Stay Safe: Stay Anonymous!

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copsOur sister organisation, the Network for Police Monitoring, is launching their ‘Don’t End up on a Database’ campaign this month. In response to this, FITwatch will be producing a series of simple, easy-to-understand guides designed to help you defend your anonymity and stay off police databases this October 20th . We believe these steps should form an integral part of any protestors’ activities on the day, regardless of tactical or ideological preferences. We cannot mount a serious challenge to power until we are able to move and associate freely, without state intrusion.

Some of this may be new to you, some of it may be old. But we encourage all our readership to watch out for these blog posts in the run-up to the demonstration:

1) Refusing information
2) Masking up
3) Affinity groups
4) Fashion Tips for Dissidents
5) Block & Disrupt!

Please use social media to share and retweet this essential information.

Facebook profile: Fit Watch
Facebook fanpage: Fitwatch
Fitwatch on Twitter: @fitwatcher
NetPol on Twitter: @policemonitor
Hashtags: #staysafe #fightingFIT #oct20


Stay Safe: Stay Anonymous! #1 – Refusing Information

For a long time now, FITwatch have been informing people of their right to withhold personal information when the police invoke specific powers against them. However, we acknowledge that this can be difficult to remember, especially if you are coming up against the police for the first time (which we know can be quite scary). It is also somewhat of a defensive stance, that assumes police harassment as a given.
It would be irresponsible of us not to reprint this legal information again. However, we want to try it with a new and more empowering objective in mind. This time, we should all be aiming for a collective point-blank refusal of any information to the police whilst we are on the streets. The legal information provided is designed to give you an advantage in this task – to add another intellectual weapon to your arsenal when refusing information. Until we have a culture of total non-cooperation with intelligence gathering and total solidarity between each other, we will be subject to bitter repression on the streets. We have to show them that enough is enough.

Legal information:
DO give a name and address if you are arrested.  You re not legally required to, but it makes it more likely you’ll get bail if charged. No one wants to end up in prison before they are even convicted of a crime.
DO remember if you are only arrested for Breach of the Peace, this is  not a criminal offence but a preventative power of detention.  The police should release you WHEN THE THREAT OF A BREACH OF THE PEACE HAS PASSED  even if you have not given your  name and address. Given that the police abuse this power of arrest, you might prefer to  refuse to give your name, address, DNA, fingerprints and so on.  If you are physically forced to comply you may be able to sue the police at a later date.
DO be assertive if you are stopped and searched – you are not required to give your name or address, even if you want a receipt.
DO refuse information to the FIT
DO remind cops demanding your name & address under suspicion of anti-social behaviour (s.50 Police Reform Act 2002), that they need to have a ‘reasonable belief’ that YOU have caused ‘harassment alarm and distress’ (the definition of anti-social behaviour.  Ask them what you are supposed to have done.  If they cant, tell them where to go (politely, of course!).
Protest is not enough in itself to qualify for anti-social behaviour. However, this argument will hold less water if the demo has kicked off at all.

Fitwatching at Global Noise

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Improvisation with pots and pans to deal with police surveillance at the Global Noise / OccupyLSX anniversary.

Picture courtesy of rikki.

His report included the following account:

“Followed overtly by a handful of city police, and less obviously by several police vans containing back-up, a group of several hundred people set off east into the city, reclaiming the streets and junctions on their way. a small samba band including sambatage and rhythms of resistance players, added to the noise of pots and pans that people had brought along.”

“a few police looked on, one filming with a small camcorder. also watching were three characters seen before on the ‘carnival of dirt’ protest back in june. they continued to follow saturday’s protest till its end. it’s believed they work for a private intelligence company on behalf of either the city of london corporation, or other large financial bodies.”

Confronting FIT and PLO – Fitwatch workshop at the Cuts Cafe

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***IMPORTANT UPDATE 9/10/12: THE FITWATCH WORKSHOP AT CUTS CAFÉ HAS BEEN POSTPONED AT THE REQUEST OF THOSE MANAGING THE VENUE TODAY. We apologise to anyone who has been inconvenienced by this, but we were not able to find a suitable alternative venue at such short notice Watch this space for further updates! ***

Direct Action is a powerful tactic against the snooping and prying of Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) and their new sidekicks, Police Liaison Officers (PLOs). A little organised resistance can stop the FIT / PLOs from getting their ‘intel’ at crucial times.

