Sunday 20 January
F**k It, Mask On: A Netpol workshop on protest anonymity
Join the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) and Activist Court Aid Brigade for a participatory workshop on covering your face on demonstrations.
Masking up has always divided those who regularly go on public demonstrations.
Some say protest is about making a stand for personal convictions, and that wearing a mask removes a level of accountability for standing up for beliefs. Other's argue that when a minority on demonstrations wear masks it can distance them from other protesters and look scary and intimidating in the eyes of the wider public.
But protecting your anonymity is important, not only to stand up for the right to privacy, but also to frustrate the invasive surveillance practices of police, bailiffs and private security agencies. The emergence of new movements, campaigns or groups often attract a lot of attention as government's, councils and companies work out how they should respond, and ultimately frustrate, radical social change.
We want to see a cultural shift so that wearing a mask or bandanna to protect protesters’ privacy becomes normal and commonplace on every protest and demonstration, rather than a decision taken by only a few.
In 2015 Netpol launched a campaign to 'Cover Up' in response to a Supreme Court ruling which granted judicial approval for the mass surveillance of protest movements. The campaign printed over1000 masks in anticipation of mobilising for a privacy bloc on an upcoming demonstration.
In the workshop we will talk about the law on covering your face, discuss creative ways of hiding your identity that moves beyond the traditional black bloc aesthetic, and interrogate popular assumptions around the act of wearing a mask.
Date & Time: