FIT at Climate Camp

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19th – 24th August, Climate Camp targeted (principally) RBS in Edinburgh.
FIT officers were floating around throughout (my first encounter with them being at St Andrew’s Square in the city centre) but acting in a much more laid back manner than on so many previous occasions.

Both Scots and Met FIT officers were observed (between whom there seemed to be a certain rivalry) though generally absent their ubiquitous long lens cameras, these only seeming to be brandished when things started to become “interesting”.

Rather disturbingly they were all amazingly chatty… to an almost embarrassing extent. Clearly recognising me from many earlier encounters as a photographer/observer rather than one of the more confrontational fitwatchers they seemed almost determined to “buddy up” as it were, even posing for me to take pics occasionally!

In some sense this was hugely amusing and I found myself wondering whether they truly believed that I was so naive that I’d be fooled by this most recent tactic of theirs.

I must say though, it made a rather pleasant change to the sort of encounters I’ve come to expect. Though this new (although not entirely new, for lesser attempts in this direction have been observed before) “friendliness” didn’t prevent a couple of FIT officers from following a bus (in an unmarked vehicle) from the campsite into the city when a bunch of Greenwash Guerillas decided to visit a few RBS branches there.

In addition to FIT a number of Evidence Gatherers also put in an appearance, particularly on the couple of occasions when things started getting a bit tense at some of the Camp “gates”.

More info about FIT at the Scotland Climate Camp here.

3 thoughts on “FIT at Climate Camp

  1. I suppose it depends what you mean by “fraternise”. Talking to the police is a VERY dangerous game, however it depends what is said and in what context. I will ask for their numbers, ask who the new one is take the piss a bit and generally occupy their time so they leave others in peace. I will always intervene if I see another activist pulled over and try and defuse the situation. Personally for me I find that this is less likely to get me nicked and suits me better than standing there grim faced and miserable. I accept that there is a downside to this, the police know who I am, where I live etc but it is dangerous to have a culture where it is seen as acceptable to chat to the cops apart from functionality, others who are currently anonymous could give away information about themselves for example on a recent London demo a cop came over all chatty and dropped some names immediately and one guy said “oh I don’t know them I’m new”, bingo the cop had identified a new activist causing others to jump in and politely tell the cop to stop fishing for info, very cleverly done though, very sneaky.

  2. Fair point Lynn. I knew guys that were in The Maze/Long Kesh and one theory was “treat them (plod/screws) like the scum they are”. Pretty one sided in terms of conversation! However one republican P.O.W chatted away, made them tea etc. After a few weeks he had been told who had kids, times for holidays and all sorts of useful information. As far as I am concerned when it comes to police the only good one is a dead one.

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