The surveillance of public buildings and places is becoming more frequent. The American civil rights organization EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has called for a world-wide action via the Internet this Friday. In America and Europe, many organizations, groups and individuals will be involved. In Germany, the organization "Aktuelle Kamera," among many others, will be participating.
On Friday, actions against video surveillance will take place from New York to Istanbul. German venues include Berlin, Bremen and Bielefeld. Various forms of information-presentations, sketches and sit-ins will be staged. The majority of the actions will be presented in front of public webcams and will be carried live on the Internet starting at 7 pm.
In the inner city of Bremen, the action "The Street as Television" will be presented as if it were part of a TV series called "TV Control." Over the course of an hour, a TV tour of the city's neighborhoods will be offered. At 7 pm, free films, videos and installations that concern the themes of public and private space will be presented.
In Berlin, the first "Safer City" office will be opened. From 7 to 9 September, it will focus upon German security and the politics of order. Safer-City is a web site of the Federal Workers Society for the Critique of Policing and the Police.
"Visual surveillance and control gain more and more importance," says the web site of Atkuelle Kamera. For its advocates, video surveillance is a miracle cure for vandalism and criminality. To the opponents of surveillance, this claim has no basis in fact. In reality, says Atkuelle Kamera, "video surveillance is not designed to battle against real threats." Many want to use surveillance simply to make the city an ideal place for economic activity and tourism. They hope that poverty and homelessness can be pushed to the outskirts of town.
[Written by Claudia Bergoint and published by T-online on 6 September 2001. Translated from the German by Bill Brown.]
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