PREVENT, ISLAMOPHOBIA AND CIVIL LIBERTIES NATIONAL CONFERENCE
Saturday 4 June, 11am – 6pm, Central London venue tbc
This conference will examine the implementation of PREVENT and the Prevent duty across different sectors since the passing of the Counter-terrorism and Security Act 2015.
It aims to build on the growing opposition to the duty which has seen lecturers, teachers, lawyers, students, and community organisations come together and call for the act to be repealed.
The conference has been initiated by Students Not Suspects campaign, and a coalition of individuals and organisations including signatories to the public letter of opposition to PREVENT in The Guardian earlier this year: Prevent isn’t making anyone safer. It is demonising Muslims and damaging the fabric of trust in society
One year ago the ‘Prevent duty’ became statutory through the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015: this imposed a duty on public bodies to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” by implementing the PREVENT strategy.
As many warned at the time, the duty has in practice charged teachers, doctors and other professionals with monitoring people’s religious and political views.
It is eroding civil liberties and deepening discrimination against Muslims who are treated as a suspect community; last year the Metropolitan police reported that hate crimes against Muslims were up 70%.
Whilst disproportionately targeting Muslims, PREVENT and the CTS Act have also narrowed the space for political dissent in many forms.
It is in this context that this conference will be held, as an opportunity to review the impact of PREVENT in detail, to hold workshops where we can examine the CTS Act’s implementation across different sectors, address the wider context of Islamophobia – and build resistance to PREVENT.