a world run amok - that would be anarchy. They seek to curb the powers of multi-national corporations and corruptpolitical parties that ride roughshod over the rights of individuals and steal the natural resources of poorer nations in horribly unfair debt reduction schemes.

    The fact is that you can have unlimited movement. It is when you create an opposing force that people get hurt. It is not only happening in Europe. It is happening here. The freedom to assemble, freedom of speech and by extension freedom to protest have been severely curbed in this country, as any activist can tell you. "Protestors" now must get permits, provide bonding and then submit to being held in pens surrounding by police trained to intimidate, harass and incite protestors.

    The yoke has been strapped to the working man - union activities have been curtailed by ridicuous judicial activisim by right-wing corporate sponsored judges like Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia. I acknowledge your right to presume what is good for Europe, but in America we were born of individual rights. They are now being stripped away. This country needs to start revoking Corporate rights, which were actually created in the same Amendment that banned slavery. The Congress in that amendment traded one form of slavery for another. That is what people are rebelling against, because they are finally waking up to the reality.
    Just because you have been to demonstrations where there haven't been anarchists...it doesn't mean that they don't exist or are a conspiracy created by capitalists/environment hating/power crazed individuals.

    Note though that I did not tarnish all protestors in the same group and I clearly stated (as you quoted me in the first line) that: "....I believe in peaceful protest, but like usual there are always fringe movements who spoil it for everyone....". So don't portray me as siding along with this 'conspiracy' whos only objective is to frame a minority who are deliberately out there to cause trouble and not actually highlight the issues at hand.

    You don't need a permit to protest in the UK, but there are laws against using demonstrations as a cover to attack people, and private and public property. So no you can't have unlimited movement because this will affect the liberties of others and like I mentioned, its fringe movements that will use this as an excuse to corrupt the efforts of other possible demonstrators. In summary, I think you've misjudged me as I am actually strongly in favour of debate and the vocal opinion of society, but I don't believe people should use these episodes as a cover to carry out devious acts because this tarnishes the image of the normal demonstrator and blurs the true message being given out.

  9. #24
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    8,113

    Default

    I think that what I disagreed with is the assumption that there is always a fringe and that the fringe is always, in some way, violent or anarchist. Any protest will have people representing the spectrum of ofthe issue from both extremes. Yet, it is this insistence on painting the fringes and extremes as "violent" that I strongly disagree with. By doing so, it becomes a microcosm of the Bush Doctrine, where pre-emptive actions suddenly become justified. In almost every instance of violence at G8 meetings, the violence is provoked by strong arm tactics and harassment of protesters by police. Also, we must distinguish between destruction of property - as in the breaking of windows on a McDonald's or Starbuck's and violence against people. I can recall of no instance at any economic summit when violence is directed at human beings. We hear of protest "turning violent," but a parsing out of the timeline often - if not always - reveals the violence is in reaction to some physical abuse of protestors (like riding horses into crowds or ramming with motor scooters) that meets with resistence. Random violence is wanton and careless. Defending one's self might be violent, but is not wrong or unjustified.
    Last edited by BrooklynRider; March 3rd, 2006 at 04:06 PM.

  10. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Liverpool UK
    Posts
    264

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor

    Also if you did your history, you'd know that trade unionists caused enough trouble as it was. Not only were their actions damaging the economy, but they began to target areas which were still economically active. You see, there has the be a line drawn: freedom and security. You can't allow groups taking law into their own hands to enact revenge on individuals who don't believe their philosophy. That said, you can't allow the state to govern all our actions and the only way forward is an equal balance: state and individual.
    I am sorry that this seems off topic to you but it really isn't. The congestion charges are the thin end of a very large wedge.

    Since you raised the "history" thing the police were used in the 1980's as a political weapon by the Thantcher regime to destroy the mining industry as revenge for a previous miners strike which brought down the Heath tory government. So yes, they did cause that political party trouble but guess what? That's what freedom is all about. In other countires trades unions are illegal.

