Category Archives: Elves & Pixies

Mysterious ickle creatures putting spanners in the works of the great machines of capitalist progress

Support your friendly local ex-Angry Brigader!

I haven’t posted for ages. Very busy with home and work and all that jazz.

But this is worth your time – and your money, I think.

John Barker – former Stoke Newington Eight defendant and convicted ‘Angry Brigade‘ prisoner – wrote a novel called Futures. It was about the 1987 Great Storm, the subsequent Black Monday stock market crash, criminals, corrupt cops and cocaine. It was published in French and German.

Now he and publisher PM Press (which in 2010 republished the classic Gordon Carr text The Angry Brigade with extensive new material, and has also published an impressive two-volume account of the Rot Armee Fraktion amongst many other interesting titles) wish to release it in English for the first time.

To do this they need to raise £5,000. In one lump sum, that’s a daunting task. But crowdfunded by dozens or hundreds of donors – each of whom will be rewarded in kind – it is much more easily achievable.

The pot is nearly full, but there are only 24 hours to go. So please consider throwing a fiver or a tenner or more into the pot at the Futures Kickstarter page.

“I’ve been to a few protests back in my day!” – shit the FBI says…

Courtesy of Will Potter at the anti-greenscare blog Green Is The New Red

Green Scare book – sample chapter now available!

Will Potter has been following with interest and writing about the ‘Green Scare’ – by which governments, police agencies and corporations characterise non-violent environmental direct action as ‘eco-terrorism’ or similar – for several years now, and in April his book about the subject, ‘Green Is The New Red’, will be published.

If you are in the Washington, DC area on either Tuesday 19th or Saturday 23rd April, then you may want to crash a reading event or the launch party – more details on Will’s blog.

For the rest of us, there’s a sample chapter available for free

If you’re not quite sure what this ‘Green Scare’ really is – or suspect that it’s a hullabaloo about nothing, then you’d be as well to check out Will’s intro to the subject:

“The No. 1 domestic terrorism threat,” says John Lewis, a top FBI official, “is the eco-terrorism, animal-rights movement.”

The animal rights and environmental movements, like every other social movement throughout history, have both legal and illegal elements. There are people who leaflet, write letters, and lobby. There are people who protest and engage in non-violent civil disobedience. And there are people, like the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front, who go out at night with black masks and break windows, burn SUVs, and release animals from fur farms.

Animal rights and environmental advocates have not flown planes into buildings, taken hostages, or sent Anthrax through the mail. They have never even injured anyone. In fact, the only act of attempted murder in the history of the U.S. animal rights movement was coordinated by corporate provocateurs. Yet the FBI ranks these activists as the top domestic terrorism threat. And the Department of Homeland Security lists them on its roster of national security threats, while ignoring right-wing extremists who have bombed the Oklahoma City federal building, murdered doctors, and admittedly created weapons of mass destruction.

…Fear. It’s all about fear. The point is to protect corporate profits by instilling fear in the mainstream animal rights and environmental movements—and every other social movement paying attention—and make people think twice about using their First Amendment rights.

Industry groups say “this is just the starting gun” for the Green Scare. But this could be the starting gun for activists as well. I’ve talked with hundreds of activists around the country over the years. There’s a lot of fear. But there’s also a lot of rage. And that’s a very good thing.

Because today’s repression may mimic many of the tactics of the Red Scare, but today’s response cannot. It’s not enough to cowardly distance ourselves from anyone branded a communist, I mean, terrorist. Naming names and making loyalty oaths didn’t protect activists then, and it won’t protect activists now.

The only way activists, and the First Amendment, are going to get through this is by coming out and confronting it head-on. That means reaching out to mainstream Americans and telling them that labeling activists as terrorists wastes valuable anti-terrorism resources and is an insult to everyone who died in the twin towers. That means reaching out to other activists and saying loud and clear that these activists are just the canaries in the mine.

Together, we can stop they cycle of history repeating itself.

