Activists and the Surveillance State
Learning from Repression
Analysis of the surveillance state from the perspective of those who have been subjected to its repression.
Activists and scholars from the UK, South Africa, Canada, the US, Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand expose disturbing stories of political policing to question what lies beneath state surveillance.
Problematising the social amnesia that exists within progressive political networks and supposed liberal democracies, Activists and the Surveillance State shows that ultimately, movements can learn from their own repression, developing a critical and complex understanding of the nature of states, capital and democracy today that can inform the struggles of tomorrow.
Aziz Choudry is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Social Movement Learning and Knowledge Production in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation, University of Johannesburg. He is editor of Activists and the Surveillance State (Pluto, 2018) and Just Work? Migrant Workers' Struggles Today (Pluto, 2016).
'Activists and the Surveillance State is a wide-ranging exploration of collective organising in response to state and corporate surveillance. The book's rich discussion of what movements have learned, and failed to learn, about how surveillance works makes it a crucial reference for scholars and activists alike' - Arun Kundnani, author of 'The Muslims are Coming'
'This important collection draws critical attention to the harms of state surveillance and police power, and how this power has been challenged and resisted by ordinary citizens. It is a must read for activists, community organisers and scholars alike' - Waqas Tufail, Leeds Beckett University
'Activists in social movements and others challenging the prevailing socio-economic and political structures will find in this book invaluable lessons and an effective antidote to the harassment, infiltration and 'dirty tricks' of agencies that uphold the interests of the corporate and political elite' - Salim Vally, University of Johannesburg
'By asking us to consider different histories of knowledge production and resistance, this book provides a nuanced and timely intervention in our ongoing reflections on confrontations with state security, and how they can be used for advancing radical political alternatives' - Dr Lina Dencik, Cardiff University
'An important intervention that moves us beyond assessments of the scale and scope of surveillance and securitisation to reflect on lessons learned from multiple global resistance movements. The contributions in this book prompt us to consider possibilities for more hopeful futures' - Nisha Kapoor, author of 'Deport, Deprive, Extradite: 21st Century State Extremism'
1. Lessons learnt, lessons lost: Pedagogies of repression, thoughtcrime, and the sharp edge of state power - Aziz Choudry
2. The surveillance state: A composition in four movements - Radha D’Souza
3. Activist learning and state dataveillance: Lessons from the UK, Mauritius and South Africa - Jane Duncan
4. Coming of age under surveillance: South Asian, Arab and Afghan American youth and post-9/11 activism - Sunaina Maira
5. ASIO and the Australia–Timor-Leste solidarity movement, 1974–79 - Bob Boughton
6. The plantation-to-plant-to-prison pipeline: An interview with David Austin - Aziz Choudry, interviewer
7. Forgetting national security in ‘Canada’: Towards pedagogies of resistance - Gary Kinsman
8. Prevent as far-right Trojan horse: The creeping radicalisation of the UK national security complex - Nafeez Ahmed
9. Political policing in the UK: A personal perspective - Emily Apple
10. Spies wide shut: Responses and resistance to the national security state in Aotearoa New Zealand - Valerie Morse
11. Undercover research: Academics, activists and others investigate political policing - Eveline Lubbers
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745337814
eBook ISBN: 9781786803733
135mm x 215mm