>Policing at climate camp

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Climate camp was something of a surreal experience after the aggressive policing and constant stop and searches of previous camps. There can be no denying that the public order cops were on the back foot, unable to do anything but smile and facilitate the camp, no matter what sort of provocation came their way. Even a mass outing to Canary Wharf on Friday did nothing to dampen their spirit of ‘facilitation’, and they left the ‘robust policing’ to the hoards of private security in grey suits.

To have forced the police to do back down, and to change their policing so completely from previous climate camps, is no small achievement. Climate camp legal team have put a lot of pressure on the police from all sorts of directions, and they should be given the credit for us all being able to come and go from the camp without the sort of shit we’ve had to put up with before. And they have done this without making concessions and without stirring up the good protester / bad protester rift that many liberals try to impose.
Police (and FIT) harassment was gone (for the time being at least), but police surveillance proved a harder nut to crack. Throughout the camp, remote cameras propped up on a cherry picker were able to pick out new and familiar faces for the FIT teams to focus on. FIT cops stationed at a camp set up a couple of miles away were able to get a direct feed from the camera, and from the helicopter that hovered around from time to time, without needing to be on the ground.

From the cherry picker, FIT could get high quality images of activists training on tripods, with lock on devices, and for mass actions. They were able to maintain, in the words of the Silver command Julia Pendry, an ‘information flow’.

FIT officers were also present at the SWOOP meet up points, although without their usual distinctive FIT jackets. Sgt Graham Wettone, a long standing FIT officer, insisted as he hung around watching the crowd at Bank that he was ‘just on normal duties’. In the end he had to be introduced by FITwatchers to the waiting crowd and hoards of press.

By the end of the camp, the veneer had slipped a bit. FIT teams were back, monitoring and photographing actions at Shell and RBS, although happily they met with some determined opposition.

Overall, we still have some work to do in countering police surveillance from CCTV and remote cameras stationed on cherry pickers. But there is no denying that FIT were on the back foot. They weren’t able to get away with the harassment and intimidation they are used to dishing out, and that in itself is one-up to us. Confidence is growing that we can now defeat the FIT, as is determination that we will not be their willing victims. Bring it on.

Pics: Superintendent Julia Pendry, Silver command at climate camp; a Barclays security guard at Barclays protest; Ian Caswell, one of the few regular FIT cops to make an appearance at camp; cameras and microwave transmitter mounted on cherry picker overlooking climate camp.

33 thoughts on “>Policing at climate camp

  1. >Anon 06.33. Officers? What officers? I am unaware that the uniformed wing of the BNP (the police) had commissions. Are there Lieutenanats & Captains I have not met? By the way, don't you think you'd earn your pay by catching criminals constable instead of commenting on here trying to put a "reassuring" aspect on policing? When Tragic Sharon Beshanivsky died it cost me a lot of money. DRINKS ALL ROUND!

  2. >@A.B. Gordon

    Normally I'd be on your side of the debate and up for winding up the police a bit, but your comments are going to far.

    You just make yourself (and to a degree the rest of us) look like a scumbag.

  3. >ABG your arguments don't stand up even to themselves. Sharon was outnumbered and outgunned by the armed robbers she went to face. She was responding to a real crime not 'harassing' peaceful protestors, grow up, you sound like you're protesting too much, does it still hurt that they turned your application to join the plod down?

  4. >How bizarre that a website for protesters (many of whom have been the recipients of plods hospitality) is hosting so may comments in favour of them. The only good police are DEAD police. Yours, A.B.Gordon (Battle Honours Brixton 81, Miners Strike 84).

  5. >ABG – you're exactly the kind of prick that gives REAL protestors such a bad name. Do you think you're 48 going on 18 or something?

  6. >A.B. Gordon,

    While I remain deeply suspicious of much the police get up to, and whilst I certainly support peaceful, law-abiding protestors in their cause (to be heard), calling for the police to be killed is just silly – and poking fun at PC Beshanivsky is, quite frankly, sick.


  7. >Mr Gordon, still making friends? I cant make up my mind if you have a childs mind or are a child. Did you get a dishonourable discharge from the Army? or was a long line of failers to add to your life. Also i thought that the Army helped out with the miners strike??

    First point, police are not the uniformed wing of the BNP. It would surprise all the black and asian coppers.

    Second your comments of 'The only good police are DEAD police' is pushing it. The posters on here give as good as they get but you are the first to act such a twat that no one is taking you serious.