Bristol EDO Decommissioners: Anti-war crime activist trial begins today in Hove

The trial began today of the EDO Decommissioners, a group of people from Bristol who wrought an estimated £180,000-worth of damage on a factory involved in production of bomb release clips used by the Israeli Defense Force to deliver lethal munitions into densely populated areas during Operation Cast Lead, its offensive on Gaza in December 2008-January 2009.

The five-strong group from Bristol which carried out the “citizens’ decommissioning” on the night of the 17th January last year is joined in court by three Brighton people who did not take part in the damage. The Decommissioners argue that their actions are lawfully excusable on the grounds that they were preventing Israeli war crimes. One of them, James ‘Elijah’ Smith, has been on remand since the action – seventeen months in gaol without a conviction.

The trial is taking place at Hove Crown Court
in East Sussex, just the other side of Brighton to the Moulsecoomb-located EDO MBM factory which was the subject of the defendants’ actions, and is scheduled to last seven weeks.

Operation Cast Lead led to a United Nations investigation, culminating in the Goldstone Report, which was highly critical of the IDF’s conduct of the war:

We came to the conclusion, on the basis of the facts we found, that there was strong evidence to establish that numerous serious violations of international law, both humanitarian law and human rights law, were committed by Israel during the military operations in Gaza.

The mission concluded that actions amounting to war crimes and possibly, in some respects, crimes against humanity, were committed by the Israel Defense Force.

There’s no question that the firing of rockets and mortars [by armed groups from Gaza] was deliberate and calculated to cause loss of life and injury to civilians and damage to civilian structures. The mission found that these actions also amount to serious war crimes and also possibly crimes against humanity.

The Gaza war was marked, amongst other things, by IDF use of white phosphorus.

Stokes Croft versus Tesco

Right, so I’ve missed out on all the excitement, but anyhow, here’s the story so far on the campaign to prevent the old Jesters building on Cheltenham Road from getting turned into another Tesco Express…

8th February

11th February

12th February

13th February

14th February

20th February

15th March

16th March

17th March

18th March

19th March

20th March

23rd March

Related links

I leave the last word to Al Shaw from Redland People/Trym Tales:

“…I am surprised that on the official press release by Avon and Somerset Constabulary announcing the eviction the force find it necessary to assist Tescos in their PR campaign by quoting a Tesco spokesman uncritically in connection with the company’s desire to open the controversial store.

“It’s one thing for the police to enforce the decision of a court (which is part of their job); when they act as a mouthpiece for a huge company which is widely disliked and criticised by people from a range of social and economic backgrounds, it seems to me that the force has stepped over the wrong side of a line and manifested a poitical bias.”

[Edited to add links.]

EDO Decommissioners’ raffle – one day left!

EDO Decommissioners' raffle flyer

Tomorrow is the day of the draw for the EDO Decommissioners‘ fundraising raffle!

The draw takes place at Kebele in Eastville at (I think) 7pm, with prizes including reconditioned bicycles, t-shirts, a veg box, plants, wine and books.

Tickets cost just £1 for a strip of 5 – that’s FIVE CHANCES TO WIN for a mere quid! (Or you can even buy a single ticket for 20p…)

If you haven’t got any but would like some, I still have a few left, just contact me before lunchtime tomorrow to let me know how many you want. I’ll accept pledges if it’s not possible to take your money before the draw, and scan your tickets so you know what numbers are yours.

G20 Climate Camp witnesses wanted for complaint against police

Does anyone have any footage or photos of the evening attacks by police at the north end of the Climate Camp – a number of us were beaten by police at the corner of Bishopsgate and Camomile Street in the evening maybe around 9 /10ish. Particulary looking for footage of a woman wearing a red jacket sitting on the road who was beaten and had her head crushed between 2 riot shields – needed for evidence to make a complaint.

No contact details given, so if you can help perhaps drop a comment to the end of this message on IndyMedia with a contact email.

