A public rally will be held this weekend in protest about a ring of “Big Brother” surveillance cameras in parts of Birmingham.
Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights organisation, Liberty, will be one of the speakers at the rally against CCTV and number plate recognition cameras which were installed in April.
The rally will be held from 4.30pm on Sunday at the Bordesley Centre, Stratford Road, Camp Hill.
The cameras were put up by the Safer Birmingham Partnership after West Midlands Police received £3 million from an anti-terror fund controlled by the Association of Chief Police Officers.
But the scheme sparked widespread public outrage and claims that the cameras were being used to spy on residents and visitors entering and leaving the predominately Muslim populated areas of Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook.
The allegation was denied last week by Chief Insp Richard Moore, of West Midlands Police. At a public meeting, he said the cameras were meant to cut crime but admitted a “cloud of suspicion” had fallen over them.
Also speaking at the rally will be highly-respected human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce who represented the Birmingham Six, Guildford Four as well as former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Beg.
Birmingham’s Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming will also speak.
Activist Steve Jolly, of Birmingham Against Spy Cameras, said: “We are hoping to fill the venue which holds 500. It will show the strength of opposition to the scheme.
“If the money is coming from the Home Office, the Safer Birmingham Partnership is a soft front, to disguise where the policy is really coming from.”
“We need cabinet members to intervene. We need Nick Clegg to take centre stage.”
Mr Jolly said promises to tie black bags around the cameras while public consultation was being carried out had also not been fulfilled.
He said: “Safer Birmingham said they have ordered bags with ties which won’t fly off but it will take two weeks. They don’t seem in any rush.”
* The Home Secretary has ordered a review into the use of spy cameras which can track car number plates.