  8. >I have loads of Beshanivsky jokes. But as for blogs-I can't suss out if (some) of you are on the level, a bunch of treehugging cunts who would blow away at a puff of wind, or that those who dare to "have a go" and lets face it Anon is such a brave pseudonym, you are just plod logging on to make sympathetic comments. Bottom line? Tomlinson murdered. De Menezes murdered. Britain is a police state. Direct action (such as Harrow masjid, 9th Oct) is the only way forward. Black police? Those fuckers will swing from a higher lamppost than you. The Resistance hates traitors more than it hates the enemy. Wear the uniform, pay the price.

  9. >The microwave links are not encrypted so anyone in line of sight with a suitable receiver could view the output of the camera on the cherry picker.

    Next time set up a big white screen and project back live what the camera sees.

    Could be fun and quite cheap to do.

  10. >@A.B. Gordon
    So, you feel so strongly about resisting a police state that you're prepared to do anything other than acting like an adult to oppose it?

    Even if direct action is needed (and I personally think a lot can be done with economic and political action) then you're not going to run in and knock a line of riot police down with your dick. It'd be kind of useful to have some other people on your side, rather than have them cheer while the police beat you because they're so disgusted by your behaviour.

  11. >[quote]
    I have loads of Beshanivsky jokes.
    Well they're not funny.

    Your talking about a woman who went in, unarmed, into an armed robbery, to try and defend people – something I doubt you would have the constitution for.

    I'm not a moderator, or attached to Fitwatch in any way – but I'd be seriously surprised if Fitwatch are pleased you stopped by.

    Yes, protesters and the police do not get on – but killing them, or even just physically attacking them, is no way forward. You don't become your opponent to defeat him.

    [quote] But as for blogs-I can't suss out if (some) of you are on the level, a bunch of treehugging cunts who would blow away at a puff of wind, or that those who dare to "have a go" and lets face it Anon is such a brave pseudonym,
    Whether the people here hug trees, bushes or even Russian shotputters is beside the point. I don't necessarily agree with everything they say on the environmental front, but I'm concered to find a group of mainly peaceful protestors are harrassed as they are. And I _REALLY_ don't like some stupid bloody law telling me I can't make my views known outside parliament – the one place in the country where you would think they actually have a DUTY to reflect on public opinion…
    you are just plod logging on to make sympathetic comments.
    No, I'm not.
    [quote]Bottom line? Tomlinson murdered.
    No he wasn't. Manslaughter I'd agree with, but this wasn't a murder.
    [quote]De Menezes murdered.
    That one I've a little more sympathy for…
    [quote] Britain is a police state. Direct action (such as Harrow masjid, 9th Oct) is the only way forward. Black police? Those fuckers will swing from a higher lamppost than you. The Resistance hates traitors more than it hates the enemy. Wear the uniform, pay the price.

    Don't be so bloody ridiculous. The police don't need attacking, beating or killing – they just need to be brought back into line. Start with the politicians – once we have decent representation, the police will be brought back to the honourable service they used to be.


  12. >A.B. Gordon.

    Not entirely coinvinced by the wholly offensive remarks you have posted throughout on here, i suspect they are designed to cause reaction.

    I doubt very much indeed that anyone would seriously wish ill of any police officer let alone wish to kill one.
    Your comments about Sharon are totally and wholly offensive, if you really do find the murder of a police officer serving her community funny then i really do think you should consider a visit to the NHS and get soem help.

    Now i have no ties with either side on this forum, and like many people here i am more than comfortable in commenting on and having an opinion of certain police behaviour, that said and as i will maintain the vast majority of police are honest dedicated and professional, the rotten apples or those who seem to think putting on the uniform makes them above the law i will happily slate as appropriate and proportionately.

  13. >A quick google search of "WCZ 1401" reveals that A.B.Gordon is churning out the same rubbish all over the internet not just here.

  14. >Take a plastic bag. Smear with glue. Affix to cctv/spy camera. Wear a hoodie & basebal cap, it may not be de rigeur but it will make the images unusable. Angle grinder. Use to cut through poles that cctv/spy cameras are on (you need more than one man for this op). Sugar in plod vehicle petrol tanks. The tyres are difficult to slash, I have tried that one. Finally ball bearings for under police horses hooves. If you are on foot they will not advance.

  15. >@A.B. Gordon

    Are you somebody with a dislike of Fitwatch (police possibly) who wants to try and associate activism with violence?

    Or are you just a troll or an idiot?