Watching the police: Attack on the G20 Climate Camp (part 1)

I’m sure we all know to take YouTube comments with as big a pinch of salt as we would IMDb discussion board posts, but this is quite interesting. It was posted to the video on YouTube of the brutal clearing by police of the peaceful G20 Climate Camp on Bishopsgate (11,846 122,495 views and counting – and that’s just this copy), by oimelnikov:

Most of the attackers are from 5TSG and 4TSG (the call signs on their helmets are U5 and U4), based in Clapham (Larkhall Road) and Catford (Aitken Road) respectively.

Well, this intrigued me. To start with, I had a look to see if I could find possible sites for Territorial Support Group (TSG) bases at the locations mentioned. Each TSG (there are five in total) comprises five operational serials, plus support staff. Each serial splits across three vans, with nine per van. That means we’re looking for locations for TSG 4 and TSG 5 that each can garage at least 15 vans and more than a hundred coppers.

Now, there doesn’t appear to be a Larkhall Road in Clapham, though there is a Larkhall Lane and a Larkhall Rise. However, Clapham police station is on the corner of Union Grove and Smedley Street – which then leads on to Larkhall Lane and is also close to Larkhall park:

Clapham Police Station, Union Grove SW8
Clapham Police Station, Union Grove SW8
Clapham Police Station, Union Grove SW8
Clapham Police Station, Union Grove SW8

Judging by the pictures, the police station compound does seem to occupy a large footprint, with the building at the back looking like it could be vehicle workshops or some such similar.

[ETA: Please disregard the above - TSG 5 is in fact based just down the road at 157 Larkhall Lane SW4 6RE, in a large compound bounded by Smedley Road and Union Road, where the main entrance is. Please see the later post on the 'G20 death cop' going on the sick for details.]

Down in Catford, at the end of Aitken Road, is a large gated compound which operates as the SE garage of the Traffic Operational Command Unit, though other Metropolitan Police units also seem to be based there, in the main building and in adjacent offices:

SE Garage, Catford
SE Garage, Catford

So, looking at all this, oimelnikov’s comment seems to have some merit.

» Watching the police: Attack on the G2 Climate Camp (part 2)

Update:

Channel 4 News is now claiming that Officer ‘A’ – the one who assaulted Ian Tomlinson shortly before he died – was wearing a helmet marked ‘U41′, indicating a TSG officer from serial 1 (commanded by Inspector Dyer) of TSG4, based at Aitken Road, Catford.

[Edited to add update, Thursday 23/4/9]

Police brutality at peaceful Climate Camp In The City on G20 Day 1

Reuploaded from the original on IndyMedia.

ETA:

I originally posted up the following as a comment accompanying a link to the video on Ian Bone’s blog, but seeing as someone else has cross-posted the text elsewhere, I might as well add it here too:

There is a very clear video of the police violently wading into the hippies at the climate camp on Bishopsgate up on IndyMedia.

Whatever you or I might think of the politics of the climate camp, or indeed of fundamentalist non-violence, the video lays bare the function of the police force in all its naked, violent, powermonger-protecting glory.

And the individuals who choose to join the police, who then – day by day, situation by situation – choose to carry out orders which include, as here, acting as an anonymous, homogenous bloc of brute force, beating, bloodying, slavering over peaceniks who don’t even defend themselves despite the shields and the batons, well… I think we all know what sort of people they are. I think we all know how big and brave they are when they face anything resembling a fair fight.

ETA:

My posts on G20:

Monday 30th March

Tuesday 31st March

Thursday 2nd April

Friday 3rd April

Sunday 5th April

Tuesday 7th April

Shit graffiti rolleyes UK!

Shit 'political' graffiti on the CEED building

As being done on the side of CEED in St. Paul’s tonight.

The full text was eventually:

FUCK WAR

IRAQ BURNS
RAYTHEON EARNS

MAKE
LOVE
NOT WAR

ACID
NOT
BOMBS

Resisting yuppification on Ashley Road

Ashley Road resister fists 'Places For People'

I popped up the road earlier to see how things were going at the 87 Ashley Road squat eviction resistance (hmmm, bit of a mouthful there, sorry).

