After the lockdown – it’s time to stop labelling campaigners ‘extremists’

UPDATE, 16 May 2020: The call for signatories has now closed.

We are asking you to add your name to the following statement calling for the National Police Chiefs Council to confirm – before the lockdown is over – that it will abandon completely the categorisation of political campaigning activities as “domestic extremism”. 
To: The National Police Chiefs Council.
 
Policing in Britain is starting to talk about preparations for a “more volatile and agitated society” after the end of the coronavirus lockdown – and we know it is extremely unlikely that surveillance on campaigners has ended because of the current crisis.
 
The Times reported only recently that 45 environmental campaigners were referred to the government’s Prevent “counter-extremism” programme between April 2016 and March 2019. It seems likely a large proportion were involved in anti-fracking groups, even though as far back as December 2016, the Home Office insisted opposition to fracking is not an “indicator of vulnerability to radicalisation”.


This is yet another reminder why such government reassurances have proven meaningless as long as the police remain able to subjectively categorise groups as “extremist”, even though this label has no legal definition.

The coronavirus crisis has demonstrated just how dramatically and how quickly political and economic orthodoxies can crumble.

It is now clear society is capable of organising to meet human need rather than simply to generate profit – and not just in a crisis. The government may want everything to return to the way it was before but most likely, as in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, only for the benefit of the few. 

 
However, when we finally emerge from lockdown, it is inevitable campaigners will demand real changes to the way many of society’s problems are prioritised, from the NHS, housing and the climate emergency to military and security spending, social care and workers’ rights, that have been laid bare by the pandemic.  


Our fear is that campaigners will likely find themselves, once again, labelled as ‘extremists’ and become the renewed target for intensive surveillance by Britain’s political policing units.

That is why we call on the National Police Chiefs Council to confirm, before the current crisis is over, that it will abandon completely the meaningless categorisation of legitimate political campaigning activities as “domestic extremism”.

SIGNED:

Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol)

Baroness Jenny Jones of Moulescoomb, Green Party peer

David Mead, Professor of UK Human Rights Law, UEA School of Law

Michael Hamilton, Senior Lecturer in Public Protest Law, School of Law

Dr Eveline Lubbers and Dr Donal O’Driscoll, Undercover Research Group

Reclaim the Power

CAGE UK

Clare Collier, Advocacy Director, Liberty

Deborah Coles, Director, INQUEST

Bruce Kent, peace campaigner and honorary vice-president, CND

Joe Corre, Talk Fracking

Emily Apple, activist and journalist

Police Spies Out of Lives

Liz Khan, Women in Black London

Pat Bryden, Women in Black Edinburgh

Beryl Maclachlan, Women in Black Edinburgh

Sue Easterbrook, Women in Black Bradford

Sarah Lasenby, Trident Ploughshares and Women in Black Oxford

Jane Tallents, Trident Ploughshares

Rebecca Johnson, Founding President, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Tim Devereux, Chair, Movement for the Abolition of War

Sally Reynolds, Secretary, Movement for the Abolition of War

Simon Bramwell, co-founder, Extinction Rebellion

Dr Gail Bradbrook, co-founder, Extinction Rebellion

Liam Geary Baulch, Extinction Rebellion

Barbara Richardson, Chair, Roseacre Awareness Group (RAG)

Susan Gough, Frack Free Kirby Misperton

Ellen Lebethe, Chairman, Lambeth Pensioners Action Group

Lorraine Inglis, Weald Action Group

Vicki Elcoate, Weald Action Group / Horse Hill Protection Group

James Knapp, Weald Action Group

Claire Stephenson, Frack Free Lancashire

Robert Dennett, Frack Free Lancashire

Julie Daniels, Frack Free Lancashire

Nick Danby, Frack Free Lancashire

Adela Pickles, Frack Free Ryedale

Sylvia May MBE, Frack Free Isle Of Wight

Ellie Wyatt, Frack Free Sussex

Maureen Mills, Halsall Against Fracking

Anna Somerset, The Gorilla Organization

Angie Zelter, Founder, XR Peace

David Collins, Veterans for Peace UK

Vijay Mehta, Chair, Uniting For Peace

Tom Fowler, Radical Wales

Fatima Jichi, Tom Wainwright and Owen Greenhall, Barristers, Garden Court Chambers