  16. >No, I am somebody who saw the police try and fit up an innocent man once. I know how it works. The police are the lowest scum on earth – worse than the BNP who are at least honest in their bigotry. I am happy for you to ban me.

  17. >ABG, so you saw the police set someone up once which automatically means they are all corrupt scum worthy of being murdered for the rest of time, yes? So by that very same token given that you confess to wanting to kill police officers and actively relish in causing criminal damage that every other activist is also a prick who thinks they're the best thing since sliced bread? You're a cunt, an old pathetic one at that and quite frankly you do nothing whatsoever to help demonstrations and only give them an excuse to get the batons out.

  18. >AB Gordon,

    How do you know that some Police Officers were not in the Forces and if they were, then wont a percentage have medals for service such as Northern Ireland, Bosnia etc. Far from 'Failures' they seem to do a pretty good job on the whole.

    Oh and A.B., you need to chill out with Jon Sparta, you aint doing our cause any good by spouting out abuse, He may have to show you how 'The shells work'…..Chill bra

  19. >@A.B. Gordon
    So you've seen some police officers breaking the law and you're going to generalise it to all of them and use over the top violence?

    What's your issue with the BNP again? Are they not hardline enough for you?

    Also, have you ever seen a police horse fit someone up before, or do you see hurting them just as a means to an end?

  20. >A.B as someone who is a protester and who doesn't like the police myself I have to state that your comments are totally offensive and so off it stinks.

    There are police officers who are totally 'mad with the power' and should be sacked asap but then there are police MEN and Women (note difference) who are serving the PUBLIC the best way they can …. I have met such men and women and I commend them for being the police that they are who are here to serve us the public as they should be doing.

    If we want to change our police force then we should open up our eyes as to what is actually happening within our society … there is no point in just focusing on the one aspect as in order to change the one aspect you will need to change it all. I suggest that people look at this site and start getting the bigger picture … http://www.tpuc.org/ … perhaps then we can really start to change things which includes our police force

  21. >Just as society will always need keys so we will always need cops. The question is who do they work for and who controls them.

  22. >Sarah, just a quick point, in the website you stated in your post. Why does it use American legal definitions? In particular the definition of the office of constable?

    Is this webiste for UK users only? Only it could cause confusion.

    ABG – I cant think of anything to say. Other than how well you have exposed yourself as the right-wing, BNP voting fool you are.

  23. >A.B.G, I am an activist and agree with direct action but your comments have crossed the line in terms of your joke about the death of that lady (I don't care if she was a cop) what she was doing at the time seem to be a very good thing and I doubt you would be as brave as her. Also the stuff about police horses sounds shit as well, there is no excuse for animal abuse.

    In terms of violence against cops or anyone else. The use of force can be justified in some circumstances but vengeance is not one of them, if the police force was disbanded (after any type of revolution) then there is nothing to be gained by killing the guys and girls that made up the police, it would serve no purpose.

    I know it can be hard to keep within the bounds of responsible humour (especially if you have a black sense of humour, like me) but we need to all be more careful – this site could be shut-down and humour/off the cuff remarks have been used in court before (in SHAC case).

  24. >Have you ever thought of pointing multiple laser pointers from locations around the camp at these cherry picker cameras? It might work and would be a cheap solution. Even a well aimed mirror would give them a nice flash on a sunny day.

  25. >jonsparta yes the site is a UK site and there should be no confusion as if you actually research it yourself then you will find that the only difference between that of an American and British constable is that one swears allegiance to the queen … all are keepers of the peace. As to any other legal definitions which are American … dunno .. perhaps it just a case where it doesn't matter which country the definitions are the same .. Hope that helps

  26. >Anon 06.08. Quiet day at the nick was it? Anon 07.02, I am in agreement with you, 100%. Anon 07.57. Horse=good, police horse bad. Same with dogs. Surprise, surprise I am an animal lover. If I see a horsey I'll stroke its nose and give it sugar. If it is trying to kill/injure me I will take the fucker out. Police dogs are trained to hurt. Me. A.M 15.15 as with Anon 07.02 I agree. I thought this site would be a bit more "direct". I now see that many of you get no more exercise than chewing lentil. Many of you are plod logging in for a bit of the old propaganda. Bramshill delenda est.

  27. >Thanks Sarah. Use of the word constable is different in the USA compared to the UK. My friend in Maryland had to look very far and wide to find it in local state laws. They swear a very different oath to use in the UK. Ours is based more on individual responsibility but in their state a more collective approach is made. They use soley the word Officer, were we kind of throw them noth around.

    In answer to the ABG question, yes he is.

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