Words and deeds against exclusion: Deprivation, activism and religiosity in inner-city Birmingham

Karner, Christian and Parker, D. (2016) Words and deeds against exclusion: Deprivation, activism and religiosity in inner-city Birmingham. In: Death, Life and Laughter Essays on religion in honour of Douglas Davies. Taylor & Francis, pp. 67-86. ISBN 9781315404028

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315404028

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Item Type:Book Section
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In 2010 lampposts topped by surveillance cameras appeared in parts of Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city. Unannounced, strategically placed at traffic intersections and along main roads, the cameras initially caused bemusement. The camera system, codenamed ‘Project Champion’, comprised over 200 devices explicitly targeted around two areas of mainly Muslim residence. The objective of the scheme was to ‘Create a vehicle movement “net” around two distinct geographical areas within the city of Birmingham [and]) Capture . . . CCTV evidence’ (Thames Valley Police 2010: 7). In response, local people soon expressed anger at public meetings in June and July 2010 at being stigmatized for being Muslim, their neighbourhoods portrayed as a seedbed for terrorism plots (Lewis 2010). Following a campaign uniting civil libertarians and concerned local residents, the cameras – part of what turned out to be a surveillance system funded by the UK government’s counter-terrorism budget – were covered with bags pending a review in the face of public disquiet. In one local resident’s words, ‘the blue bags over the cameras look like suspects when they are interned’. In December 2010, the system’s removal without having been switched on was sanctioned by the local police force that had spent £3m on its installation, with all the cameras removed by summer 2011.

Additional Information:cited By 0
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:39542
Deposited On:17 Jan 2020 11:27

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