Fitwatch and other associated tactics, such as umbrella block, have had proven success at restricting police data gathering and reducing the amount of usable ‘intelligence’ FIT and PLOs collect. This means less harassment and intimidation of protesters, and a greater degree of freedom and confidence for those involved with radical blocks.

Fitwatching isn’t a specialised action, it’s something everyone can do. And if everyone does a little bit of Fitwatching on October 20th, we can put the FIT, and the PLOs, out of business.

To find out more, and to make your contribution to stopping the FIT effective, get down to the Cuts Café at 7pm on Tuesday 9th October.


Extremism cop covered up at Hillsborough

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This man, Norman Bettison headed up the liaison unit responsible for orchestrating the lies and black propaganda that was the police response to the deaths of 96 people at Hillsborough. Attempting to cover up the police’s role in causing the tragedy, the liaison unit perpetuated false stories of drunken football fans and hooligans kicking police officers as they tried to help the wounded and dying.

He was still blaming fans behaviour on Thursday when he said it “made the job of the police in the crush outside Leppings Lane turnstiles harder than it needed to be.” Today he was forced to apologise in a desperate attempt to keep his job.

This man truly is scum.

‘Sir’ Norman Bettison, is now “one of the country’s most experienced officers and responsible for overseeing the policing of domestic extremism” according to the Guardian. He is the police national lead on the PREVENT strategy, and the vice chair of ACPO’s Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee. This puts him at the heart of state snooping against Muslim, Kurdish and Tamil communities, as well as ‘counter-terror’ strategies against LWX (left wing extremists) and anarchists.

In his PREVENT role he has shown evidence of some rather unpleasant views. When the Met was found guilty and fined in a corporate prosecution for the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, he described it as “a triumph for health and safety, a lucrative new territory for lawyers, a disaster for common sense.”

He has also claimed that that schoolchildren as young as 13 are being groomed for terrorism, said that it will “probably take 20 years” to prevent the “infection” of extremism spreading within Britain’s borders”, and blamed Muslim communities for not doing enough to prevent terrorism. He’s not averse to a bit of the high life. In July he was criticised for spending £300,000 of his force’s money on seven high performance executive cars for the ‘personal and professional use’ of senior officers, including himself, despite moaning on about police spending cuts. His crusade against ‘all forms of extremism’ has also taken him on all-expenses paid trips to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Abu Dhabi.

He should be behind bars serving a lengthy ‘deterrent sentence’ for perverting the course of justice. Sadly the worst thing likely to happen to him is that he’ll have to draw his not insubstantial cop pension a bit early and take a lucrative directorship in the rapidly expanding counter-terrorism industry.

Police Liaison Officers – the new FIT

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Police Liaison Officers are everywhere these days, constantly hanging around ‘engaging’ with protesters. They are being hailed as a new invention, but the role they carry out is not new at all. It’s just that it used to be done by cops in blue bibs called ‘FIT teams’

Back before FIT got a bad name (something we hope that Fitwatch have, at least in part, contributed to) FIT used to spend a lot of time ‘engaging’ too. Their original remit included:

• to establish a dialogue with individuals and groups to gather intelligence and information on the changing mood, dynamics, and intent of crowd;
• to monitor marshalling, assembly and dispersal areas;
• to identify prominent participants;
• to obtain information about participants and future events.

‘Prominent participants’ once identified, would then go on the CRIMINT database, and would soon find cameras shoved in their faces wherever they went.

PLO’s will work the same way, even if they dont spend all their time taking photos and writing things down in notebooks. At the DPAC protest yesterday regular PLO Chief Inspector Sonia Davis was hanging around asking ‘prominent participants’ if they were organisers of the protest, and suggesting they should hand over their ‘name and contact details’ so she could ‘stay in touch’.

Sonia is the most high ranking PLO we have seen – a little too high ranking for a role that just involves ‘being friendly’. She seems able to have a lot of time off from her role as head of operations at Hackney, as she has been seen at a lot of different demonstrations, including the counter olympics demo, critical mass, and even an EDL protest. But then she does have a background in counter-terrorism – perhaps you can draw your own conclusions.

Other PLOs have history as FIT. Take CO 89 Sergeant Holland, for example, seen with Sonia at various demos. The pics above show him in a previous incarnation – as a FIT officer at the student demonstrations in 2011.