To rewind a little: until yesterday, there was a squat on 87 Ashley Road, but it was evicted in the morning. Former squatters of the Places For People-owned building (and possibly others) then managed to evade security, bailiffs and police, and gained access to the roof. They have been there ever since.

According to people on the ground supporting them, they have ample wet- and warm-weather gear, food, supplies and other such useful materials up there.

The reasons for the resistance are outlined in a leaflet:

Dear Neighbours

At 10.am this morning (12/11/08) police and bailiffs smashed their way into 87 Ashley Road evicting some of the occupants. Several people are on the roof, while contractors and bailiffs rip up the inside to make the house uninhabitable.

We are resisting this eviction because…

  1. We need somewhere to live.
  2. Taking your housing needs into your own hands is a positive thing, especially when social housing has such long waiting lists.
  3. This building has been left empty for at least 4 years, during this time both Places for People (P4P) and Bristol Churches (previous owners) have made no attempt to renovate or convert it into social housing. That’s 8 potential flats that have been left to rot. And for the past 6 months no.87 has housed more than 30 people.
  4. P4P have no planning permission to use or renovate this building. This morning a P4P representative said that the only active planning application they have is for April 2009, where 87 will contain a ‘site office’ for the ‘development’ of 16 other ‘shared ownership’ properties in the St. Pauls Area.
  5. St. Pauls UnLtd have opposed P4P’s plans because they did not provide enough social housing or affordable housing.
  6. Existing P4P tenants complain about the standard of service of maintenance in their existing properties.
  7. Everyone has a right to a home: Squatting is legal, necessary, and provides an alternative to the stranglehold of debt that underpins the current financial crisis.
  8. Tying people into 30+years of mortgage debt is an illusion of housing security, in the light recent repossessions.
  9. We are part of this community and against all privatizations, repossessions and evictions.

P4P are more concerned with money than housing those in need they are the biggest UK housing association and have the highest paid chief executives in the housing sector (Director salary: £258k in 2007). Housing associations were set up to fill the gap left by Thatcher’s destruction of social housing provision. They cannot legally make profits, but make up for this with fat bonus checks for the fat cats. That’s taxpayer’s money going to fund extravagant lifestyles

For more information and sources about P4P please check indymedia

http://bristol.indymedia.org

‘Direct action is better than any waiting list’ Squatters handbook. (Or mortgage!)

87 Ashley Road eviction resistanceI used to squat, because I was too poor (despite a full-time – but minimum wage – job) to rent privately, and locked out of the housing list. The property I squatted had long been emptied by its owner, a housing association. Despite assurances to its previous tenants that it would be repaired to an acceptable standard and that they would be permitted to return to it, it was not, and they weren’t. I and my fellow squatters were able to quietly live there for nearly six months before the housing association even realised we were there. We negotiated a situation with the housing association whereby they would not institute eviction proceedings against us, and in return we would vacate the premises (with fair notice) when they were ready to make good the building for the return of its tenants. In its life as a squat, this building helped house around twenty people, and helped seven or eight get onto the housing list, where they might secure decent long-term accommodation.

After I left, there was some kind of breakdown in relations between the squat and the housing association (I’m not sure of the details), and I believe an eviction was carried out. The building was then left to rot until the housing association was able to discharge its obligations under law, and then to sell it on the open market to a private developer. The tenants did not return. The building is now in the private sector, another piece of prime inner city real estate lost from the social housing sector.

Therein lies the rub – just because an empty property’s owner is a ‘social landlord’, it does not necessarily follow that the landlord wishes to use the property to house poorer people who want to rent. Often the landlord will look to the market, and decide that ‘shared ownership’ or open market sales would be more desirable – desirable to the landlord, not to those it is meant to be housing.

From what I understand of the situation at 87 Ashley Road, the building was not cleared of squatters so tenants from the housing list might be rented a home there, but instead to sell off. This is not about ‘places for people’, this is about profits.