Raj Chada, Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors

Shamik Dutta and Michael Oswald, Bhatt Murphy Solicitors

Jules Carey, Patrick Ormerod and Rachel Harger, Bindmans Solicitors

Simon Natas and Lochlinn Parker, ITN Solicitors

Lydia Dagostino, Kellys Solicitors

Matt Foot, Birnberg Peirce Solicitors

Simon Pook, Robert Lizar Solicitors

Ian Brownhill, Barrister, No5 Chambers

Jag Bahra and Ben Curtis, Saunders Law

Steven Bird, Birds Solicitors

Mark Foley, Harrison Bundy Solicitors

Yvonne Kestler, Leigh Day Solicitors

Ellie Cornish, Hickman Rose Solicitors

Phil Chamberlain, co-author of Blacklisted: The secret war between big business and union activists

Dr Rob Faure Walker, SOAS University of London

Pippa King, Biometrics in Schools

Councillor Peter Garbutt, Sheffield City Council

Councillor Paul Turpin, Sheffield City Council

Dylan Lewis-Creser, Northamptonshire Green Party

Professor Paul Ward, Edge Hill University

Dr Leslie Sklair, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics

Professor David Smythe, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Glasgow

Professor Jane McCarthy, Visiting Professor, University of Reading

Dr Jennifer Hirst, Senior Researcher, University of Oxford

Professor Stephen Webb, Glasgow Caledonian University

Cllr Keith Martin, South Ribble Borough Council

Andrew Simmonds, Association for Environment Conscious Building

Peter Martin, Badger Trust Gloucestershire

Nina Tailor, Gathering Place Films

Rikki Blue, journalist, Real Media

Robert Irving, Green Party

Dr Zoë Ellery, Associate Lecturer, The Open University

Caroline Haywood, Frack Free Selby

Jennee Dixon, Frack Free East Yorkshire

David Barns, Postgraduate researcher, University of Leeds

Philip Shallcrass, Penderwydd, British Druid Order

Alan Lodge, photographer

Andria Efthimiou-Mordaunt, ACT.UP London

Dr Nathan Stephens Griffin, Northumbria University

Janet Fenton, Words & Actions

Juliet McBride, Nukewatch / XR Peace

James Godfrey, Birkbeck University of London

Cllr Neil Sandison, Rugby Borough Council

Ruth Jenkins, Finance Director, Age UK East London

Cllr Sharon Galliford, Surrey Heath Borough Council

Peter Scott, Community Choir Leader, SING Devon

John Plummer,  Co-ordinator, Frack Free Harrogate District

Fiona Parker, Cornerhouse

Frances Lobel, Fuel Poverty Action

Ruth London, Fuel Poverty Action

Cllr Sarah Sharp, Chichester District Council

Michael Vickery, Secretary, Frack Free Yeovil

Ellie Wyatt, Eco Action Families

Laura Swaffield, Chair,  The Library Campaign

Rashné Limki, Lecturer, University of Edinburgh Business School

Rosalind Readhead, Independent London Mayoral candidate 2021

Nick Francis, Bath Stop the War

Emily Mott, co-founder, Markwells Wood Watch

Alison Williams, Merton Branch Secretary, United Nations Association

Duncan Law, Chair and coordinator, Transition Town Brixton

