Civil liberties activists in Germany and elsewhere are taking a novel, and militant, approach to CCTV culture. A new game dubbed ‘Camover’ is taking the country’s cities and the internet by storm. The premise? Get a crew, a catchy name, then black-block up and decommission street cameras in whatever inventively destructive fashion you like, from axes to lassoes.
Bizarrely, considering the general anti-camera focus of the hi-jinks, the trashings are being filmed and shared on the net – where they are compared and scored. Points are given for each camera smashed and for the originality of the method, leading commentators to claim a new era of militancy where reality-gaming meets activism.
The game originated in Berlin, where anti-CCTV feeling has been brewing in the radical circles. Attempts at more standard protest, including a small march and film showings, made little impact, so a black bloc took to the streets one night to take more shady direct action. Now participants are getting in on the game from Finland, Greece and the US.
As one Camover blog put it, “In the supermarket, in the university, at work, in the tram or in the ATMs – we hate them all. We are not interested in feeling “safe” and we don’t want them to stop crime.”
And from the Finnish: “During the last weeks we have blinded several CCTV-cameras around capital area of Finland. CCTV-cameras are important part of social control against people. It’s about power and control, and not about peoples values and rights. It’s about turning us into slaves and fearing authorities. But we can defend ourselves against the state and against corporations and take away Big Brothers sight.”
Published on 21st February 2013 | Part of Issue 838 | Print Friendly Version