Resistance to video surveillance in France

1991-1993: Cameras are installed in Levallois. Young people start to break them.

21 December 1994: week-long struggle at the Braff factory in Morbihan to prevent the installation of cameras in the factory.

18 February 1995: festive action by the collective in Nimes against videosurveillance (two hours in the bathroom at the Place de l'Hotel de Ville.

8 April 1995: anti-security carnival organized by the collective "Souriez, Vous Etes Filmes" ["Smile, You Are Being Filmed"] in Levallois.

20-21 April 1995: Operation "Smile, You Are Being Filmed" in the center of Dunkerque, by the group No Passaran.

10 June 1995: Street party and demonstration in Levallois, organized by Smile, You Are Being Filmed; and, in Toulouse, festive action by the group "Planete en danger" (Planet in Danger).

December 1995: Postal clerks at the sorting center in Roissy cover the cameras before they strike; demonstration in front of the St. Lazare train station (a spontaneous attack takes place against the cameras, which, to the applause of the by-standers, are turned to face another direction); students in Tolbiac render certain cameras inoperable.

20 February 1996: militants in "Smile, You Are Being Filmed" interrupt a meeting of the city council of Levallois to present their petition against video surveillance.

7 March 1997: festival of video surveillance organized by "Smile, You Are Being Filmed" at the Ledru-Rollin intersection in Paris.

22 April 1997: press conference by the "SOS Videosurveillance" group in Vaux-en-Velin and presentation of a petition containing 300 signatures.

17 October 1997: in Vaux-en-Velin, "SOS Videosurveillance" cover a camera on Avenue Gabriel Peri.

December 1997: petition and daily general assemblies, during a week devoted to the platform of the parcel post in Creteil Marais.

3 February 1998: video surveillance used against striking workers in the Comatec Union of Cleaners, Parisian subways; and press conference by "Smile, You Are Being Filmed" and the CNT at the Maison des Ensembles.

7 March 1998: at the end of a national demonstration of unemployed workers, cameras are systematically turned around on subway platforms.

18 May 1998: press conference at the Maison des Ensembles concerning "Video surveillance of salaried workers" by "Smile, You Are Being Filmed," the regional branch of the CNT, representatives from the SUD labor union, and a delegate from the CFDT.

31 October 1998: action, "Right of Access to the Image," in which three members of "Smile, You Are Being Filmed" demand to see the videotapes that document their supposedly criminal behavior.

4 February 1999: debate concerning video surveillance in Levallois-Perret by the LDH, Andre Vitalis and Louise Cadoux.

13 March 1999: first national day against video surveillance (actions in Limoges, Montpellier, Nimes, Vaux-en-Velin, Nancy and Levallois).

15 June 1999: prosectuion of SUD for its role in opposing the installation of 15 cameras in the mail-sorting center in Tours.

9 December 1999: happening and debate about video surveillance in Fac de Saint Denis, sponsored by the CNT and "Smile, You are Being Filmed."

13 January 2000: "Smile, You are Being Filmed" support the nomads of Prades (in the eastern Pyrenees), prosecuted because they threw tomatoes at surveillance cameras in a supermarket.

24 January 2000: first national coordinating meeting in Montpellier.

3 February 2000: the video surveillance command post in Levallois-Perret is occupied by CLIFTI (composed of "Smile, You are Being Filmed," Droits Devant, SCALP-Paris, the CNT, and G10-Paris), which demands the cancellation of the contract for the video surveillance of the town. (Since then, SCALP-Paris withdrew from and the Anarchist Federation joined the CLIFTI collective.)

2 March 2000: CLIFTI occupies IBM Headquarters to oppose the surveillance of workers.

13 April 2000: CLIFTI occupies the offices of CNIL.

May 2000: the Mabuse Diffusion Network organizes a mini-bus tour of the most bizarre video surveillance sites of Pris, with commentaries in both French and English).

June 2000: first demonstration in Lyon by the collective "No to Big Brother."

14 December 2000: first international day against video surveillance, with camouflaged actions in New York and Paris; at the same time of day, the collective "Surveillance Camera Players" (in Times Square, New York) and CLIFTI (at the Lyon train station in Paris) showed their masked faces to surveillance cameras.

15 December 2000: Big Brother Awards are handed out in Paris (the Mayor of Vaux-en-Velin, one Maurice Charrier, is nominated for his bad example, and "Smile, You Are Being Filmed" receives a prize for vigilance).

12 January 2001: public debate at St. Herblain in Nantes, organized by the Herblain Collective Against Video Surveillance.

March 2001: at the initiative of the CNT and "Smile, You Are Being Filmed," 15 people meet in Fac de St Denis and put garbage bags over the cameras.

12 May 2001: demonstrations against the TV show Loft Story, in Nantes, Marseille and Toulouse.

April 2001: "Smile, You Are Being Filmed" (Toulouse) deposit a complaint concerning non-respect of information with the District Attorney; masked and hooded youths destroy surveillance cameras in Sartrouville (the evening ends in a riot).

9-16 June 2001: second national week-long action against videosurveillance.

[Chronology by Souriez, Vous Etes Filmes. Translated from the French 2 July 2001 by Bill Brown.]

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