Sussex students set up pretend religion worshipping CCTV camera
It’s a protest against malicious campus surveillance
A group of postgraduate students from IDS have set up shop in library square to protest against the ‘Sussex Eye’, a security camera overlooking the square.
The camera was installed in 2013 in the wake of the 2013 on-campus protests against the privatisation of Sussex services.
The protestors claim the camera allows the university to insidiously monitor political activity on campus, part of a greater narrative of wider surveillance of protests, as well as personally identifying dissenters.
The group told us the cameras are often claimed to prevent sexual assault.
The students argue that instead of running this camera, the university could look into other measures for preventing sexual assaults on campus.
We spoke to Justus, one of the students organising the demonstration.
What are the aims of your group?
Basically, we just want to raise awareness about the camera, so we decided to do something a bit absurd. It’s not an easy argument to make, but nobody knows about it. Nobody knows where the footage goes. Often, when the footage would be needed, it’s hard to access.
Also, there’s the issue of protester surveillance, but people to feel safer with the knowledge of the camera there, in terms of sexual assault.
Is it just this camera?
It’s just this camera, but there are more effective methods of preventing sexual assaults. Instead of a clear message, what we wanted to do was basically raise awareness and start a conversation.