The roof resisters seem like they might be there for a while. I’m sure they would welcome support on the ground, even if only for a few minutes.

Green scare UK: Observer wages police’s proxy war on eco-activists

Police warn of growing threat from eco-terrorists

Fear of deadly attack by lone maverick as officers alert major firms to danger of green extremism

By Mark Townsend and Nick Denning

(The Observer, 9 November 2008)

Police have warned of the growing threat of eco-terrorism after revealing they are investigating a group which has supporters who believe that reducing the Earth’s population by four-fifths will help to protect the planet.

Officers from a specialist unit dedicated to tackling domestic terrorism are monitoring an eco-movement called Earth First! which has advocates who state that cutting the Earth’s population by 80 per cent will ease pressure on other species. Officers are concerned a ‘lone maverick’ eco-extremist may attempt a terrorist attack aimed at killing large numbers of Britons.

The National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit, which collates intelligence and advice to police forces, has revealed that eco-activists are researching a list of target companies which they believe are major polluters or are exacerbating the threat of climate change.

The unit is currently monitoring blogs and internet traffic connected to a network of UK climate camps and radical environmental movements under the umbrella of Earth First!, which has claimed responsibility for a series of criminal acts in recent months.

A senior source at the unit said it had growing evidence of a threat from eco-activists. ‘We have found statements that four-fifths of the human population has to die for other species in the world to survive.

‘There are a number of very dedicated individuals out there and they could be dangerous to other people.’

Earth First! says its mission is ‘about direct action to halt the destruction of the Earth’ and advocates ‘civil disobedience and monkeywrenching’, tactics that include sabotage and disruptive behaviour. The movement has links to US environmental extremists which have waged a campaign of violence in America, including the firebombing of a string of 4×4 car dealerships in California in 2003 and alleged arson attacks on other property.

The anti-extremist unit has already alerted a number of major companies which have been accused of being carbon polluters with advice on how they can withstand being targeted by eco-terrorists. Companies are thought to include airport operator BAA, an international mining conglomerate BHP Billiton and firms connected to UK coal-fired power stations.

‘They are doing research of possible targets, looking at shareholders and financiers. For example, they could research an airline and see how many of its aircraft are not environmentally friendly,’ said the NETCU source.

Although green extremists have yet to embark on an orchestrated campaign of violence in the UK, officers warn that they may be about to launch a campaign of intimidation and fear aimed at disrupting businesses. ‘For some people, if they can justify it in their minds, then it’s a noble cause even if it’s a criminal action. They haven’t started yet, but we believe they will come up with a strategy and tactics,’ said the source at the unit, who described the movement as well-funded and organised.

A spate of recent attacks, for which Earth First! supporters have claimed responsibility, has included vandalism of branches of seven German banks such as Deutsche Bank and Allianz AG. The actions were apparently because the banks hold shares in UK Coal, which plans to build new coal-fired power stations.

A statement on the Earth First! website explains the attacks by saying: ‘Exploitation of the environment and people by the state and industry go hand in hand. They cannot be separated and both must be attacked. Social war, not climate chaos.’

Another attack hit a quarry in Staffordshire which belongs to Bardon Aggregates, a company hat also owns a controversial quarry at Glensanda on the north-west coast of Scotland. The Scottish quarry is accused of spoiling the Highlands environment. The Earth First! website states: ‘We slashed tyres, stripped paint jobs, glued locks and trashed conveyor belts. All the earth movers were hit and many of the cement and aggregate trucks. This action cost us very little but should cost Bardon thousands.’

Among the network of groups under the Earth First! umbrella are various climate camps. Last August police found a stash of knives and weapons beside one such camp in Kent. Protesters, however, said they had nothing to do with the weapons and accused police of launching a ‘smear campaign’.

A spokesman for Derby Earth First! said the movement was strictly non-violent, if not always law-abiding. He said: ‘If someone does ecological damage we would perhaps break the law and protect the ecology, but the ecology also includes humans.

