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Where are the London cops?

m. | 07.07.2005 16:56 | G8 2005 | Repression | World

They are in Scotland harassing political protesters!

The metropolitan police seems to see no irony, or feel no shame, for wasting their time harassing G8 protesters up in Scotland, instead of doing their job down in London. As I write a bunch of them is sitting outside Bristo Place 3, where the Forest Cafe and Indymedia Centre is housed, photographing everyone. A classic instance of harassment and intimidation that aims to chill our rights to speak up, assemble and protest, use independent media and participate in the anti-G8 political movement.

More information on rushing down to London from their Scotland holiday:,12780,1523453,00.html



Hide the following 7 comments


07.07.2005 17:14

Forgive me for my free thinking but these cops don't look like they are harrassing anyone.


Smile abuse

07.07.2005 18:27

In fact the cop chatting to the girl in the last pic seems positively cheery...


harassment and intimidation

07.07.2005 20:23

In fact they were so bloody crafty the victims didnt even realise they were being intimidated and harassed.
Sinister or what?


Bloody sinister

08.07.2005 13:20

One Met police... two Met polices... three Met polices.... thirty thousand Met polices... my, that was a crowded street.



10.07.2005 08:49

Photographing unregulated protesters, ID cards, National database. By 2010, there will be no unregulated protesters.


I disagree

18.07.2005 11:55

You say they could be doing their job in London, but what's wrong with them doing their job in Edinburgh? Just because the terrorist attack ended up being in London doesn't mean the police should rush down there and leave the volatile situation surrounding the G8 summit wide open and under-policed. I didn't see anyone being harrassed and found the police helpful. Anyone with resolve to protest won't get spooked by some police standing about. And if the police were a bit heavy handed at times then I still don't blame them. They're only human and despite all their training they can't get it right all the time. The so-called 'protesters' on the anarchy march did far more to escalate tensions than the police did.

Ross Kilgour

Fuck the police

15.09.2005 16:51

The job of the FIT team is to build profiles of activists. They want to find out and record as much information as possible: names; what groups you are in; where you fit in to the hierarchy and how important you are; if you are you an organiser; if are you a writer and what material you write; are you on the periphery or at the centre of things.

They operate overtly (in the open). Along with many other techniques they also use harassment techniques to wind people up so that they give out more information about themselves and others. They also act as a deterrent.

Other branches of the police do the covert work, such as Special Branch. If you read last week's papers you would know that all of Special Branch's work is being transferred to the new 2,0000 strong anti-terrorist unit and MI5.

These people who are directly employed by the state operate covertly (in secret) , and rarely have direct contact with activists. They employ others, known as agents, who they control and pay, to infiltrate, act as agent provocateurs or just gather information. There will, of course, be some of them within activists' groups. People who need money for drugs, alcohol, gambling, to pay off debts, or the out and out unprincipled greedy are vulnerable to being recruited as agents. Blackmail is regularly used to force people to become agents, mainly if someone has commited a crime, or is a sex offender.

Sometimes officers of the secret state infiltrate groups, but not that often. Listening to telephone calls, reading email, bugging, planting miniature TV cameras, monitoring mobile positions, and monitoring the movement of vehicles is mainly done by MI5, and of course the new anti-terrorist unit. They focus on anyone they consider subversive (those who might undermine the state and capitalism).

FIT's use of in-the-face overt monitoring, surveillance. and direct harassment - sometimes physical - compliments the work of the overt operators. It is a cheap and "cheerful" - and efficient - way of getting information. So, be careful what you say, because they are profiling you and observing what you look like and how you act. They will over time build up a picture, and then liase with other agencies to get the complete picture. They can easily take photos later.

So things like using a pseudonnym on Indymedia is a good idea because they can use what you write to build a more sophisitcated profile. Additionally, protecting your identity, and wearing differents clothes/hats on demos and actions is good. Not giving away personal information to people that you don't know can be a good idea too.

If you don't care what info the cops have on you, like me, then fair enough. In theory they can only arrest you if you break the law, but too frequently they ignore this basic liberal principle. So if you are not planning to break the law that might affect the way you protect your identity and whether you care what the cops know.

Keeping calm and employing a sense of humour can be very helpful in dealings with the FIT team, but always remember thay are after information about YOU.

Ed Campbell