Monday, February 7, 2011

Adieu to Phil Booth's No2ID

BTC - Today I heard about the retirement of Phillip Booth, a hero in the international fight against national ID cards and data surveillance.  Phil led the UK to the first of several victories in the nation's fight against eruptive onslaughts of gestating identity programs.
"No one should underestimate the debt the whole country owes to Phil Booth. His incredible energy and hard work has been key in making NO2ID the fastest growing and most successful campaign group in modern British history, killing the Home Office’s identity scheme dead. Our task now is to use that invaluable legacy and experience and take the fight to the surveillance state." -- Guy Herbert, Phil Booth's successor

Booth led NO2ID six years from inception through this February, 2011.

Without a doubt, Booth's conscientious delivery towards the goal of protecting citizens from identity abuses will be what he is known for.

There was talk that he would return to a life as sculpture artist.

One could see the allure of having achievements carved in stone or cast in metal.  The evidence of legislative art is more akin to a sand mandala; which upon completion is then taken by monks and dumped into the river to return to the earth.  This type of work is symbolic, impermanent and eternally slavish to the process of death. The iterations of strength are exercised as freedom from attachment. However, this disallows observance of a more final permanent work past the hourly, weekly, monthly and even yearly institution of the labors granted.

Activism as an artform doesn't necessarily ground to renew with impartiality. One can be left imbued with a visceral understanding of the baser natures of man creatures.  The experience taken in excess or without adequate relief will make one recalcitrant, apathetic or insensitive to legal versions of collateral damage resulting in compassion fatigue.

Reporting and news sources don't help longevity of messaging.  They can turn over the foundation of great work like a faddish "hit"; which came and went in the washes of a 24 hour news cycle.  It can be about as satisfying as being fed into a hamburger grinder.

Some of us certainly feel a loss in arms, possibly envy, as Booth returns to the mystery of life-in-general or life after the charitable fight.

The following clip is relatable.  In the film Alien 3, the beleaguered Ripley and her leader are boxed in by an approaching Alien.  While the single alien perished, the world was not free of its consumptive menace or of the fight itself.  The show must go on...

DIY Government: Tell Congress to vote down the Patriot Act.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come carrying the cross wrapped in the flag." 
-Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters  by C.S. Lewis

BTC - You have the opportunity to help your legislators vote down the "Patriot Act".


Act as if it had not passed yet, as if there were not yet wiretapping programs and you had not lost your privacy and freedom from arbitrary surveillance. Yet move with as much consternation and venom as the day you realized you were lied to about the WMD's in Iraq or that Rumsfeld, NORAD and domestic intelligence agencies knew planes were headed for the twin towers.

Here are two action alerts. Say it more than once. The message gets through when you clear your throat and repeat yourself to several friends who are clear headed on what they have lost.