Saul Jones, Communications Coordinator, London Mining Network

Ana Mizm, Drums Of Dissent

Rick Burgess, co-founder, Manchester Disabled People Against Cuts

Will Cottrell, Chair, Brighton Energy Coop

Camilla Saunders, Footloose Community Arts

Alastair Binnie-Lubbock, Spokesperson, Hackney Green Party

Paul Bradshaw, Vice Chair, The Moss Alliance

Sheila Menon, Plane Stupid

Gillian Charters

Ron Thorp

J Lockyer-Barrett

Jessica Peach

Christian Murphy

Mark Walters

Lisa Oldham

Sarah Edgar

A M Poppy

Michael Gumn

Simon Coopey

Irena Hoare

Chris Brown

Jonathan Carter

James Topham

Kate Needham

Andrew Lockett

Kev Wheeler

David Jefferies

Eileen Gibson

Josh Price

Nicola Stewart

David Mulligan

Mark Baldwin

Ben Smith

Nick White

Miranda Cox

Elizabeth Bates

Tom Pearce

Karen Pinder

Andreas Noll

Jane Eades

Ian Campbell

Dr Christopher Owens

Jane Carruthers

Mark Oliver

Michelle Taylor

Maryam Halcrow

Ink Asher Hemp

Matt Weir

Bo Jacobs Strom

Julie Hutchison

Carl Heaton

Dr Holly Langstaff

Joshua Warburton

Dominic Goncalves

Elisabeth Radbon

Anish Chhibber

Becca Horn

Ezra Mills

Anthony Walker

Helen Essex

Claire Morgan

Michael Erskine

RoseMary Warrington

Simon Buckner

John Calvert

Helen Pender

Linda Hurrell

Darren Woodiwiss

David Angel

Dorothy Wood

Phil Malkin

Susan Sidey

Ronald and Daniela Drysdale

John Wilson

Adriana Newsum

Thomas Sutcliffe

Elaine Gregory

Patrick Thompson

Veronika Gibbins

Andy Wilson

Laura McEntee

AJ Mitchell

Richard Wise

Dennis May

Matthew Coleman

Tiziana Clark

Chris Groves

Richard Green

Richard Church

John Pegram

Peter lomas

Jacqueline Gillman

Alan Grimsditch

Ian Hammond

Alastair Lings

Tobey Newey

Dan Ryan

Sue Mallender

Frank Adlington-Stringer

Ian Wilson

Ralph Turner

Liz Fisher

N Smith

Taherali Gulamhussein

Ian Pocock

El Ashfield

J Robson

Sarah Chalk

Robin Baldock

Barney Britnell

H White

Celia Davies

John Mitchell

Bee Warren

Sanya Pitchkarevich

Mark Papp

Luke Buckler

Michael Branch

Joseph Latimer

Caroline Simpson

Pat Gaffney

Paula Shaw

Chiara Contrino

Tom Franklin

Dr Gregory Melia

Dr Rowin Young

Edward Homson

Peter Marshall

Sion Du

David Amos

Andree Duguy

David Hainsworth

Adam Sargant

Doreen Jaques

David Mackenzie

Muaaz Furqan

Dave Mason

Dr Mary Edwards

Aurora Yaacov

James Marsh

Sue Lees

Sheila Triggs

Marion Permaul

Paula Green

Steve Whittemore

Barbara Saville

Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan

Kathryn Edwards

Valerie Jarvis

Linda Oubridge

Laura Esther

Dr Francesca Brock

Dr Stevie Cambridge-Claremont

Mike Hams

Robert Whybrow

Mark Sullivan

Helen Ditchburn

Jo Reuben

Lorcan Smith

Dawn Hilton

Terence Harris

Nikki Little

Ollie Grix

Nina Horner

Alice Owen

Barney Francis

Simone Lister

Chris Hilliard

Dr Greg Peakin

Gill McCoy