    They suceeded to the extent that there is no real mining industry now and entire communities and towns are to this day, economic deserts. Britain was once described as an Island of coal floating in a sea of oil but the wholesale conversion of energy from coal to gas has now made us dependent on Russian and Middle Eastern supply and also coal from China. What was your point about security and the economy?

    The police illegally stopped legitimate demonstrators from approaching that arms exhibition. It took two years for the case to come to court but it emerged that the met was under political pressure to stop demonstrators getting near to the exhibition. I think it was because the Labour party had just sold a multi billion dollar air defense system to an African dictatorship in direct contravention of their own policy on arms exports.

    If you ever go on a demo you will notice large numbers of police with video cameras. They build a database of demonstrators which can be linked to ID cards and then those individuals can be monitored more closely by the police. i.e. you will need an ID card to conduct any transaction from a bank withdrawl to buying a travel ticket to voting. At times of political unrest those individuals who dared to protest will be monitored more closely.


    Another instance of how ID cards will curtail freedom; it is now illeagal to protest within close proximity of the Houses of Parliament without permision from the (unelected) police. Recently three girls were arrested for simply reading out the names beside the Cenotaph in Whitehall of the 90 (now 103) dead British soldiers killed in Iraq. If made to carry ID cards the police would be instantly alerted in future when they bought a rail ticket to London or from the installed covert RFID readers situated in areas the politicians consider potentially embarresing to them as they entered those areas. And arrested again. I hope that answers your uncertainty as to how ID can be used to curtail your freedom.

    Unfortunately for you you will not have the luxury to test ID cards and see if they work for you. Of course if you have nothing to protest against they will probably have no impact on you. Maybe those anti G8 protestors deserve all they get. Maybe those anit runway protestors are just nimby's. But maybe the government will close your local hospital and it will directly affect you enough to get you on a protest march. But remember - you will be monitored....You will be made to buy one and can you ever imagine a UK government giving up that kind of control over people and recalling ID cards?

    Please wake up!!!!
    Last edited by Marksix; March 4th, 2006 at 07:22 AM.

  11. #26
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    NYC - Downtown
    Posts
    32,654

    Default

    A bit of follow-up on this from the American side ...

    "Wake Up!", indeed ...

    It is well documented that the US Government via the FBI has a record of taking steps outside of the law to investigate and keep tabs on American citizens. Any type of National "ID" card could only help the Government to fulfill this -- and any other -- misguided mission.

    In fact the FBI, under Director J. Edgar Hoover, established a long list of citizens -- including Dr. Martin Luther King -- who were to be rounded up and held during states of "emergency":
    ... the Bureau adopted a new "priority" ranking for apprehension in case of an emergency. Top priority was now given not only to leaders of "basic subversive organizations," but also to "leaders of anarchistic groups." It was said to be the "anarchistic tendencies" of New Left and racial militants that made them a "threat to the internal security."

    Initially, the Justice Department approved informally these changes in the criteria for "the persons listed for apprehension." After several months of "study," the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel formally approved the new Security Index criteria. This was the first time since 1955 that the Department had fully considered the matter, and the previous policy of disregarding the procedures of the Emergency Detention Act of 1950 was formally abandoned. If an emergency occurred, the Attorney General would abide by "the requirement that any person actually detained will be entitled to a hearing at which time the evidence will have to satisfy the standards of [the Act]." However, the Office of Legal Counsel declared that the Security Index criteria themselves could be - as they were - less precise than those of the Act because of the "needed flexibility and discretion at the operating level in order to carry on an effective surveillance program." Thus while the plan to ignore Congress' procedural limitations was abandoned, Congress' substantive standards were disregarded as insufficiently "flexible."
    [ FINAL REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE TO STUDY GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS WITH RESPECT TO INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES UNITED STATES SENATE ( aka "The Church Report" ); 1976: http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/cointe...lreportIIb.htm ]

    And who were "the persons listed for apprehension"and what criteria was used to establish that list?

    Read on ...

    FBI Target Lists

    The FBI's most intensive domestic intelligence investigations and COINTELPRO operations were directed against persons identified, not as criminals or criminal suspects, but in vague terms such as "rabble rouser," "agitators," "key activists," or "key black extremists." The Security Index for detention in time of national emergency was revised to include such persons.

