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Review of the YearSome key moments in 2007 - and a guide to what you can do for 2008.
January: NO2ID lobbies against the database state on several fronts – the Children Act database now re-named ‘ContactPoint’, fingerprints in schools (with parents’ campaign LeaveThemKidsAlone) and the NHS Care Records System.
We started to offer a new, easy-to-read petition form. Download a copy from http://www.no2id.net/downloads/forms/NO2IDpetition.pdf and get your neighbours to talk about the ID scheme. Please send the forms to NO2ID’s London office (address on the form). Everyone who gives contact details will be invited to join NO2ID.
February: NO2ID meets Sir James Crosby, who is running a government enquiry into “identity management”. By December the report has yet to be appear. Why not? Is Crosby critical of the Home Office scheme?
NO2ID & NHS Confidentiality campaign hold a public meeting in Brighton. Over 100,000 people have already downloaded a copy of the letter instructing their GP not to pass their medical records to the “Spine”. Have you sent one yet? To find out more, please read http://www.nhsconfidentiality.org/?page_id=9
March: Phil Booth and Guy Herbert appear before the UK Borders Bill Committee. NO2ID also debates against ID-fan Martin Linton MP inside Wandsworth Prison, with biometrics industry representatives at the Science Museum, and gives the John Locke lecture at Westminster School.
March 26th was ID-Day, with protests held across the UK. Are you in contact with your nearest NO2ID local group? See http://www.no2id.net/localGroups/ Or ask Matty Mitford about starting your own: email@example.com
April: The Home Office was late for ID-Day, but from spring 2007 onwards, first time passport applicants *could* be called to an official interrogation centre – if it was open. Check http://www.no2id.net/getInvolved/idCentres.php to find the nearest.
Consider renewing your passport soon to avoid a grilling and compulsory registration on the ID database: http://www.RenewForFreedom.org/
May: Chris Atkins’ feature film ‘Taking Liberties’ was released. A biting assessment of the government’s civil liberties record, and a critical success, the film actively encouraged its audience to support NO2ID. It is now out on DVD.
June: Involving new people in the ID debate is essential. So are creative ways to get our message out. In June, NO2ID supporters organised public meetings in Cambridge, Lewes and Edinburgh. And, from Cornwall to Scotland, groups ran stalls, leafleted and met to plan more activity. There were film screenings (Lancaster), mounted protests (Glasgow) and music (Shoreditch, Glasgow and Covent Garden). On 26th June Clarence Willcock day (http://www.metamute.org/en/State-of-Denial ) saw an evening of culture at the Hackney Empire.
July: NO2ID continues to make an impact in the media. We brief journalists and broadcasters, give interviews, film comments and respond to every ID-related event. Though not always credited, NO2ID feeds programmes such as the BBC’s “File on 4”, which exposed the shambles of Identity and Passport Service plans.
You can have an impact, too. Take the time to write a letter to your local newspaper, saying why you think state control of personal identity is such a bad idea. It is the most read part of the paper, and you will reach thousands of people that way.
August: The Scottish national entitlement card hits the headlines. Dr John Welford of Edinburgh NO2ID has tirelessly pursued this ‘ID card by the back door’. Read his reports, see pictures of lobbying at Hollyrood, and find out how the scheme is being duplicated in England in 2008: http://www.jwelford.demon.co.uk/snec.html
Why not lobby your council? It represents you, and local authorities are clearly in the Home Office’s sights: http://www.no2id.net/resources/motions/
September: Lord Justice Sedley proposes putting everyone on the National DNA Database. But a Nuffield Council report (to which NO2ID made submissions) says the law in England and Wales should be brought in line with Scotland – with DNA used in evidence, but kept only for convicted criminals. Meanwhile, the Pet Shop Boys re-release their anti-ID single, ‘Integral’, linking directly to NO2ID’s website: http://www.no2id.net/psbs/
If this review was originally sent to someone else, then please register as a supporter to get an email newsletter every fortnight. There is a form on the front page of our website – http://www.no2id.net/ You'll also receive a FREE supporter’s pack and alerts about NO2ID events in your area. If this is your original, why not pass it on?
October: NO2ID is not against technology per se. ‘The ethics of biometrics’ debate at the Biometrics 2007 conference give a chance to challenge representatives of the industry to reject Home Office propaganda that will ultimately damage them - even if the government says it will spend billions on biometrics.
Campaigning too costs money. We desperately need your support. Generous regular givers fund our cramped office and some printing costs, but we need many, many more. Please make a donation or, preferably, set up a regular payment – http://www.no2id.net/getInvolved/join.php
November: Days after NO2ID launches its legal defence fund, the Chancellor announces that HMRC has lost 25 million benefit records – and millions of unencrypted bank account details. Several further admissions show the only way to stop abuse of your confidential information is not to give it to government agencies.
You can have your say. A recently-launched ‘Data Sharing Review’ is inviting comment from the public. Please take some time over the holiday period to do so: http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/data-sharing-review-consultation.htm
December: NO2ID announces a new form of non-violent direct action: pre-emptive resistance. The NO2ID Pledge – http://www.no2id.net/pledge/ – is a way of declaring to your friends and neighbours (tell everyone!) that you will not cooperate with any further government seizure of your personal information. If enough people publicly declare they will not cooperate, government seizure of personal identity will become impossible.
You can do something positive now.
Make it your New Year’s Revolution!
++ STOP PRESS ++
Though we don't consider ourselves part of the "conservative movement", or any movement (and NO2ID supporters certainly come from all political backgrounds left and right) it is nice to finish the year nominated for an award as National Campaign of the Year by ConservativeHome.com http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2007/12/your-chance-to.html
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