Monday, March 19, 2007

Police Response to Protest in Auckland.

In Auckland over the past few years the police have been consistently unable to predict when splinter groups will carry out actions around major marches in Auckland. This sporadic use of swarming means the police have to divert 20+ officers to many marche's in Auckland to attempt to try and prevent anything unauthorised from occuring. Now because they are never sure whats going to happen and who is responsible they have for a long time been videoing and taking high resolution photos of everyone that looks like a potential trouble maker on march's. By now the police are likely to have several thousand pictures of hundreds of different people and dozens of hours of videos. All this of people participating in peaceful protest normally against war.

As a response to their suveillance I have taken to getting close up photos of every officer on the march, particularly the police photographers. They find this rather frustrating and yesterday the police photographer ran round trying to get photos of me for quite a while after I got some close ups of her. I have also been threatened with arrest as a response of this tactic. So I was wondering if anyone knew what information such as photos we could access under the official information act? Does anyone know how to draft the questions properly?

Even cops don't like having their photos taken

I dont think these police tactics are justfied and I'm not conviced that these photos and profiling of activists will be used responsibly - particularly if New Zealand ever started to use counter terrorism legislation. A government that feels so threatened that it must monitor any protest activity and identify everyone participating in it is not a government I trust.


Anonymous said...

Yeah Cops really don't like to be identified in any way, I've seen cops in wellington hide id tags beneath those hi-vis vests they all seem to wear nowadays and I've been threatened for arrest (for stopping cops going about their lawful duty or sumach) for photographing cops in christchurch


Anonymous said...

They now wear their stab proof vests to try and cover their identity.