27 April 2020 — Statewatch News (10/20)
We hope you and your loved ones are well in these turbulent times.
This Wednesday, our friends at the Transnational Institute will be hosting a webinar to examine the repressive measures taken by states across the globe to address the coronavirus pandemic. The event starts at 16:00 Central European Time this Wednesday, 29 April. Statewatch is co-sponsoring the event, for which you can register online here:
States of Control – the dark side of pandemic politics
In response to an unprecedented global health emergency, many states are rolling out measures from deploying armies and drones to control public space, to expanding digital control through facial recognition technology and tracker apps. Although we are not at war, the narrative employed by political leaders, as well as the measures taken, would have us believe otherwise. Are these measures proportional and necessary to respond to the virus? Or are states taking advantage of this crisis to normalise new methods of mass control on entire populations? What if these measures become permanent once the pandemic has subsided? What if health is repurposed as a national security issue? How do we ensure that COVID-19 doesn’t become the new 9/11 – a new milestone in authoritarian states of control?
This webinar will explore the political dimension of state responses, particularly the securitisation of COVID-19 through the expansion of powers for military, police, and security forces. It will examine the impact of such repression on certain groups who are unable to socially distance, as well as how digital surveillance is being rolled out with little, if any democratic oversight. It will ask how we can prevent these practices from being normalised and how to use our collective experiences of solidarity to construct a more just, democratic, and rights -centered world.
The webinar is conducted in English, but is live-interpreted into French and Spanish. Register to receive more details.
- Fionnuala Ni Aolain, UN Special Rapporteur on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism, University of Minnesota
- Arun Kundnani, New York University, author of ‘The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, extremism, and the domestic War on Terror’ and ‘The End of Tolerance: racism in 21st century Britain’
- Anuradha Chenoy, School of International Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University (retired), and author of ‘Militarisation and Women in South Asia’ and ‘Human Security: Concept and Implications’
- María Paz Canales, Derechos Digitales (Digital Rights campaign), Chile
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