Anti-Video Surveillance

a festive and militant week 11-17 April

From 11 to 17 April [2005], the Anti-Video Surveillance Collective of France (created in June 2004) will organize in Paris a festive and militant week of events, so as to celebrate the 10-year-long struggle of Souriez, Vous Etes Filmes ["Smile, you are being filmed"]. Debates, concerts, projections, demonstrations, street banquets and a short-film competition on the themes of video surveillance and social control in general will be held, with the goals of informing ourselves, debating these questions and preparing struggles opposed to this society, but especially to say "No" to the Big Brothers.

In 1993, even before the Pasqua law of 1995, the Mayor of Levallois-Perret installed a hundred video surveillance cameras in his town [a suburb of Paris]. [In 1995] "Smile, you are being filmed!" reacted and engaged itself in a struggle against all forms of automatic control. Ten years later, in the context of total security and social robbery, video surveillance is booming and has become a fad at the national level, with the installation of cameras in several hundred towns in France, in all spheres of everyday life (schools, transportation, business, collective housing, commercial centers). In fact, it is a gigantic phenomenon that has installed itself upon the entirety of the planet. Biometric controls and indices of the population (the intersection of STIC, FISC, and ASSEDIC files, and medical dossiers that combine EDF, biometric identity cards and DNA samples) are headed for the same evolution as video surveillance.

Thus, the Association "Smile, you are being filmed" and the Anti-Video Surveillance Collective of France invite you to a week of mobilizations, celebrations and debates on these themes. We must, together, reflect on the ideological and political contexts of the development of these technologies, on their effects upon young people, their impact on society and the politics of utilized urbanism, but also the perception of the [visual] image and its usages. Finally, what are the means that we can use to resist and oppose the security politics of control and the formatting of behavior? It is ambitious to unite our forces; together, we will win and we will construct another model of convivial society without arbitrary surveillance.

The Anti-Video Surveillance Collective of France

I dare you (Paris); Free Public Space (St. German-en-Laye); the Association "Smile, you are being filmed" (Paris); the Mantais Collective Against Video Surveillance (Mantes-La-Jolie); We Resist Together (Gennevilliers); Libertarian Alternatives (Paris); and the Motivations (Columbia).

(Translated from the French by the Surveillance Camera Players, 25 April 2005.)

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