    (1) "Rabble Rouser/Agitator" Index. -- Following a meeting with the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders in August 1967, Director Hoover ordered his subordinates to intensify collection of intelligence about "vociferous rabble-rousers." He also directed a "Key Black Extremist" "that an index be compiled of racial agitators and individuals who have demonstrated a potential for fomenting racial discord."


    The already vague standards for the Rabble Rouser Index were broadened in November 1967 to cover persons with a "propensity for fomenting" any disorders affecting the "internal security" -- as opposed to only racial disorders -- and to include persons of local as well as national interest. This included "black nationalists, white supremacists, Puerto Rican nationalists, anti-Vietnam demonstration leaders, and other extremists." A rabble rouser was defined as:
    a person who tries to arouse people to violent action by appealing to their emotions, prejudices, etcetera; a demagogue.In March 1968, the Rabble Rouser Index was renamed the Agitator Index and field offices were ordered to obtain a photograph of each person on the Index.
    However, expanding the size of the Agitator Index lessened its value as an efficient target list for FBI intelligence operations. Consequently, the Bureau developed a more refined tool for this purpose-the Key Activist Program.
    You might think "What's the problem? The FBI was only going after persons who try "to arouse people to violent action".


    But a closer look reveals that the US Government was laying a much broader net:

    D. INTELLIGENCE AND DOMESTIC DISSENT: 1964-1976

    1. Main Developments of the 1964-1976 Period

    Beginning in the mid-sixties, the United States experienced a period of domestic unrest and protest unparalleled in this century. Violence erupted in the poverty-stricken urban ghettos, and opposition to American intervention in Vietnam produced massive demonstrations.

    A small minority deliberately used violence as a method for achieving political goals -- ranging from the brutal murder and intimidation of black Americans in parts of the South to the terrorist bombing of office buildings and government-supported university facilities. But three Presidential commissions found that the larger outbreaks of violence in the ghettos and on the campuses were most often spontaneous reactions to events in a climate of social tension and upheaval.

    During this period, thousands of young Americans and members of racial minorities came to believe in civil disobedience as a vehicle for protest and dissent.

    The government could have set an example for the nation's citizens and prevented spiraling lawlessness by respecting the law as it took steps, to predict or prevent violence. But agencies of the United States, sometimes abetted by public opinion and government officials, all too often disregarded the Constitutional rights of American in their conduct of domestic intelligence operations.
    c. Domestic Covert Action

    The FBI developed new covert programs for disrupting and discrediting domestic political groups, using the techniques originally applied to Communists. The most intensive domestic intelligence investigations, and frequently COINTELPRO operations, were targeted against persons identified not as criminals or criminal suspects, but as "rabble rousers," "agitators," "key activists," or "key black extremists" because of their militant rhetoric and group leadership. The Security Index was revised to include such persons.

    Without imposing adequate safeguards against misuse, the Internal Revenue Service passed tax information to the FBI and CIA, in some cases in violation of tax regulations. At the urging of the White House and a Congressional Committee, the IRS established a program for investigating politically active groups and individuals, which included auditing their tax returns.
    A Bureau memorandum which recommended the use of disruptive techniques against the "New Left" paid particular attention to one of its "anarchistic tendencies":
    the New Left has on many occasions viciously and scurrilously attacked the Director and the Bureau in an attempt to hamper our investigations and drive us off the college campuses. 294
    Later instructions to the field stated that the term "New Left" did not refer to "a definite organization," but to a "loosely bound, freewheeling, college-oriented movement" and to the "more extreme and militant anti-Vietnam war and antidraft protest organizations." These instructions directed a "comprehensive study of the whole movement" for the purpose of assessing its "dangerousness." Quarterly reports were to be prepared, and "subfiles" opened, under the following headings:
    Organizations ("when organized, objectives, locality which active, whether part of a national organization")
    Membership (and "sympathizers" -- use "best available informants and sources")
    Finances (including identity of "angels" and funds from "foreign sources")
    Comunist Influence
    Publications ("describe publications, show circulation and principal members of editorial staff"]
    Violence
    Religion ("support of movement by religious groups or individuals") Race Relations
    Political Activities ("details relating to position taken on political matters including efforts to influence public opinion, the electorate and Government bodies")
    Ideology
    Education ("courses given together with any educational outlines and assigned or suggested reading")
    Reform ("demonstrations aimed at social reform")
    Labor ("all activity in the labor field")
    Public Appearances of Leaders ("on radio and television" and "before groups, such as labor, church and minority groups," including "summary of subject matter discussed")
    Factionalism
    Security Measures
    International Relations ("travel in foreign countries," "attacks on United States foreign policy")
    Mass Media ("indications of support of New Left by mass media")
    Through these massive reports, the FBI hoped to discover "the true nature of the New Left movement." Few Bureau programs better reflect "pure intelligence" objectives which extended far beyond even the most generous definition of "preventive intelligence."
    f. COMINFIL Investigations: Overbreadth