Just because they smile a lot, and leave their cameras at home, does not mean we should accept them or engage with them any more than we would FIT teams. PLO’s are intelligence gathering, building the ever-growing databases on protesters and ‘domestic extremism’. They should be resisted in every possible way, and if possible pushed out from our demos – like the Smash EDO people succeeded in doing in Brighton.

Police use anti-terror powers to detain anarchists on return from conference in Switzerland

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The following article is reproduced from Statewatch

British counter-terrorist police at Heathrow airport last week (13 August) detained two anarchists returning from a conference in Switzerland, asked them a number of “inflammatory, irrelevant and offensive questions,” and copied information from passports, literature, cameras and mobile phones, according to a statement released by the UK Anarchist Federation. [1]

In what has been described by the Anarchist Federation as an “attempt to cause emotional upset and elicit angry or violent responses,” the police reportedly asked one of the detainees: “What would you do if someone raped your mother?”

One detainee said he told the police that:

“I went to the congress as I am an amateur journalist and write articles about activism. They saw my note book, camera and Dictaphone but they said I was lying.”

The officer allegedly said in response: “You said you are an anarchist, I’ve seen anarchists on the news, they are violent, throw Molotov cocktails and disrupt people’s lives not write articles.”

The Metropolitan Police have not denied the claims made by the two with regard to aggressive questioning, merely stating that: “No complaint has been received. Any complaint would be thoroughly investigated.”

The two were detained under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 whilst returning from St Imier in Switzerland, where thousands of people had gathered from five continents to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Anarchist International. The gathering took the form of a festival and educational event, with entertainment alongside workshops and discussions.

Counter-terrorist officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Operations unit (SO15) recorded their names, residential addresses, email addresses, DNA and fingerprints, photocopied literature and passports, and copied information from phones and cameras.

In response to questions from Statewatch regarding the databases in which this information would be stored, and whether it would be shared with Europol or the police forces of other EU member states, a police spokesperson stated that they were “not prepared to discuss specific details” about such matters.

He went on to say that: “In general terms, information recovered by the police, which supports the investigation or prosecution of a crime will be retained, and in some cases shared with other law enforcement agencies.”

However, the police’s statutory code of practice for information management gives far wider possibilities for collecting, retaining and sharing information.

Police information is that obtained and recorded for “police purposes,” which are defined as:

“Protecting life and property; preserving order; preventing the commission of offences; bringing offenders to justice; and any duty or responsibility of the police arising from common or statute law.” [2]

Under Schedule 14 of the Terrorism Act 2000, officers may supply any information they acquire through powers exercised under Schedule 7 to:

– the Secretary of State for use in relation to immigration;
– the Commissioners of Customs and Excise or a customs officer;
– to a constable;
– to the Serious Organised Crime Agency;
– or to a person specified by the order of the Secretary of State for use of a kind specified in the order.

This provides the opportunity for information gathered during stops in ports and border areas to be spread far and wide, and there are a number of agencies keen on compiling information on those involved in anarchist and left-wing politics: for example, the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU), a Metropolitan Police unit formed from a merger of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), the National Domestic Extremism Team, and the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit.

Responsibility for the NDEU was handed to the Met following the controversy over the activities of Mark Kennedy, who for seven years infiltrated protest movements across Europe on behalf of a number of police forces, although primarily at the behest of the NPOIU. [3]

The European Police Office, Europol, also maintains a file (under the name Dolphin) on individuals and groups it considers to be anarchist, extremist, or terrorist in nature. [4] Europol is currently seeking new ways of making it easier for Member States to feed information into its databases in order to improve its intelligence operations. [5]

During their detention, the two also allege that they were “told that their normal rights did not apply” and were forced to sign forms “waiving their rights to silence and a solicitor.”

The police’s spokesperson responded to this allegation by saying that:

“Anyone examined or detained under Schedule 7 Port and Border Controls of the Terrorism Act 2000 is provided with written details of their responsibilities and rights, and the powers available to officers.”

While there are some grounds under Schedule 7 for persons to have their basic procedural rights respected, they are limited. In order for an individual to have a person informed of their situation and to consult a solicitor, the place in which they are detained must be designated as a police station by the Secretary of State.

