Civil liberties


Prison is not the answer

25 September 2018 A humane society shouldn't be caging up vulnerable people. Jasmine Ahmed of CAPE (Community Action on Prison Expansion) argues for radical alternatives.

Prison abolition isn’t impossible. It’s necessary.

28 February 2018 It's time to take prison abolitionism seriously, argues David Scott.

Our prison system is broken. Is it time to abolish prisons altogether?

16 February 2018 David Scott argues that our prison system represents a human rights disaster, and reformist solutions can't tackle the root problems.

Greenwald speaks Trump, War on Terror, and citizen activism

16 February 2017 Glenn Greenwald was interviewed by Amandla Thomas-Johnson over the phone from Brazil. Here is what he had to say on the War on Terror, Trump, and the 'special relationship'

Defending rights against the right

22 February 2015 The rights of those who have least are under concerted attack, says Nina Power. We must organise to protect them

My spy

1 October 2014 Mark Thomas and Merrick Badger met at the Edinburgh Fringe festival to discuss their experiences of being spied on

Editorial: The powers that see

16 November 2013 While surveillance may feel vast, looming and obscure, writes Michelle Zellers, it isn’t separate from the other battles we’re fighting

Indefensible design: the high social costs of ‘security’

16 November 2013 The pedlars of gates, alarms and CCTV have an ever-growing business. It’s the community that pays, according to research by Anna Minton and Jody Aked

Colonial oversight

16 November 2013 As they colonised the world, European governments invented techniques for tracking the people they conquered. Elia Zureik reveals how domestic spying has roots in imperial history

How the cops try to predict our next move

16 November 2013 As civil dissent ramps up, UK secret police discover new modes of repression. Kevin Blowe reports on cops, ‘kettles’ and a database profiling thousands of activists

Menwith Hill: Drop the base

16 November 2013 The NSA’s base in North Yorkshire goes unnoticed, even in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations. Lindis Percy discusses the fight for accountability

GCHQ: Any phone, any time

16 November 2013 Enjoying lenient surveillance laws, GCHQ has enticed its American counterpart to set up camp in Britain. Richard Norton-Taylor reports

After Snowden: protecting our data

16 November 2013 Edward Snowden’s revelations highlight the need for stronger privacy laws – and more. Ben Hayes outlines key demands for reining in the surveillance state

Keeping our streets safer

7 May 2011 Isabel Parrott reports on legal and defendant support work surrounding the anti-cuts movement and student protests

A new zeitgeist on rights

22 May 2009 The Convention on Modern Liberty inspired a huge surge of energy around civil liberties, says Stuart Weir. Human rights campaigners could be on the verge of a historic breakthrough

Our job as citizens

14 October 2008 Strengthening human rights laws, protecting civil liberties and combating the database state are all interlinked, says Stuart Weir

The left’s unlikely ally

4 August 2008 David Davis's by-election campaign against 42-day detention tapped into a widespread feeling that our traditional liberties are under threat from a much distrusted political class, says David Beetham. But don't hold your breath for a more liberal Conservative administration

What price security?

6 November 2007 Brig Oubridge, Chair of the Big Green Gathering, reports on how new anti-terror laws may herald the end of outdoor festivals in the UK

G-Had In the UK

1 August 2006 The Sun dubs him the ‘suicide bomb rapper’, and two MPs have called for his arrest. But with the government and mainstream media limiting debate on the causes of terrorism, Aki Nawaz of Fun-Da-Mental tells Angela Saini he’s prepared to risk his liberty to challenge received wisdoms

A law unto themselves?

1 October 2005 The police shoot-to-kill policy that claimed the life of Jean Charles de Menezes was introduced without any democratic debate. Oscar Reyes asks where that leaves the notions of community policing and police accountability

Attacking the outside agitators

1 September 2005 Throughout the 1960s, volunteers who joined the struggle for African-American civil rights in the US southland were denounced as 'outside agitators.' The white establishment accused them of stirring up the local blacks, who of course would otherwise have remained content with their lot.

In the eye of the storm

1 August 2005 Britain has changed since the outrages of 7 July. The bombs had hardly gone off in London when Tony Blair declared them to be the work of Islamic terrorists.

Judge gives green light to police containment tactics

1 April 2005 Alex Nunns reports on the Mayday case in which he appeared as a witness for the prosecution

Institutionalised spite

1 April 2005 Introduced by Labour largely to protect working class families on inner-city estates from the menace of antisocial behaviour, how could you not applaud Asbos? Because, writes Chris Quayle, they don't work, have absolutely no regard for the niceties of normal legal process, and are an excuse for completely ignoring the causes of antisocial behaviour in the first place.

The War on Terror at home: from internment to control orders

1 March 2005 Britain's Guantanamo has gone into crisis. Last year the government came under increasing criticism for its internment policy, which had kept many foreign nationals incarcerated without charge for three years. Their treatment was rightly denounced as psychological torture by lawyers and doctors.

Access all areas

1 February 2005 Ever wanted to know who was responsible for closing your local swimming pool? Or about decisions to repatriate asylum seekers? Or how much of your cash goes to arms dealers? Well, the Freedom of Information Act could help you do so. Katherine Haywood offers advice on how to use it

Defending the Right to Protest

1 December 2003 In December 1999 then home secretary Jack Straw unveiled to the House of Commons his plans to combat terrorism. The perceived threat came not from Islamic fundamentalists but from IRA splinter groups and animal rights activists.

Was High Court DSEi ruling aimed at stifling Bush protests?

1 December 2003 Activists are increasingly worried that a High Court ruling made in October has given police the green light to use anti-terrorism laws to clamp down on people's right to peaceful protest.

Police breached human rights of peace protesters

1 July 2003 Anti-war demonstrators who protested at RAF Fairford during the Iraq conflict suffered fundamental breaches in their human rights according to a new report by Liberty.