    In the late 1960's the Communist infiltration or association concept continued to be used as a central basis for FBI intelligence investigations. In many cases it led to the collection of information on the same groups and persons who were swept into the investigative net by the vague missions to investigatie such subjects as "racial matters" or the "New Left." As it had from its beginning, the COMINFIL concept produced investigations of individuals and groups who were not Communists. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the best known example. But the lawful activities of many other persons were recorded in FBI files and reports, because they associated in some wholly innocent way with Communists, a term which the Bureau required its agents to "interpret in its broad sense" to include "splinter" and "offshoot" groups.

    During this period, when millions of Americans demonstrated in favor of civil rights and against the Vietnam war, many law-abiding citizens and groups came under the scrutiny of intelligence agencies. Under the COMINFIL program, for example, the Bureau compiled extensive reports on moderate groups, like the NAACP.

    The FBI significantly impaired the democratic decisionmaking process by its distorted intelligence reporting on Communist infiltration of and influence on domestic political activity. In private remarks to Presidents and in public statements, the Bureau seriously exaggerated the extent of Communist influence in both the civil rights and anti-Vietnam war movements.
    4. Domestic Covert Action

    a. COINTELPRO

    The FBI's initiation of COINTELPRO operations against the Ku Klux Klan, "Black Nationalists" and the "New Left" brought to bear upon a wide range of domestic groups the techniques previously developed to combat Communists and persons who happened to associate with them...

    Further directives issued soon after initiation of the program urged field offices to "vigorously and enthusiastically" explore "every avenue of possible embarrassment" of New Left adherents. Agents were instructed to gather information on the "immorality" and the "scurrilous and depraved" behavior, "habits, and living conditions" of the members of targeted groups. This message was reiterated several months later, when the offices were taken to task for their failure to remain alert for and seek specific data depicting the "depraved nature and moral looseness of the New Left" and to "use this Material in a vigorous and enthusiastic approach to neutralizing them."


    In July 1968, the field offices were further prodded by FBI headquarters to:

    (1) prepare leaflets using "the most obnoxious pictures" of New Left leaders at various universities;
    (2) instigate "personal conflicts or animosities" between New Left leaders;
    (3) create the impression that leaders are "informants for the Bureau or other law enforcement agencies" (the "snitch jacket" technique) ;
    (4) send articles from student or "underground" newspapers which show "depravity" ("use of narcotics and free sex") of New Left leaders to university officials, donors, legislators, and parents;
    (5) have members arrested on marijuana charges;
    (6) send anonymous letters about a student's activities to parents, neighbors, and the parents' employers;
    (7) send anonymous letters about New Left faculty members (signed "A Concerned Alumni" or "A Concerned Taxpayer") to university officials, legislators, Board of Regents, and the press;
    (8) use "cooperative press contacts;"
    (9) exploit the "hostility" between New Left and Old Left groups;
    (10) disrupt New Left coffee houses near military bases which are attempting to "influence members of the Armed forces;"
    (11) use cartoons, photographs, and anonymous letters to "ridicule" the New Left;
    (12) use "misinformation" to "confuse and disrupt" New Left activities, such as by notifying members that events have been cancelled.
    During the period 1968-1971, 291 COINTELPRO actions against the "New Left" were, approved by headquarters. Particular emphasis was placed upon preventing the targeted individuals from public speaking or teaching and providing "misinformation" to confuse demonstrators.

