In an event on Facebook, entitled #copsoffcampus: NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION (mobilising students and their supporters for protests across Britain today, Wednesday 11 December 2013), the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts points out:
In the past month universities across the country have been subject to unprecedented levels of violence from the police, targeting a resurgent wave of activism against the privatisation of the university system.
Across the country, students are initiating a vibrant, popular, winnable fight for democratic and public universities, free from exploitation and repression. We cannot be beaten if we stand together.
In the past week, police have violently evicted, beaten, and arrested students from peaceful occupations in London and sent undercover police officers to spy on students, arresting 3/4s of the union sabbatical team. They have attempted to recruit students to act as informers against fellow student activists in Cambridge, and attacked protests against outsourcing in Sussex. Across the country, managements are using injunctions and violence to suppress dissent; at Birmingham, students were threatened with
£25,000 court costs.
This attack on students is part of a concerted attempt by the British state – partly the police (including the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) within Special Branch that has taken over from the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) in infiltrating mainly left-wing organisations) but also MI5 and MI6 (otherwise known as the Special Intelligence Service (SIS)) and the government’s spy centre known as GCHQ – to clamp down on protests by spying, infiltrating, collecting massive amounts of data at GCHQ, and analysing that data.
For information about infiltration by the SDS/NPOIU, see my blog post My role (perhaps) in alleged rapist Martin Smith’s resignation from the SWP or Infiltration of the left, attempts to smear Stephen Lawrence family and call for a public inquiry. [My knowledge of this is partly based on a Guardian/Channel 4 Dispatches investigation out of which came a book by two Guardian journalists, Paul Lewis and Rob Evans, called “Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police”.]
As whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed (amongst many details of encroaching surveillance states around the world), the US National Security Agency (NSA) is using PRISM (a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining programme) to collect a huge amount of data (including emails, Facebook posts, web searches and phone call information) and analyse it, partly by computer software but with many human operators too.
The main argument used by the powers that be within the state are that their powers (particularly with reference to surveillance) are necessary to avert the threat of terrorism, and that if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve nothing to fear. However, attacks on students show that it is really the left (particularly revolutionary socialists in Left Unity like myself) who are their main enemies. Indeed, terrorist attacks are counter-productive as far as achieving socialism is concerned. For example, George W Bush’s approval rating shot up to 91% after the 9/11 atrocity (which was in part an inside job as shown by a BBC Conspiracy Files TV programme on the Third Tower (WTC7) which wasn’t hit by a plane, and collapsed hours after the two that were, at freefall speed and with other towers in between. My analysis of 9/11 is also in an item on this blog.
No doubt the police claim they are just keeping order at student protests, but it is clear that it is they who are being violent rather than students. It appears to be the start of a clampdown on protests generally. This clampdown will be exacerbated if the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, currently before parliament, gets passed.
According to Katia Moskvitch in New Scientist (Penal Code: Trial by algorithm, 7 September 2013)
Over the past few years, law enforcement agencies have begun replacing human police officers with efficient, all-seeing, algorithms. They watch for crimes using ubiquitous sensors, cameras, facial-recognition software and intelligent computerised analysis. From traffic offences to theft, increasingly it’s an algorithm watching out: alerting police, or even dispatching punishment with no human oversight whatsoever.
Even more scarily than “solving” crime in that way, my blog entry The purpose of PRISM – stopping worldwide socialist revolution forever with Orwellian 1984-style society has a comment of mine stating:
My comments above about PRISM using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to analyse the data collected (rather than just scanning for keywords) to build up a sophisticated model of the world so that it can intervene in subtle and not so subtle ways to achieve desired outcomes may have sounded farfetched to many (especially those who know little about AI and my language SDML in particular – see www.socialiststeve.me.uk/sdml.htm for information about it) but an article in a Guardian supplement by Leo Hickman at www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/jul/01/how-algorithms-rule-world-nsa makes similar points.
An even more scary article at www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/29/edward-snowden-last-human-spies suggests that algorithms (pieces of code in a computer programming language) used with massive databases such as PRISM’s could completely automate such processes, removing the need for any human intervention at all and also the danger of whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.