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The city belongs to all of us!


You are welcome to sign our petition. We are looking forward to your signature.

Rally against the surveillance state and repression
09.30.23, 15:00h Hansaplatz

The Hansaplatz is currently being monitored with artificial intelligence (AI) on a trial basis. With this, the police want to set a precedent, to make AI-based video surveillance socially acceptable and later use it in other places, such as Hamburg's central station. This is not about security, but about the displacement of homeless, drug-users, sex workers and other groups of people. Genuine support measures are thus made more difficult and the safety of those affected is threatened instead. We therefore demand an immediate end to surveillance and repression! In a current test project, the police are using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the data from the video cameras on the Hansaplatz. The aim is to recognize 'atypical movement patterns'. These include falling, kicking, punching, pushing or even lying down. This is justified on the grounds of greater safety and more efficient police work.

Although the current implementation of AI is not intended to include identification through facial recognition (other identification options have not yet been mentioned, but are presumably not yet being implemented either), the movements and posture of people are often sufficient for identification. This is an attack on fundamental rights and makes anonymous movement in public places or participation in demonstrations more difficult! Every expansion of surveillance also normalizes such measures and leads to them becoming ever more drastic.

The Senate and the police have already cracked down on homeless people in the past. Added to this is the austerity policy of the current government, which envisages drastic cuts in the social sector and thus exacerbates existing problems. In these times, AI-based video surveillance at the Hansaplatz is presented as a simple solution to urban problems and fits as an additional piece of the puzzle in a policy that is heavily influenced by investors and real estate companies and is directed against people who do not fit into the ideal image of a tourist-friendly city. AI surveillance is an instrument for the further displacement of homeless people as well as people who use drugs, sex workers and other groups of people.

Scientific studies prove that video surveillance does not prevent crime. Existing problems are not solved, but shifted to side streets and rear buildings. There, the risks for the people involved become significantly greater instead of smaller. So we ask ourselves who actually defines safety and whose safety should be ensured: For passers-by, homeless or drug-using people, sex workers or others for whom Hansaplatz is a place of refuge? Or is it more about the security of the economic interests of investors, politicians and real estate companies?

Instead of shifting the problems by fighting against people through surveillance and repression, we demand an improvement in the circumstances that cause these real problems.
Let's set an example together!


If you want to sign our appeal, please send us an email. For enrypted communication, you can use our public PGP Key.
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