Dave new world

Davis's stand against eroding civil liberties is heroic. We should support him, or watch what's left of our freedom ebb away

A few years back, in Manhattan, I met a group of political artists called the Surveillance Camera Players. They were exercised about the violation of their rights by New York's hundreds of CCTV cameras. They made their point by performing short, silent plays into camera lenses on the streets of Manhattan, under the gaze of both silent cameras and bemused passersby.

To outsiders, the players can just look weird. But once they have taken you on a walking tour of the streets of Manhattan, and showed you the huge number of cameras watching your every move, you never see the city in the same light again. Once you are alerted to what is going on, you can never put it out of your mind. Conversely, if you're not aware of it, you won't notice a thing. Surveillance by CCTV cameras was one of the issues mentioned by David Davis in his brilliant, stirring resignation speech earlier today. I have never voted Tory in my life, but when I heard Davis speak, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck [...]

(Written by Paul Kingsnorth and published in the 12 June 2008 issue of The Guardian.)

Contact the New York Surveillance Camera Players

By e-mail SCP@notbored.org