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Tomorrow (Thursday 9th) in the High Court long time Brighton peace activist John Catt, an 86 year old pensioner, is seeking a judicial review of of the 'domestic extremist' database.

John, long a stalwart of SMASH EDO demos, found himself and his vehicle targetted by various police forces as a result of warnings placed on the record by Sussex Police, despite the fact that he has never been convicted of a criminal offence.

After diligent use of Freedom of Information requests it became apparent that John was on the notorious and murky database of 'domestic extremists' held by the network of different National Extremism police teams under the control of ACPO – the senior police officers private association. Numerous photographs of John and reports on his activities appeared on the database.

John is seeking to have his inclusion on the database ruled illegal under section 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. If he succeeds it will have wide implications for all of us who've had the misfortune to be scrutinised and harrassed by the anti-protest cops. In the likely event that the authorites wriggle out then it's another welcome spotlight shone into the world of the UK's political police.

Joining John at 10am outside the Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand, London WC2A 2LL, will be activists from FITwatch and an assortment of domestic extremists. Apparently they'll be carrying feather dusters or something.

Emily Apple from Fitwatch said:
"This is an important case testing the fundamental right for people to attend a protest without having information about them recorded by the state. Unfortunately, we have seen time and time again institutions such as HMIC and the IPCC fail to properly investigate serious issues regarding the policing of protests, and it is down to individuals to take action to expose and rectify these seemingly unending intelligence gathering practices.”

SchNEWS will of course be monitoring the case with interest.

There are 3 comments on this story...
Added By: Electric Heretic - 9th February 2012 @ 5:59 PM
How dare citizens have the audacity to go out and peacefully protest against companies that facilitate mass murder? Then they have the sheer gumption of believing that they have human rights too? What is the world coming to?
Added By: Anonymous - 10th February 2012 @ 8:01 PM

Only just come across the Verge Film series by accident. I support your cause, against this horrendous company EDO.
To John Catt in particular, you have my utmost admiration. It must be difficult at times, when the system seems to be stacked against. Do not lose faith. Every day, I'm realising that I must get more involved.
And I will do so, from the shadows.
Added By: Ciaran Rehill - 29th February 2012 @ 7:43 PM
It is bullshit, I asked for my file and it "does not exist". How odd!
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