Formed in March 2001, the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) is an international organization that opposes “all laws based on a pretext of counter-terrorism,” viewing them as disingenous attempts to increase governmental power and erode civil liberties — “part of a political agenda aimed at controlling and restricting the rights of migrants and refugees.” According to CAMPACC, anti-terrorism laws are designed to make people “distrust others as ‘terrorist suspects’”; to make them “accept new state powers as [their] benign protector”; and to “intimidat[e] and criminaliz[e] communities, rather than to protect the public.” “Attacks on civil liberties are not simply a means but also a fundamental purpose of this ‘war on terror,’” says CAMPACC.
On its website, CAMPACC depicts the war on terrorism is part of an international plan by the “secret security state” to exploit national insecurity by fabricating fictitious enemies — so as to intimidate immigrant communities from participating in the political process, and to “harass and prosecute” social activists. This London-based activist group has held numerous rallies and protests against the detention of terror suspects in the United Kingdom, the United States, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere around the world.
Said CAMPACC in a May 2005 statement: “The ‘War on Terror’ promotes a racist culture of suspicion towards migrant and Muslim communities. It generates and manipulates public fears to justify a perpetual state of war. ‘Terrorist suspects’ are created by several means: by redefining terrorism in broader ways, blurring any distinction between anti-government protest and organized violence against civilians; by placing entire communities under suspicion of associating with such ‘terrorism’; by using ‘intelligence’ obtained by torturing detainees abroad; by waging psychological warfare through disinformation and mass-media scares about ‘al Qaeda cells’; [and] by using anti-terror powers to detain people (especially refugees) for suspected activities which could just as well be handled under other laws.”
On July 10, 2003, CAMPACC spokesman Les Levidow told Britain’s Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act and Review Committee: “We oppose the so-called anti-terror measures of 2000 and 2001 on several grounds, especially because they are an unjustified infringement of civil liberties; also because they impose fear and hostility on ethnic minority communities.”
Among the laws for whose repeal CAMPACC has campaigned are: the Terrorism Act 2000; the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act of 2001; and the Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2005.