Workshop: Police partout, justice nulle part / Digital police everywhere, justice nowhere

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder in May 2020, the global racial justice movement rapdily fixated on decades of critical work in the field of critical police accountability and specifically, the question of abolition of police and prisons. Abolition, described by Critical Resistance, is a political vision with the goal of eliminating imprisonment, policing, and surveillance and creating lasting alternatives to punishment and imprisonment.

This panel will explore how the lenses of decriminalisation, abolition, alternative forms of justice to digital rights policy and activism. Considering how increasingly institutions and governments deploy instractures, tech, and data driven practices in field of law enforcement, migration and criminal justice, this panel will explore a broader critical approach the underlying logics of criminalisation in security policies, and how far digital tools facilitate this. We will ask, how would the digital rights movement engage with the critique of abolition. How would the digital rights field engage with approaches of harm reduction and decriminalisation?

The panel responds to several of the themes: including avoiding techno-solutionism (digital tools for more security and surveillance, instead of safety and community approaches) and the link between crisis politics and the rise of securitisation narratives in EU digital policy-making? Crisis is one of various ideological tools (as well as racialised suspicion, threat, migration) fuelling the expansion of police powers, databases and investment in carceral digital policing tools.


Sarah Chander, Senior Policy Adviser, European Digital Rights (EDRi) – moderator


Peggy Pierrot, cyberfeminist and free software activist
Laurence Meyer, Racial and Social Justice Lead, Digital Freedom Fund (DFF) to give perspective of community centered activism, racial justice and decolonising @Lau_Val_Meyer
Itxaso Domínguez de Olazábal. EU Advocacy Officer, 7amleh – internationalist perspective on the role of tech in global infrastructures of colonial policing and surveillance @itxasdo
Chris Jones – Director, Statewatch (EDRi member) to give the perspective of law enforcement expansion, powers, databases, policy perspective
Dr Patrick Williams, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Manchester Metropolitan University and Head of Research at Systemic Justice @PatrickWillia17
Chloé Berthélémy, Senior Policy Adviser, European Digital Rights (EDRi)