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Drawing on her experiences as an MI5 intelligence officer-turned-whistleblower who had to go on the run around Europe, as well as her current work as a writer, commentator, and a Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Annie will be discussing the four current global wars: on terror, drugs, whistleblowers and the internet, and suggesting ways that we, as concerned citizens, can resist.
After World War 2 the peoples of the world, collectively reeling from the violence and barbarity, drew up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is a high water mark in civilisation. Since then, at least in the west, we have enjoyed an unprecedented degree of freedom and prosperity. In the subsequent decades further victories were won around equal rights on issues of race, gender, or sexuality. By the 1990s peace appeared to be breaking out around the world, the Cold War was over, and we all lived in an increasingly connected, globalised village. Or did we....
President Eisenhower coined the phrase "the military-industrial complex". He recognised that conflict was good for business, and this had implications for future security. He was prescient. After the racial war was won in the USA, they announced the "war on drugs" which has disproportionately hit ethnic communities in America; as the Soviet threat receded, so the Islamist threat came to prominence; and as the free flow of information spread over the internet, so the fight-back began with the copyright wars, surveillance, and the crackdown on whistleblowers and organisations such as Wikileaks. We are now facing the "military-security complex" and an unending, if nebulous, war on concepts.
What can we do about it?