I’m about to take a foray into good old-fashioned boots on the ground activism.
Most of my work at TAC involves sitting behind a computer. I write and edit articles and bill reports, analyze legislation, write video scripts – stuff like that. I also work directly with legislators across the country to get nullification bills introduced and passed. But the appearance of a spy-pole in my neighborhood has motivated me to get involved in some direct community activism right here at home
I live a few blocks from a skateboard park. A couple of months ago, workers erected a utility pole. I figured they were going to install lights. But much to my chagrin, the city mounted an array of four surveillance cameras on the pole.
I’m not pleased.
The “under the cover of darkness” nature of the whole thing got me to wondering what other kinds of surveillance activities are going on in my town. Nobody really knows.
I intend to find out.
Not only that, I’m going to try to push through a local ordinance similar to one recently introduced in St. Louis. It would require police and other city entities to create a detailed use plan for each of its surveillance technologies. They would then have to get council approval of the plan after a public hearing before they could obtain or use said technology. Passage of such an ordinance would take the first step toward limiting the unchecked use of surveillance technologies that violate basic privacy rights and feed into a broader national surveillance state.
Doing this kind of community activism is new to me, but I’ve had the opportunity to observe and learn from some of the best over the years. I’m excited about putting what I’ve learned to practical use in my hometown.
We plan to produce a podcast chronicling my adventure. Hopefully, it will serve as a kind of “how-to” guide for other people who want to get involved and fight for liberty in their own communities.