Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Manchester NO2ID hard at work

James Elsdon-Baker, North of England NO2ID co-ordinator has reported on the inauguration of ID cards in Manchester:

We have had a good day over in Manchester. Interviews were given to GMTV and City Talk radio breakfast show that goes out across the NW.

Arrived in Manchester and saw outside the print works the dreaded smiley fingerprint campaign is in action. They had them on mobile cycle signs,that had a habit of moving when our stall got placed in front of them. I walked through the printworks and Meg (Hillier) was closed off inside one bar which had been transformed into a propaganda hub with stickers saying they accept ID cards, posters in the window etc.

All the screens in the place were showing this pro-ID card video. From what I could see it looked like they were taking pictures of people scanning their fingerprints with a reader by the entrance.

I gave out a few cards to journalists before being asked to leave by security. Ms Hillier did a Q&A session apparently to the assembled media which will go out at some point. Anyway we handed out leaflets outside, got hassled again by security trying to get us to move a stall off a public highway to the other side of the road.

They then tried to say we needed a licence to hand out flyers! I overheard some people talking and I think the printworks is going to be a location for ongoing activity, possibly their information stall. Basically because they can exclude anyone from getting near it.

I got chatting to one of the security guards later and he apologised, said he was totally against ID cards, but had been told to move us. Channel M who I spoke to at the printworks came along to our protest and we did an interview with them. Dave did an interview with local BBC radio, and the PM program got some quotes from us too. We had some students filming as well for their own news video they were making.

We did our protest for a bit, got very cold and headed off to warm up.Walking back through town there were quite a few mobile signs promoting ID cards which must be costing a bit.

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