  12. #27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marksix
    I am sorry that this seems off topic to you but it really isn't. The congestion charges are the thin end of a very large wedge.

    Since you raised the "history" thing the police were used in the 1980's as a political weapon by the Thantcher regime to destroy the mining industry as revenge for a previous miners strike which brought down the Heath tory government. So yes, they did cause that political party trouble but guess what? That's what freedom is all about. In other countires trades unions are illegal.

    They suceeded to the extent that there is no real mining industry now and entire communities and towns are to this day, economic deserts. Britain was once described as an Island of coal floating in a sea of oil but the wholesale conversion of energy from coal to gas has now made us dependent on Russian and Middle Eastern supply and also coal from China. What was your point about security and the economy?

    The police illegally stopped legitimate demonstrators from approaching that arms exhibition. It took two years for the case to come to court but it emerged that the met was under political pressure to stop demonstrators getting near to the exhibition. I think it was because the Labour party had just sold a multi billion dollar air defense system to an African dictatorship in direct contravention of their own policy on arms exports.

    If you ever go on a demo you will notice large numbers of police with video cameras. They build a database of demonstrators which can be linked to ID cards and then those individuals can be monitored more closely by the police. i.e. you will need an ID card to conduct any transaction from a bank withdrawl to buying a travel ticket to voting. At times of political unrest those individuals who dared to protest will be monitored more closely.


    Another instance of how ID cards will curtail freedom; it is now illeagal to protest within close proximity of the Houses of Parliament without permision from the (unelected) police. Recently three girls were arrested for simply reading out the names beside the Cenotaph in Whitehall of the 90 (now 103) dead British soldiers killed in Iraq. If made to carry ID cards the police would be instantly alerted in future when they bought a rail ticket to London or from the installed covert RFID readers situated in areas the politicians consider potentially embarresing to them as they entered those areas. And arrested again. I hope that answers your uncertainty as to how ID can be used to curtail your freedom.

    Unfortunately for you you will not have the luxury to test ID cards and see if they work for you. Of course if you have nothing to protest against they will probably have no impact on you. Maybe those anti G8 protestors deserve all they get. Maybe those anit runway protestors are just nimby's. But maybe the government will close your local hospital and it will directly affect you enough to get you on a protest march. But remember - you will be monitored....You will be made to buy one and can you ever imagine a UK government giving up that kind of control over people and recalling ID cards?

    Please wake up!!!!
    No, the unions were not crushed by the police, but by Thatcher using a coal stockpile which the economy used while the unions went on strike. Eventually the unions went bankrupt forcing most miners into other employment, to continue mining or join the dole queues. The police were used only to stop miners who were on strike attacking miners who continued to work. I think the reason trade unions were dealt a harsh blow, was because nobody likes them: they had as much (if not more) power than some of the political parties and were usually a minority affecting the majority. Personally, Britain has the best of both worlds: it has the economic flexibility of the US, but the socialist background of continental Europe.

    Well thats unfortunate, but Thatcher did something good: she realised that manufacturing and old industries were increasingly becoming inefficient and not as cost effective as could be done in other countries. Nobody in Britain would for example be willing to pay for British coal, when instead you can get North Sea gas which is far less polluting, more economical and cheaper. Had Thatcher not acted, the result would have been a far longer and damaging cycle of decline instead of concentrating of the business and financial service sector which many ex-mining areas have come to specalise in. We could still mine coal, but you either pay the miners next to nothing or the consumer pays 3-4x more which would pretty much cripple the economy, increase overall unemployment and create resentment (maybe possible backlash) towards miners. Once again though you are incorrect about our energy sources. Firstly Britain isn't dependent on Russia for gas: it has the North Sea for that which provides something like 95% of all our gas requirements and that is why Britain wasn't affected like the rest of Europe was in the last 'energy crisis'. Secondly, everyone to my knowledge is dependent upon middle eastern oil....but you can't run cars on coal and I'd rather we kept our oil reserves until our North Sea reserves run out. To my knowledge, I don't think we import large (if any) amounts of coal from China simply because they need it themselves to feed their booming economy. Thirdly renewable energies (wind, wave, etc...) could represent something like 50% of all our energy needs by 2050, while nuclear will be playing a larger role in our lives.