If the Secretary of State has not made such a designation, then the right to silence, a phone call, and a solicitor do not apply. Refusing to answer questions; supply identity or any other requested documents; or comply with searches of person and property is a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment of up to three months, a fine of £2,500, or both. [6]

This is not the first time that anarchists have been the focus of counter-terrorist police. Just over a year ago, a local bulletin issued by police in Westminster advised its readers that:

“Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. Any information relating to anarchists should be reported to your local people.” [7]

The Anarchist Federation informed Statewatch that the police “said they were planning to stop other people,” although so far no other reports have come to light.

[1] ‘Anarchist detained by counter-terrorist police on return from Swiss conference’, Anarchist Federation, 16 August 2012
[2] National Centre for Policing Excellence, ‘Code of practice on the management of police information’, July 2005, p.7
[3] Eveline Lubbers, ‘HMIC’s ’empty’ review leaves little hope for robust scrutiny of undercover cops’, SpinWatch, 28 March 2012
[4] Andrej Hunko, ‘Abolish international databases on anarchy!’, 5 June 2012
[5] Europol, ‘Work Programme 2013′, 11 July 2012
[6] Schedule 7, ‘Port and border controls’, Terrorism Act 2000, para. 18
[7] Robert Booth, ‘Anarchists should be reported, advises Westminster anti-terror police’, The Guardian, 31 July 2011

Spycops practices circumvent the law says Surveillance Commissioner.

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The Surveillance Commissioner has attacked police for circumventing the law on covert surveillance by building personal profiles of targets from ‘open’ internet sources. In a report published last month, the Surveillance Commission said that the increasingly used practice of processing internet data to build a profile of individuals or groups meets the definition of covert surveillance and should not be taking place without formal authorisations.

The report findings could have implications for a number of policing bodies, including the National Domestic Extremism Unit which trawls internet material from blogs and social networking sites to build profiles of activists and protest groups.

The report stated:

My Commissioners have expressed concern that some research using the Internet may meet the criteria of directed surveillance. This is particularly true if a profile is built by processing data about a specific individual or group of individuals without their knowledge.
It is inappropriate to define surveillance solely by reference to the device used; the act of surveillance is the primary consideration and this is defined by RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 section 48(2-4) (monitoring, observing listening and recording by or with the assistance of a surveillance device). The Internet is a surveillance device as defined by RIPA section 48(1). Surveillance is covert “if, and only if, it is conducted in a manner that is calculated to ensure that persons who are subject to the surveillance are unaware that it is, or may be taking place.” Knowing that something is capable of happening is not the same as an awareness that it is or may be taking place.

The Surveillance Commissioners report, labelled as ‘highly significant’ in a short technology piece in the Guardian, has otherwise attracted remarkably little media attention. As well as the revelations about police profiling, it also makes several other astounding criticisms of covert surveillance practices.

The authorisation of undercover policing in domestic extremism

The report criticises what is called the ‘lead force model’. This is the procedure by which an undercover cop employed by the Domestic Extremism Unit, but deployed in South Wales, for example, has to be authorised by the Chief Constable of South Wales Police. The Chief Constable of South Wales Police, however, will have very little information available to him, and will be unable to question any aspect of the deployment.

The Surveillance Commissioner states this means the authorisation of undercover officers sent to spy on political groups is, in effect, a rubber stamping exercise, and suggests that it would be open to effective judicial challenge if anyone were to bring a case.

“The problem with this approach…is that the relevant authorising officer may not know the history of the deployment or its future plans; he is presented with a fait accompli where a refusal to authorise may have wider implications.”
“I do not accept the argument that the lack of case law means that current processes are necessarily correct and compliant with legislation. There are, no doubt, cases in which undercover processes could have been effectively challenged before a trial judge but, for one reason or another, no challenge was made so no judicial ruling was given.”

Retention of data

The Surveillance Commission accuses the police of failing to make ‘much effort’ to destroy personal information obtained covertly from people who were not the intended targets. This so-called ‘collateral intrusion’ into the lives people who have may themselves done nothing unlawful, is of no value to the investigation, but data obtained in this way appears to be routinely retained by the police.

“I do not detect much effort by some authorising officers to make adequate arrangements for the destruction of product which was the result of collateral intrusion or not of value to the investigation or not properly authorised. The default solution appears to be in favour of retention.”