Karen Le Roy Harris

Sue White

Steve Whittemore

Ruth Redman

Elizabeth Cruse

Adrian Palmer

Michael Farman

Alan Hardman

Doreen Jaques

Dan Carrington

Greg Hewitt

Catherine Savery

Anna O’Brien

Liz Snook

Rowena Murphy

Gavin Atkin

Hannah Thomson

Colin Saunders

Val Jarvis

Pamela Church

Philip Orr

Dawn Lucas

Michael Cooper

Dr Pamela Davies

Dr Susan Weaver

Harriet Wood

John Scullion

John Houston

Cath Fletcher

Nicholas Clare

Jack Vincent

Dr Janice Baker

Al Young

Liz Allmark

Veronica Bale

Anita Pollitt

Benedita Whitehouse

Valerie Stagg

Claire Hunt

CT Summers

Christa Mackinnon

Polly Bluck

Catherine Jackson

Louise Brown

Dr Sarah  Wishart

Jonathan Weekes

Jenna Hoyt

Kathy Kohl

Rosemary Killen

Louisa Shorney

Victoria Knight

Seersha O’Sullivan

Jill Walton

Hilary Harris

John Hills

Heather Speight

Martin Berger

Kim Cordery

Jacqueline Phillips

Amber Louise Everitt

Benjamin Stainton

Accalia Hipwood

Tom Broughton

 Alan Lofthouse

Ged Kelly

Sophie Broadbent

Ruth Bradshaw

Fran Hicks

Lila Khodja

Karen Stutz

Joanna Lowndes

Diana Morgan

Joy Susy

Angela Fiddes

James Sebley

Daniel and Renate Aspden

Dr Zoe Kinsley

Sarah Green

Heather Peacock

Duncan Reed

Paul Blythen

Thomas Evans

Philip Maber

Ronan McNern

Laura Eccott

Sue Clarke

Ann Stewart

Dean Phillips

James Kelsey

Marc Campleman

Heather Ackroyd

Jenny Rivett

Allen Wheway

Claire Anstee

Paul Thomas

Derri Cobourne

Natalie Stamp

Joseph Ridsdale

Bernie Kenneally

Yoana Kalcheva

Charlotte Richardson

Steve Cork

Julia Dickenson

Clare Pitt

Richard Plant

Aideen McCarthy

Patricia Smith

S McNamara

Angela Brown

Deborah Gibson

Sam Parker

David Atkinson

Jennie Gibson

Richard Hearn

Wendy Cross

Julian Barnard

Dr Jay Ginn

Libby Darling

Nigel Corser

Daniel Cole

Claire Simmons

Dr Beatrice Birtwell

Ann James

Melanie Monchar

Hannah Stanton

Kathryn Tulip

Pippa Hockey

Noreen Griffiths

Phil Croxton

Sheila Freeman

Bella Brown

Dr Paul Stevens

Shirley Davidson

Rosemary-Kate Hughes

Daniel Galbraith

Kat Barton

Janie Mac

Sue Gilmurray

Dawn Smith

Jon Kennedy

Kim Turner

J Harris

Linden Sheffield

Dr Bill North

Claire Hamilton Russell

Charlie Cameron

Lisa Penfold

Lowri Nia

Michelle Charlesworth

Anne Maclachlan

Nick Parker

Dr Pete Underwood

Dr Larry Culliford

Toni Papageorgiou

Barrie Slipper

Lucienne de Mauny

Jane King

Jules Stevenson

Phil Ball

Andrea Wicks

Natasha Hawkes

Tim Hunt

Paul Antonelli

Felicity Allbrooke

Sue Spencer-Longhurst

Dr Bruce Callander

Andrea Coope

Eve Read

Megan Murray-Pepper

S Pearce

Lee Walsh

Paula Millington

Rabeel Mohammed

Alison Braddock

Mrs Jane Taylor

Joanna Blackman

Caroline Thomson-Smith

B Emerson

Caroline Watson

Jo Lane

Danielle Kail

Sonja Francis

Linda Burnham

Daniel Tegg

Elliot Harbourne

Thalia Carr

Tim Boardman

C P Ledger

