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We will not be intimidated – Mass resistance to new offence of publishing inform

Fitwatch | 16.11.2008 01:20 | Policing | Repression | Terror War

Call from Fitwatch for mass resistance to the Counter Terror Bill.

The new Counter Terrorism Bill, currently in The Lords, contains an amendment to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. This amendment will make it an offence, punishable by up to ten years imprisonment, to publish or elicit information about any police constable "of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".

Furthermore, Schedule 7 of the Bill applies this amendment to internet service providers and web hosting services. This means they will have a legal duty to remove all sites perceived to fall under this offence, and has provisions for use at home and abroad.

It is unclear what information will be classed as “useful” to terrorists, but due to this ambiguous wording, the Bill has implications for bloggers, journalists, photographers, activists and anyone who values freedom of speech.

This is a call from Fitwatch for a mass publishing of information on police officers on the day this Bill receives its Royal Assent. The date will be published as soon as we have it, but it is likely to be early 2009.

Fitwatch are one of the groups who could be targeted by this new legislation. Fitwatch, started eight months ago by activists, resists and opposes the use of Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) on demonstrations. FIT are police officers who photograph, follow, and generally intimidate protesters. They bring, in the words of Jacqui Smith, “harassment style policing” to protests.

As part of this opposition, we run a blog – – where we share information about these officers. We feel this blog could be under threat from this new legislation.

Whilst it is obvious from our blog that we do not like these officers, we are not terrorists.

Neither are:

- people filming, and uploading to Youtube, footage of police officers acting illegally.
- bloggers writing about being randomly stopped and searched.
- journalists publishing details of corrupt or racist cops.
- photographers publishing photographs of police on protests.

The list goes on, but all are under threat.

This legislation not only attempts to stifle our ability to hold the police force to account for their actions, but also attacks the principles of open publishing on the internet. It must be resisted.

Join the mass action and oppose this ludicrous law.

This action can be taken by anyone, anywhere:

- Get hold of a piece of information about a police officer, or a photo or video. If you are stuck, feel free to use anything from our blog!
- Publish this on Flickr, Youtube, your blog, website, myspace/facebook, whereever you want.
- Send us a link, and we'll publish a list on our blog.

Please circulate and publish this call as widely as possible, and join this act of cyber resistance.

ps – this bill also applies to intelligence officers. If anyone does have any photographs or information on MI5 officers they wish to publish, we would not seek to discourage them in any way, shape or form, but please do send us a link!!!

- e-mail:
- Homepage:


For example...

16.11.2008 09:27

You want to protest - we will take your details
You want to protest - we will take your details

Last Monday I was standing on my own at one side of the gates to an arms company. I stood quietly, holding a non-provocative banner.

The picture shows what I had to tolerate for over an hour. Is this not intimidating and harrassment?
My only 'defence' (other than to give up protesting and go home) was to get out my mobile phone and take this picture.

PS the image makes the Evidence Gather cameraman look further away from me than he was. He certainly felt 'in my face'.



Hide the following 4 comments

A Matter of Concern

16.11.2008 13:42

What has been said in this article is clearly a matter of concern and i will be taking its contents seriously. I would urge others to do likewise. I have been fitten up by police and harassed by police particualrly in regard to my prisoner support activities, they get away with far too much fat too often.
I know too that they come on to indymedia, facebook and elsewhere and here hide behind silly screen names but they are not too hard to spot.
I am very glad to have seen this article today


Usual stuff

17.11.2008 11:24

This kind of behaviour from the police is not unusual and is the same on any protest I have been involved in. I would like to know why law abiding citizens have to be photographed when they are doing nothing more than exercising their human rights to protest in a 'supposed' democracy? We always hear the excuse of 'evidence gathering', well why gather evidence on non threatening, peaceful protesters if not to intimidate? These are the tactics of a dictatorship/ Most of the smug police who film seem to be so proud of themselves when doing so, I was filmed through my car window eating sandwiches on one demo by laughing policemen who thought themselves funny for doing so and hide behind the protection they have by being officers of the law when some are just legalised thugs who love intimidation and treating the general puiblic like criminals whilst the real criminals carry on regardless shooting and stabbing innocent people. Makes you proud to be British!


An attack on one is an attack on all

02.12.2008 07:58

Just letting you know, you've got comrades in the US who have your back! While we haven't fallen into the same CCTV panopticon that you Brits have, we're slowly "sleepwalking" into our own little surveillance state, complete with journalistic repression. At least we don't have any sort of nationally implemented FIT team - yet. Our law enforcement officers haven't yet learned how to both take pictures and intimidate at the same time.

State-Side Comrade

The US will not be out done

02.12.2008 17:15

State-Side Comrade, have you not heard of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (see or google JTTF). There is plenty of overt intimidation of protestors here in the US, along with unwarranted (pun intended) infiltration and surveillance.

Another State-Side Comrade