Latest news from the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) - June-July 2015 update

Latest news from Netpol

June-July 2015

'Privacy Bloc' takes our campaign on protest anonymity to London's streets

Apologies once again for the delay in our latest mailing, the result of an overwhelming month of activity since we launched out 'Cover Up! To Defend Your Privacy' campaign in May.

Many thanks to around 150 donors who contributed to our appeal and for everyone's patience whilst we posted our face coverings in advance of our planned 'Privacy Bloc' at the national anti-austerity demonstration on 20 June. Despite some hysterical media claims of alleged plots to bring “anarchy and violence” to an otherwise peaceful march, there were no reported arrests during the demonstration itself and on the day we gave away hundreds of masks and received lots of positive feedback.

Pictures of demonstrators wearing one of our masks kept on appearing and they have been spotted at more recent protests too.

There are still a few face coverings available: if you are able to make a donation, we will send you one. Visit

We also now have 'Resist Police Surveillance' badges for sale on our website: you can buy them here.

So where do we go from here? Netpol is now calling on participants at future demonstrations to make or buy their own face coverings, choosing a colour that reflects their campaign or simply stands out from others.

It's something for protesters at September's DSEi 'Stop the Arms Fair' demonstration or the planned student march in London in November to consider.

Resisting ‘Prevent’ and the War on Dissent

From 1 July, provisions within the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 shift the government’s controversial anti-radicalisation strategy, ‘Prevent’, from a voluntary programme into a statutory duty for most front-line public services.

Read our analysis of the implications for rights of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and to engage in protest here.

More evidence of huge police pressure on organisers of protest marches

Since attempts to impose 'pay-to-protest' restrictions on the 'Time to Act' climate march in February, we have received more evidence of efforts to impose prohibitively expensive conditions on marches, and of other attempts by police to tightly control any protest where organisers decide to liaise with them. Find our more here

Can you help sustain our work?

Netpol's research, analysis and practical advice continues to grow and we are delighted so many people have found it useful. However, we still operate on a tiny budget and are limited in how much more we can achieve. Could you help by making a small monthly donation to support our work?

You can find out how at - we really appreciate any help you can offer. 

Other News and Events

  • 'Block the Factory' witness call-out - if you took part in the 'Block the Factory' mass actions in Staffordshire or Kent on 6 July and witnessed arrests or police violence, Green and Black Cross would like to hear from you. Find out more here.
  • EVENT: Never forget - 10th anniversary of the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes - Netpol member Newham Monitoring Project is supporting Jean's cousins in London to mark a decade since his brutal execution by Metropolitan Police firearms officers, with a memorial at Stockwell underground station on 22 July . Find out more here.
  • Riot police rescue immigration enforcement van in south London - local people in Walworth in south London, responding to a call-out from Netpol member Anti-Raids Network, confronted police after physically preventing a UK Border Agency van from leaving with a man detained for alleged immigration offences  Read more here.
  • Officers cleared of all wrongdoing in misconduct hearing into death of Habib Ullah. - the hearing into the conduct of five Thames Valley officers found no misconduct despite then admitting that they deleted details that were included in their draft statements from the versions given to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.  The campaign group INQUEST said the decision "brings the police disciplinary system into disrepute."
  • Woman strip-searched by Metropolitan police wins substantial damages - the complainant has been awarded £37,000 in damages after she was forcibly strip-searched by five police officers and left naked in a cell while a camera broadcast the images into the custody suite.
  • Festival goers subjected to 'Orwellian' police surveillance - attendees at the aptly named Download Festival in June were under constant video surveillance and scanning by facial recognition software, as a new system was rolled out by Leicestershire Police.
  • EVENT: GBC summer legal observer training - Green & Black Cross Legal's summer training course for new legal observers takes place on Saturday 1st August in east London. To find out what the training covers see this overview and to take part, contact GBC here.
  • EVENT: Earth First! Summer Gathering - Netpol is delivering a workshop on mass police surveillance at the gathering in the Peak District from 19-24 August. More details here.


The Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) seeks to monitor public order, protest and street policing that is excessive, discriminatory or threatens civil rights. We are a network of activists, campaigners, lawyers and researchers sharing knowledge, experience and expertise to effectively challenge policing tactics and strategies that are damaging to the freedoms of all sections of our society.
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