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“Traditional campaigning no longer works, continues Shayler, “two million anti-war protesters on the streets of London didn’t stop the war in Iraq.” Whilst Shayler is utterly opposed to the use of violence, he sees civil disobedience as a way forward. He is one of a growing number of people who will refuse to carry an ID card when it becomes obligatory.

Shayler has enduring memories of Lewes and a great fondness for the town he values for its lack of high-street homogeneity. He appeared in the Lewes County Court for one of the hearings in his trial. He recalls walking out of the Courts, crossing the High Street and seeing the blue plaque outside the White Hart Hotel where Thomas Paine and the Headstrong Club would meet. The plaque commemorates Paine’s contribution to American Independence. “In fact, I thought it profound the parallels between my life and his. He was a customs officer for the state, I was a counter-terrorism officer for the state. We both came from lower middle-class backgrounds, we both spent time exiled in France, and we were both convicted for promoting democratic ideals.” AM

David Shayler will be addressing a Public meeting on Thursday October 5th, 6pm Lecture Theatre Arts A2, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton.

Other Guest Speakers:
Phil Booth - National Co-ordinator, NO2ID
Plus speakers from Amnesty International and Liberty
Chaired by Dr Andrew Chitty - Philosophy lecturer, University of Sussex

Tom Paine’s plaque inspired Shayler while on trial in Lewes