Phil Booth: Why I’m involved in the Convention on Modern Liberty.

Phil Booth is the National Coordinator of NO2ID, 

When Anthony and Henry approached NO2ID last year to become involved in what has become the Convention on Modern Liberty, we – like many others – embraced the idea of a coming together of all those who cared about the attacks on our fundamental rights and freedoms.

It was at a similar coming together of people, organisations and public figures back in 2004 (‘Mistaken Identity‘, which I blogged at the time:) that NO2ID – the seeds of which were started a couple of years before – was announced as a public campaign.

I came to London for that meeting, because I felt I had to do something about the government’s plans to introduce ID cards. I needed to know more, and I found out plenty – and when Simon Davies (one of the organisers of the day) said that people should meet up afterwards if they wanted to do something, I got involved.

There were around a dozen people at the first organising meeting, a week or so afterwards – most of whom are still involved in NO2ID nearly five years later. But the campaign to stop ID cards and the database state (a phrase coined by Guy Herbert, NO2ID’s general secretary to articulate our core target) has grown. NO2ID now has over 60,000 supporters and dozens of local groups in towns and cities across the UK, all run by people who cared enough to get involved.

We inform ourselves, we tell others, we hold stalls, we run public meetings, we gather petition signatures, we hold protests, we give money to the campaign, we lobby our MPs, we get councils to pass motions, we write letters to our local papers, we’re creative, we’re committed, we get others involved – and we are having an effect.

You can too.

Join us, join others, start your own campaign! Get involved. Fight for what YOU hold dear and together we will defend and define the fundamental rights and freedoms that are under assault.

I just want to take this opportunity to mention seven people who – with many others I cannot name, but who I also applaud – have organised the satellite Conventions around the UK: Patrick Corrigan from Amnesty International in Belfast, Rosaleen Brennan from NO2ID in Bristol, Andrew Watson from NO2ID in Cambridge, Caroline Oag from the UN Association of Wales in Cardiff, Geraint Bevan from NO2ID Scotland in Glasgow, Dave Page from NO2ID in Manchester and Gargi Bhattacharyya from Aston University in Birmingham. Thank you all.


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