Privacy Bloc 02

Netpol’s campaign for more protesters to wear a face covering takes to the streets on 20 June

Over the last fortnight, Netpol’s ‘CoverUp’ crowdfunding campaign has sought to rekindle the debate on the importance of protesters’ privacy and the case for anonymity when participating in protests.

We have received over 100 donations towards the cost of producing at least 500 face coverings and from the beginning, we said we planned to hold a ‘Privacy Bloc’ at a future demonstration.

This will take place on Saturday 20 June 2015 at the People’s Assembly forthcoming demonstration against austerity, starting at noon at the Bank of England and finishing at Parliament.

Large numbers of marchers are expected to join the protest – and joining them will be large numbers of Metropolitan Police officers working in Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT), as Evidence Gatherers and as Police Liaison Officers. The role of these officers is to gather intelligence – on an almost industrial scale – on people planning to exercise their rights of freedom of expression and assembly on London’s streets.

We can either accept that taking part in a march or a rally means our presence is routinely noted and recorded, or we can start to resist. The Privacy Bloc on 20 June is the first step in shifting attitudes wearing a face covering – a masked celebration of the importance of protest anonymity and our opposition to growing police surveillance.

Visit our campaign Privacy Bloc resources page and help us to spread the word.