‘We’re all about communities. Capitalism is the problem and we want to return to a more sustainable time. But we are not about reducing the population, that is just scaremongering by the police.’

The rise of eco-extremism coincides with the fall of the animal rights activist movement. Police said the animal rights movement was in ‘disarray’ and that its ringleaders had either been prosecuted or were awaiting prosecution, adding that its ‘critical mass’ of hardcore extremists was sufficiently depleted to have halted its effectiveness. Last Thursday a prominent animal rights activist accused of planting petrol bombs at Oxford University was cleared of possessing an explosive substance with intent.

Reports on the Earth First! Journal website, which tells users how to send encrypted emails, reveals connections to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) which has been linked to a series of violent attacks in the US. ELF was classified as the top domestic terrorism threat in the US by the FBI in March 2001.

The ELF was founded in 1992 in Brighton by members of the Earth First! movement who wanted to form a breakaway group that would use more extreme tactics.

There’s so much that should be said about this, but I don’t have the time at the moment, so here’s a few convenient bullet points:

  • Unnamed, anonymous, uncorroborated source
  • No serious attempt to verify any of the claims
  • No background to NETCU
  • Smear and innuendo used in place of facts and evidence

All in all, an odd ‘news’ story in that there appears to be no news event on which to hang it – it’s almost as though The Observer is simply repeating a line fed to them by NETCU in line with NETCU’s own strategic or tactical objectives. Surely not!

And here’s a few links:

ETA mk4 (Thursday):

Some more links to blogs picking up on this:

Police amiability outreach programme spreads across the nation?

Anyone idly perusing IndyMedia of late cannot fail to have noticed the spate of friendly police officers offering all manner of friendly things, from lifts to lunch dates, to political activists.

Here’s one from today, posted by an anti-fascist:

They could pick us up early on Saturday morning, what was our home address…? My brother kindly said we wouldn’t be picked up from our address and he would get me to ring the guy back. So he left his number… 0151 709 6010 to which a kind voice replied Merseyside police how can I help you…

Just thought I would let everyone know in case of lift offers. Watch out because the fash might be offering lifts also…

And here is another heart warming story, as related by an animal rights campaigner:

The First Call [19/6/08]

During the Kent gathering police from at least 11 forces across the country where present, the furthest anyone had travelled was a female police officer from central Scotland, see pic above.

A few days after the gathering on the 19th of June 2008, I received a call (on my personal mobile phone) at approx midday, The call was from a Scottish lady, yes that’s right, the one that was present at the gathering. She asked me if I was alone and was okay to chat, I said yes and I signalled to the few other people in the room to come closer. She then told me she wanted to travel down from Scotland to talk to me about the animal rights movement in the UK. I asked her what she wanted to know and she avoided the question saying how it was best to meet up in person. All she seemed willing to say was she was prepared to travel from Scotland to meet up, she would be bringing another officer with her and that she thought we could ‘help each other’ I cut the call short asking her to ring me back tomorrow as I was a little busy at the time but would consider her offer. As soon as I was off the phone I rang a few key activists to let them know she had rang and to ask them to pass the message on to other activists so everyone knew about the call.

The Second Call [20/6/08]

Around midday Tracey, the Scottish police officer rang me again, she asked if I had thought about what she had said during our previous phone call, I told her I had but still had some reserves, every time I asked she seemed to reply with, how it would be best to answer that in person, things like what’s in it for me and what did she want to ask me were answered with “if we meet up I can discuss these things with you properly” the most she said was that if we met up it would not be local and they would arrange everything. She told me another officer, I had never met before, would be coming with her from London. I told her it sounded okay and that I would need to have a bit more of a think before confirming for certain and she told me she will ring back next Thursday to arrange a meeting. The only thing I am thinking now is how to fuck her over.

The Third Call [30/6/08]

Tracey rang me off her mobile (07508810540) to arrange a meeting, I have told her I am busy and that I will ring her next week to confirm a date.

After this phone call I decided I had had enough of talking to the filth and have not been in touch since. They seemed desperate to talk I think they are getting very desperate.

