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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #298 - " Safe city " We will not be your guinea pigs (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 23 Oct 2019 09:22:28 +0300

In September, the Libertarian Communist Union co-signed the manifesto for launching a unitary campaign bringing together associations, unions and organizations around the fight against " technopolis ". Below, we relay and comment on this manifesto. ---- The manifesto Resist the total surveillance of our cities and our lives launching the unitary campaign against the " technopolis " [1], at the initiative of La Quadrature du Net and signed by the Libertarian Communist Union among others, is part of the observation next: " Across the French territory, Smart City (or" smart city ") reveals its true face: that of a total surveillance of the urban space for police purposes. " ---- A security news that pushes to mobilize
The recent experiences of video surveillance " based on the automated processing of video streams and able to make facial recognition or detect abnormal behavior " in cities such as Toulouse, Valenciennes, Strasbourg or Paris, as well as the fatal alliances, are recalled. -capital in Saint-Etienne or Paris where startups are paid " to deploy microphones in the urban space to alert the police in case of suspicious noise " or those, more worrying still, in Marseille or Nice where big boxes like Thalès or Engie accompany the town halls in their projects of « safe Swiss knives that range from the recognition of emotions in the urban public space to the massive interconnection of databases for predictive policing purposes, through the monitoring of social networks ". Brace yourself: without irony, these projects are called safe city ( " safe town ") ! But what security are we talking about ? Or rather, whose safety ?

Minority Report ?

Image extracted from the site https://technopolice.fr/
Using state-of-the-art computing technologies like big data or artificial intelligence that make it possible to process and analyze the massive data collected, these projects give us a taste of what the manifesto calls " The technopolis ". " Under the guise of optimization and decision support,[the technopolist]transforms the entire public space into a vast surveillance company. "Large-scale surveillance first," dedicated to a tight and real-time control of population and goods flows ". Close monitoring of individuals, and groups later, to neutralize and repress " as soon as "suspicious" behavior is detected "... but also to" reward citizens deemed virtuous ".

To worry about all this is not to be paranoid ; it is to be pragmatic. Indeed, " it is enough to look in the mirror of history or other regions of the world to know where the technopolis leads us: reinforcement of discrimination and segregation, muzzling of social movements, depoliticization of the public space, automation of the police and the denial of justice, ever greater dehumanization of social relations. Such a future is obviously incompatible with the project of libertarian communist society, but it is in fact simply incompatible with the very idea of democracy.

Defense of the public service, ecologism and antifascism
The manifesto also notes that the emergence of technopolis will be " at the cost of a huge financial and ecological waste, since it will take much public money, rare earths, electricity and many other resources to deploy and run all these infrastructures. As yellow vests demand better public services and environmental mobilization has probably never been so strong, are we going to let states and capitalists continue to plunder public money and the planet on behalf of the world? -sécuritaire ? Some people may answer that we must fight against terrorism Daesh and others: certainly. The manifesto does not directly address this difficult point, but as far as the libertarian communists are concerned, we are far from helpless in the face of this question. Anticolonialist and anti-racist proposals, in support of popular neighborhoods or the oppressed in the Middle East, in favor of the democratic federalist experience in Rojava, etc., we have made [2]and will continue to do ; but at no time for us the gain of security can not be done at the price of a loss of freedom.

Technopolis is not the solution ; on the contrary, the growing fascism of society is a part of the problem. As the manifesto says, " instead of the polis heard as a democratic city, as a pluralistic space, a place of wandering, impromptu encounters and confrontation with otherness,[the technocrats]want to put the city in a controlled way. The technopolitan looks like a gigantic test tube in which the most advanced forms of social control can be developed. We refuse to be guinea pigs that we will dive into this test tube. Against a predictive police to the Minority Report , against the total surveillance as Alain Damasio portrayed it in the Outside Zone , against the fascist temptation to face the challenges posed by capitalism, join the campaign and mobilize against the technopolis !

Leo (UCL Greater Paris-South)

* The first signatories of the Technopolist Manifesto: Bits of Freedom ; Justice and Freedoms Committee For all ; Framasoft ; La Quadrature du Net ; The Syndicat des avocats de France ; League of Human Rights ; Utopia Movement ; Ritimo ; Judicial Union ; All citizens ! ; Libertarian Communist Union ; Union Syndicale Solidaires.

[1] https://technopolice.fr/

[2] See previous issues of the newspaper !

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