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N9 new police tactics: Undercover cops active and aggressive

n9admin | 10.11.2011 15:30

We saw a change in police tactics for the Nov 9 student demo in central London. Apart from the tightly regulated route of the march (each sidestreet was blocked by a small army of well defended barriers) police had introduced a new and potentially dangerous element into the policing of the demonstration – the extensive and transparent use of undercover police.

Previously police would simply deploy FIT [see here] at strategic points on the edges of the demo to identify “potential troublemakers” who if arrested would be by uniform cops away from the main march.

The Nov 9 student demo saw numerous undercover police (dressed, badly, as protesters) within the body of the march extracting often violently those they want to arrest. This change of tactic may be due to a new top cop in charge, may be a one-off strategy to prevent another Millbank or maybe the first outing of a new and potentially far-reaching approach to policing major demonstrations.

Blocs protecting the integrity of the march are common place on mainland Europe, indeed it is an essential feature. They act as a collective political presence, but also ensure the dynamic between protester and police remains intact – both in opposition and in terms of penetration. In the UK we have no such understanding of the dynamics of blocs and as such often distance ourselves from them.

(NB blocs does not just mean ‘black bloc’, a black bloc when active is an entirely different proposition taking on an entirely different dynamic)

This must, and will, change if we are to maintain any autonomy within the policing conduct and regulations of a demonstration.

This new police tactic, if it continues, will need anarchists to acknowledge our collective role on demonstrations. Any anarchists who continue to attend demonstrations as individuals, as opposed to a politically constituted element, will have to learn pretty sharpish a new way of thinking.

Nov 9 was a classic example of a police demonstration. The new and dangerous twist is the police are now an active and embedded part of the march itself.

A warning of things to come.

#Nov9 Arrest of protester by undercover police (about 1 min in)

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Hide the following 3 comments

Not 1st time - Student & press attacked by black-balaclava wearing fash last Dec

10.11.2011 19:18

This not the first time plaincloths cops (lets call them fash) have engaged in violent conduct against protesters. Much much worse than the incidents highlighted above, on the Dec 9th student demonstration against student fees last year (2010), black balaclava wearing men attacked a group of students and also Press TV journalist Adam Apostol (while live on air) was attacked by a group of 10 including one of the same group with a hammer, whilst police stood around


Nothing New in Plainclothes cops

10.11.2011 22:49

There have always been plain clothed Police, they are called Criminal Investigation Department (CID), they work under cover and try to blend in with the Wall Paper. The fact that they look like a bunch of criminals, is probably due to the fact that they are exactly that. They used to cause a lot of the trouble at football matches they like a punch up and put the boot in on their victims just like steet fighters.
Their generally macho and racists and also like to rough up and man handle women.
They will fabricate evidence and tell whopping great porky pies.
So whats new they have been around for yonks.

DC Porky Pie


12.11.2011 11:28

First time I've seen that video, but by the evening there were quite a few drunk squadies who had been covering their faces and starting fights with protesters right in front of the police. People went up to the lines to ask for help and the cops told them to fuck off.

Can't say I was that surprised, but the people they were starting on were just weedy students and they were quite shocked by the whole thing. My guess is that these guys are more soldiers and the cops just enjoyed watching the people who had been getting the better of them all day get a kicking, I might be wrong though.