Jane McDonnell

Kirsty Wilkins

Marion Couldrey

Jamie Russell

David Penn

Fae Wareing

Dr Michael Segal

Heather Black

Tina Teearu

Deborah Densham

Carolyn Dodd

Anna Currado

Caroline Roaf

L Niland

Dr Tessa Say

Dr Tina Leonard

Bruce Heagerty

Dr Lesley Morrison

Jessica Upton

Dr Ines Smyth

Clare Ambrose

Brigitte Scott-Florek

Sara Rodriguez

Martin Lake

Barbara Panvel

Jim Smith

B Westwood

John Lynes

Judy Cunniffe

Jill Oakes

Alex Berry

Ruth Garwood

George Paxton

Ms Lucy MacArthur

Dr Al Williams

Jane Robets

Natasha Hull

Gillian Hurle

Jocelyn Gaskell

Canon Robin Murch

Audrey Miller

Linda Wells

Dr Mark Baldwin

Betty Halford

Vida Henning

Andrew Wallwork

Theresa Norton

David Barry

Ian Chappell

Beatrice Millar

Morag Warrack

D Fuchs

M Malcher

Dorinda Bennett

Tim Stimson

Susan Turner

Ryan Simpson

Annie Draj

Monica Frisch

David Knight

Dr Sita Balani

Elizabeth Barber

Alan McQueen

Wai-Gong Lee

Antony Denton

Kris O’Donnell

Jake Lake

Victoria Emerson

Jennifer Hedges

Debra Mallard

Clare Davis

Douglas Hopton

M  Jills

Louise Mallan

Joya Newcombe

Caroline Walsh

Matt Thomas

Alan Flint

Beth Bramich

John Dowbekin

Jake Dowzell

Sarah Wild

Marcus Lugg

Caro Wilkinson

Liz Prince-Harding

Cait Ni Cadlaig

Bruce Bassam

Corinna Spengler

Bronwen Griffiths

Tab Goode

Anne Cooke

Richard Old

Tim Lane

Jackie Lane

Dr Judith Dodds

Ruth Riley

Kate Chesterman

Ian Medgett

Bob Edden

Graeme Tierney

Andy Platt

Dr Rowland Dye

Ann Farr

George Turner

Mike Brookes

Karen Lugg

Rebecca Hansen

Camille Fidgett

Brenda Levings

June Chadwick-Dobson

Paul Beer

Colette Mckinlay

Sam Loughrey Black

Joyce Robertshaw

Alice Jenkinson

Georgiana Hempson

Sophia Chalk

Catherine Enright

Madeleine Massey

Jane Dalton

Barbara Hungin

Joel Atkinson

Liz Goold

Lorna Scott

Sarah Finch

Mary Edwards

Annu Mayor

Shaun Turner

Christopher Cates

Samantha Lomax

John Martin

Dr Laurence Cox

Emily Connor

Mia Tomlins

Paul Steele

Helen Martins

Isla Casson

Sylvia Tilbury

Chris White

Beryll Withers

Sarah Holloway

Mary Wyburn

Douglas Wragg

David Reid

Una-Jane Winfield

Sophie Pritchard

Isidora Markovic

Martin Moore

Sally Boys

Rod Thick

John Prangley

Kim Hope

Joanna Wightman

David Austin

Pauline Cory

Lorna Hicks

Lucy Cawdery

Patricia Wright

P Martin

Bryn Truscott

Giorgio Riva

Julia Moffett

Kelly Tuvey

Emily Defries

Emma Randall-Milne

Rev Jackie Maw

Paul Brewer

Zoe Leeds

Gill Lloyd

George Wilson

Phil Mitchell

Pam Lucas

John Blewett

K Hollis

Lucy Barford

Mark Bishop

Linda Hellström-Hjelm

Sian Vaughan

D Jones

Dan Harvey

Rowan Walters

Valentina Bernardi

Tracey Cottell

Dr Martin Bainton

June Buchan

Valerie Briginshaw

Z Whiteside

Erika Adler

Noa Lachman

Jillian Robinson

Mark Hardy

Karen Jackson

Tim Beecher

Sherri Steel

Kathryn Jefferson

Emma Luxton