    This was the arms exhibition at the ExCeL centre in London's Docklands, where clearly you need to have a barrier between the exhibition and the normal public. Also the way the site is built, is that you either are on the main road, on the site itself or across from the main road. Naturally you couldn't have people on site because that increases the risk of unknown elements using the protest as a cover to go sneeking about. You can't have them on the main road either because they'd be obstructing a public right of way, thus they were on the other side of the road - in clear view of the exhibition, but notably not actually inside. What difference would it make if a defence system had been sold to some government or not?

    I've been to football matches and seen police taping the crowd and rightly so. I was at Fratton Park watching Portsmouth V Bolton and some Portsmouth idiot chucked a bottle at the Bolton fans. This so called 'fan' was then kicked out of the ground, while his face is now known by the police meaning if he were to do something as foolish again he could be banned from travelling to Europe or elsewhere during football tournaments because of the likelihood of this individual attacking other football supporters. Others began racist chants and they to were kicked out and caught on camera. Even though they recorded me and the thousands of others in my stand....they weren't noting us down: because we had done nothing wrong and were only there to watch the game: not injure or verbally abuse people.

    That said, I think you'll find that they scan the crowd to catch people defacing property, etc... Afterall there are individuals who will use large peaceful crowds for such acts: that is why you or I haven't been contacted or the like or our pictures haven't been shown on the news. An example of this was the Portsmouth V Southampton derby a year or two ago: there were riots after the game because of the tension between the two team. Thankfully individuals who were brandishing knives, baseball bats and other horrific items outside the stadium (who had a sole purpose: give a Scummer fan a good kicking in) were captured on camera and CCTV. The result? Their pictures were slapped on the local paper and on the news and eventually they either handed themselves in or others told the police about them. With these individuals locked up, the chance of them attacking others again decreases and the result is the tension between the two teams remain, but the violence has been cut out like a cancer. The same has been done with English football in general, whereby known hooligans are banned from travelling simply because if we allowed them to travel, they would be going to other countries only to cause trouble and this country or any other doesn't deserve this.

    Also as someone in the finance industry, I recognise that identity fraud is a big problem (its actually the fastest growing crime in Britain), so ID Cards would help cut this out partially , just as Chip and Pin has helped with cutting fraud with credit cards. That said, you wouldn't need to have an ID Card to make individual withdrawls (unless of course you haven't followed the proper current banking procedures and/or creating other accounts etc where identity is a requirement anyway). Naturally if you are a murderer on the run and you want to get on a flight bound for Nojailland and you get a 'flag' over your ID Card for being wanted in question regarding murders or other crimes then naturally that should stop you travelling - just like with current passports.

    And another crime that has seen large rises over the last few elections has been a troubling problem of 'multiple-voting', afterall if you can get 10 'votes' yourself, you've got an advantage over other people and their single honest vote. If it meant just waving your ID Card over a reader to acknowledge that you're voting it would mean you couldn't then come along again and try to vote: because you already had. Then again this would just be the incorporation of a few polling security measures which are currently used, but in paper format.

