Caught on camera
This article first appeared in New Statesman of 15 September 2003
"I am a peaceful protester. I have no criminal record. Yet the police have been photographing me on a regular basis for the past four years". By Matt Salusbury
''What, you mean the police can take your picture in the street, just like that?" That's the usual reaction when I show friends the photo accompanying this article. It was taken by the Metropolitan Police's Public Order Intelligence Unit in January 2002. Although the police have been photographing me on average once every two months since 1999... Read this article on the New Statesman website
Photo not yet available, still clearing this with its copyright owners, the Metropolitan Police!
Give and thou shalt create havoc
This article first appeared in New Statesman Christmas issue, 13 December 2004
A man hands out gold coins, another throws around yen bills. Giving things away has become the ultimate act of subversion, argues Matt Salusbury
Fundraisers used to rattle a tin; today, we are more likely to encounter organised gangs of "charity muggers" intent on signing us up for tax-deductible direct debit giving. Old-style, spur-of-the-moment donations are no longer considered effective enough, and in August the Economist reported that Westminster Council denounces charities that "support chaotic lifestyles" by giving away soup to the homeless.
Yet giving, far from becoming better organised, may be taking even more instinctive and bizarre forms. Reports continue of strangers handing out money in the street randomly to passers-by. Read this article on the New Statesman website
Unsocial seating arrangements
This article first appeared in New Statesman of 1 March 2004, and broke the story of the European Social Forum coming to London's Alexandrea Palace
The European Social Forum is coming to London - all being well. This "meeting of movements" - the local version of the World Social Forum - brings together conventional campaigners such as trade unionists and the sexier "new social movements", such as anti-globalisers and feminists. Last November's forum in Paris pulled in 50,000.
London's bid, supported by the mayor, Ken Livingstone, is likely to be approved when the forum's European assembly meets on 7 March. The probable date is October and the main venue, with its plenary events and international activist stars, is likely to be Alexandra Palace. But there will also be 300-odd informal networking events on the periphery.
Some Londoners see it as a small-scale rehearsal for the 2012 Olympics, showing that the capital can cope with a big event and a sizeable influx of visitors.
But the left being the left, the bid to host the forum could yet come unstuck in the face of internecine squabbles... Read this article on the New Statesman website