So remember to always be aware of who is around you in your group and if anyone may of been asked and is keeping quiet. It’s time to let the cops know if they want to insult our loyalties by asking us to be informants, they must be prepared to be humiliated like our good mate Tracey.

So are these random acts of kindness by individual officers, offered on their own initiative, or are they participating in some sort of Rotarian-style police philanthropy programme, designed to reach out to protesters in order to share a common humanity, despite pesky things like beatings, fit-ups and harassment?

Internet coup! NETCU anti-protest guide hits the public domain

Oops! Police at the Climate Camp in Kent have dropped a clanger – or more specifically a copy of their demonstrators=turrists handbook, the NETCU Policing Protest Pocket Legislation Guide (“For Police Use Only”).

NETCU? Who they? Well, the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit “forms part of the national policing response to domestic extremism”, and gives advice to individual police forces and other ‘enforcement agencies’ relating to this. There’s even a handy little biography on the inside page of Policing Protest (with even handier contact details):

NETCU provides tactical advice and guidance on policing single-issue domestic extremism. The unit also supports companies and other organisations that are the targets of domestic extremism campaigns. NETCU reports through the National Coordinator for Domestic Extremism (NCDE) to the Association of Chief Police Officers Terrorism and Allied Matters – ACPO(TAM) committee.

National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU)
PO Box 525, Huntingdon, PE29 9AL
Tel: 01480 425091
Fax: 01480 425007
Email: mailbox@netcu.pnn.police.uk
Web: http://www.netcu.org.uk

Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies to public authorities in England and Wales. Under the Act, organisations listed in Schedule 1 to the Act – either by name or by description – have to provide public access to information they hold. NETCU is not a public authority as defined by Schedule 1 and therefore there are no obligations on NETCU to disclose information under the Act. Police forces are advised not to release this guide following freedom of information requests.

Edition 2 – November 2007

It could be seen as a successor to projects such as ARNI, the Animal RIghts National Index which was subsequently rolled out to encompass a wide range of environmental and social activists.

One can also see it in the context of the ‘Green Scare‘, the post-COINTELPRO pursuit of the ELF and others in the United States.

And let us also consider NETCU’s targeting of groups it considers to be engaged in ‘tertiary terrorism’ (most notably animal rights campaigns such as SHAC).

From creating databases which log the activities of entirely lawful groups and individuals, through to the arbitrary casting of politically-motivated behaviours beyond the spheres of the lawful, unlawful or criminal into the less rationally-bound romper room labelled terrorism (with all its attendant emotional responses); that is the nature of the NETCU game.

In other words, through bureaucratic manoeuvring, artless sophistry and ideologically-motivated authoritarianism, NETCU shifts the goalposts for what passes for legal protest. Thus a terrorist is not defined by her or his actions, but by having been labelled a terrorist (by way of ‘domestic extremist’). Thus terrorism is not “the systematic use of terror, esp as a means of coercion” (Penguin Pocket English Dictionary, 1990), it is any activity undertaken by those previously defined by the new terms of reference as ‘terrorists’.

That the NETCU website is liberally sprinkled with pictures of yogurt-weaving peace marchers, clowns(!) and, erm, the Countryside Alliance should give an indication of exactly whom the organisation considers a ‘domestic extremist’ – that’s right, pretty much anyone who ever dares dissent from the Westminster-approved script.

So read the Policing Protest book and find out how you should behave in future lest you accidentally become a dangerous terrorist.

Links:

Striking dock workers + revolting RTS types

Watched the Jimmy McGovern film Dockers today. It’s a dramatisation of the long strike at Merseyside docks, in which dockworkers fought against intolerable conditions and the drive towards casualisation. The film was cowritten by some of the striking dockers and members of the Women of the Waterfront support organisation, and is worth a look.

Anyway, found a nice video of the big ‘March For Social Justice’/’Never Mind The Ballots’ event in London in April 1996, co-organised by the Liverpool dockers and Reclaim The Streets. Some familiar faces…