"Who cares wins" - another inspiring AGM

Posted by Pippa Johnson on 22 June 2016

As Liberty’s membership officer I was delighted to see such a full house at our AGM on 18 June and to have a chance to meet so many impassioned members. As this year’s conference proved, there are a lot of us who care about our human rights.

It was a day full of hope and camaraderie, neatly condensed by our new director Martha, who tweeted later that evening: “Going to bed with a full heart & a head full of ideas after an inspiring #LibertyAGM - much to celebrate & much to do at @libertyhq”. This was sentiment echoed by so many of the members I met. Our challenge? To save our Human Rights Act. No small task. But as our AGM showed, we are up for the challenge.







Members grilled parliamentarians on policing, surveillance and human rights. We heard from members across the country about the issues that matter to them and three motions were voted through with an overwhelming majority.


Motion 1: Liberty will continue to campaign against mass surveillance powers and to fight for targeted, proportional surveillance with judicial oversight.

Motion 2: On counter-extremism Liberty reaffirms its commitment to promote protection for free speech and privacy in our society.

Motion 3: Liberty resolves that international responsibility and respect for human rights must shape the UK’s response to the refugee crisis.


The afternoon kicked off with two thought-provoking breakout sessions on Cyber Privacy and Military Justice. Liberty’s technology and surveillance expert Silkie Carlo took the flawed IP Bill apart piece by piece, and delivered a crash course in online privacy, covering encrypted emails, anonymous browsers and other techniques. The discussion from the floor grappled with the question of how to balance the need for security in an age of heightened perceptions of risk with the right to privacy when, as Silkie put it, the online world is no longer a parallel reality but an integral part of our lives.

Liberty’s Emma Norton provided an overview of our military justice work, shining a light on the brave families we represent, the systematic issues their cases are exposing, and the broader impact of their fight for justice. Policy Officer Sara Ogilvie provided the political context, stressing Liberty’s long history of campaigning for better protection of people in our armed forces.

We are incredibly lucky to have such an engaged membership. You reply to our emails, you share our blogs, press releases, campaign materials, videos, you sign petitions, write to your MP, reply to your MP, and you talk about our issues and campaigns with your friends and family (and also with people who aren’t so friendly, usually on social media).

We’re not the biggest membership organisation in the UK but I think we have to be one of the most committed. None of our work would be possible without you. Thank you.


Pippa Johnson Liberty

Pippa Johnson

Development Director