    The law that you talk about is only limited to half a mile around Westminster for the simple reason: to stop demonstrations from randomly taking place which they have done on some occasions. Westminster isn't just the home of political power in the UK, but is also a major crossroads within London and there have been a few protests now where people have randomly running around Whitehall causing traffic mayhem. That said, its been clearly stated that if you give prior announcement you can protest with measures taken to divert traffic, etc... I find that reasonable: what benefit is there in demonstrating if you're interupting other peoples lives and if anything you'll most likely create negative views on the points being raised by the protestors. The sad thing is though, its mainly down to once again: a single protestor, and specifically the protestor on Parliament Square: what right does he have to urinate on a public square in clear public view and also take up what little paving is on that square for himself? If the guy had actually created a presentable and clean 'podium' then that would be okay - but not public urination or forcing those on the Square into the road! Its because of this guy that he creates a pain for other possible demonstrators wishing to protest in a more mature manner.

    RFID technology is already in use in London: its in the form of the Oyster Card (ie the contactless card used for travelling on all transport modes within London). That said what you claim is not even on the board.

    Note that I don't label all protestors (as you and BrooklynRider seem to have attempted) as being the same, but I note that a minority or few people are out there to cause trouble. Its the same with protestors as it is with the police: good and bad. On the runway front, I'm against new runways at Heathrow, but for runways at Stansted (my home is actually just 2miles west of the airport), while new runways can't be built at Gatwick until 2019 due to a binding legal agreement which I agree with.

    I think even though its good to have input from both sides (I consider myself somewhere in the middle), you'll never see anything which you propose, because its going to be watered down long before then and its nothing like what you propose!




    Now back to the Congestion Charge....

  13. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Liverpool UK
    Posts
    264

    Default

    I can pick you up and challenge you on each and every one of your points but as you say - back to the main thread.

    I always wondered who these "middle Englanders" were and now I've kinda got to meet one. A good little conformist.

    Perhaps it explains a lot that I am from Liverpool and you are from (in) the home counties. You'll be telling me that you actually voted for Thatcher next. I work in the airline biz and spend too much of my time in the "City" but have yet to come across someone down there who admits to actually voting for Thather. Go on - ADMIT IT!!!! After all, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear....

  14. #29

    Default

    I'm far from being conformist, if I was I wouldn't be raising concerns over the likes of ID Cards and small groups of people which I have already!

    I wasn't in the UK when Thatcher was last elected: I was in Singapore. I would have voted for her though: without her the UK would have become far worse off. She wasn't perfect, but the country would have been torn apart, we wouldn't have seen our cities redevelop under a new renaissance for centres of R&D, the knowledge economy and business and financial services. The UK would most likely have regressed and we could very well have had a country dominated by the trade unions and radical right-wing elements which would have been no good. The result is that we know have a vibrant economy, growing social and cultural scene and our lives are now all far better off (more say either in our jobs, schools or local area, etc...).

    Without Thatcher, Liverpool would still be declining and it wouldn't be a 'European Capital of Culture'. London wouldn't have become the immense world city that it is now that is at the centre of all global activies and could be argued to not only be the prime city of Europe, but for the world. That isn't to say that we should all sit back and take it all in, we should still protest, write to our MPs, go to surgeries, etc... because that is one of our roles in life and as citizens of the UK.

  15. #30

    Default

    Even observing all the stereotypical formalities and courtesies, imo the UK shows promise of blooming into Europe's premiere police state.

    Congestion charging seems OK, but that road-use scheme is the devil's work.

Page 2 of 13 FirstFirst 12345612 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. New Years Eve in Time Square
    By clasione in forum Social Club
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: January 3rd, 2005, 06:18 PM
  2. Airtrain Newark, two years and still growing
    By STT757 in forum New York Metro
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: October 27th, 2003, 10:17 PM
  3. Almost 2 years later, the events of 9.11.01 still hurt
    By Qtrainat1251 in forum New York City Guide For New Yorkers
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: September 10th, 2003, 10:34 PM
  4. Where to live? - Possibly moving to NYC in a few years...
    By Jonny in forum Moving to New York
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: May 21st, 2003, 11:48 AM
  5. The long process of reconstruction - Who will be in charge ?
    By Fabb in forum New York Real Estate
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: January 30th, 2002, 12:29 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Google+ - Facebook - Twitter - Meetup

Edward's photos on Flickr - Wired New York on Flickr - In Queens - In Red Hook - Bryant Park - SQL Backup Software