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A call to kettle FIT and police liaison (again!) in Brighton

Fitwatch | 09.07.2012 12:03 | Smash EDO | Repression | South Coast

Fitwatch are heading to the Smash EDO demo in Brighton on Monday 16th July, and we'd love people to join us. Smash EDO protests have historically been heavily hit by snoopers from the FIT, Police Liaison and the National Domestic Extremism Unit and action is needed!

These are all dangerous, vindictive and untrustworthy characters. Police Liaison Teams (PLTs), with their ‘trust me I’m a copper’ attitude and fake smiles should be treated with the same healthy distrust as all the rest. PLTs have been deployed heavily on recent Brighton demos to ‘mingle’ and ‘embed themselves’ amongst protesters. At the last Smash EDO demo, Fitwatchers and the aptly named Umbrella Block provided their own twist to some traditional policing methods, as the PLT were kettled by banners and umbrellas – see pics above.

Protesters were forced to take robust action when the cops in the PLT unreasonably refused to comply with protesters requests to move away from the middle of the protest. The were given a warning (politely), but the PLTs insisted on mingling among protesters and remained a threat to protesters’ safety. A cordon of flags, banners and umbrellas was then deployed to contain the threat. Once the PLT were kettled, protesters used a minimum degree of force to escort the now flustered PLTs from the demonstration.

Incredibly the PLT allowed themselves to be pushed, shoved and barged without losing their smiles, and without arresting anyone. They are, after all, the ‘nice cops’, and they refused to admit that people just didn’t want them there. They tweeted instead that ‘many’ people on the demo were happy to ‘engage’ with them. They didn’t mention that much of the ‘engagement’ took the form of shoulder barges.

Cops have no place in our demos. The PLT have a track record of attempting to gain intelligence. They were directed to do so at the UkUncut demo at Nick Cleggs house, for example, when they questioned protesters about their knowledge of the target, and their attitude to protest tactics.

Whatever strategy they use to spy on us - whether it is FIT, Domestic Extremism Unit or PLTs –there is no reason why we should accept their presence on, or within, our demos.

Come to Brighton on Monday in solidarity, and to show the FIT they are not wanted, whatever colour uniform they have on. Meet up with Fitwatchers at the Smash EDO assembly point on Monday, or join us for a FW workshop on Sunday eve at the Cowley Club in Brighton. Everyone welcome to join in!

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