Monitoring the movement of vehicles

Tracking vehicles is a form of covert surveillance, which requires authorisation. But the report suggests that the police are by-passing the proper procedures to track vehicles using a combination of Automatic Number Plate Readers (ANPR) and the Police National Computer (PNC). This means that an undisclosed number of vehicles may have been tracked by the police over the last year.

“I am less happy to discover that the proper ANPR authorisation process can be circumvented using the Police National Computer. I do not desire to prevent the use of this very useful tool, but the ease with which ANPR can be used for directed surveillance demands that authorisation processes should not be circumvented.”

Sharing information with private covert organisations.

The report raises questions on the nature of co-operation between public authorities and private investigators, bailiffs and other private sector organisations which carry out surveillance. The report hints that there is a growing tendency for public authorities to engage private sector firms to carry out covert surveillance on their behalf, with little regulatory oversight.

“There is also an increased use of non-public enterprises which may use covert techniques…I lack the capability to oversee an increasing number of entities and most will operate without my oversight. Some of these entities conduct covert surveillance but have a close relationship with one or more public authorities. Public authorities should be very careful in their cooperation with private enterprises and should have in place arrangements which clarify responsibility and liability in the event of challenge.”

The Office of the Surveillance Commissioner is not renowned for its radicalism. This is, after all, an establishment organisation, and when a body of this type to make such strident criticisms of covert policing practices it suggests things are pretty bad. What happens next, however, is another matter. The Surveillance Commissioner has an inspection role, not an enforcement one, and realistically can do little to change police behaviour that doesn’t want to be changed.

Policing units such as the National Domestic Extremism Unit, which conducts covert surveillance and deploys undercover officers to spy on political activity, operate behind a thick veil of secrecy. Freedom of Information requests are routinely refused, and the move from ACPO to the Metropolitan police has done nothing to increase their transparency. The public are not permitted to know the way in which they operate, the extent of their role, or even what their annual budget is. With so little in the way of effective public accountability, it is little wonder they feel empowered to flout the law and circumvent authorisation.

Welcome to the Future, Today.

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Critical Mass Kettle

For those of us who have watched London 2012 with a keen eye from its inception, we have been alarmed by the extent to which it appeared to be just a ‘festival of social control’.

Yesterday’s heavy-handed policing of the monthly Critical Mass bike ride  was a chilling confirmation of this. Cyclists who refused to cancel their monthly awareness-raising bike ride in the face of the Olympic opening spectacle were kettled, detained, attacked, arrested, herded onto commandeered London buses and sent to Suburban stations (under the watchful eye of FIT photographer Gavin Paul). At around the time of publishing this article, some are still waiting to be processed at Croydon police station after being captive on a bus all night, others have just left Charing Cross police station but with no bike and no keys. Reports are also coming in of a total lapse in the Police’s duty of care, with many people being held on the buses with entirely inadequate food provision, in direct contravention of the PACE Codes of Practice.

These attacks cannot go unnoticed. We must assert our right to our own streets even in the most dire oppression. When simply assembling in public becomes worthy of such inhuman treatment by the state, we have to fight back. Anyone who thinks that, once given all these extra resources and powers, the state is going to willingly surrender them is deluding themselves. We must make ourselves ungovernable if we have any hope of asserting our freedom.

It is with this in mind that we urge people to get down to the Counter-Olympic Network demonstration in East London today. After yesterdays show of force, just simply being present on the streets of Olympic-clampdown East London has taken on an almost insurgent form. We must show our solidarity with all those who had their liberty and personal safety compromised last night and ensure the state doesn’t get away with it again.

Solidarity is our weapon!

‘The People’s Games’ Assembles 12 noon, Saturday 28 July 2012
Mile End Park, East London (nearest tube: Mile End)

The Most Dangerous Armed Gang in the Country

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Time to Bite Back
Time to Bite Back

A mini-rant from a few FITwatchers – not necessarily representative of the views of the organisation as whole.

On Thursday, 19th July, killer cop PC Simon Harwood was acquitted of manslaughter at Southwark Crown Court for his role in the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests in 2009. Despite a lengthy police record for violent misconduct, including a racially aggravated assault of a 14 year old girl, Harwood was found innocent. Presumably, this had something to do with the judge refusing to allow his previous misconduct to be submitted to the court. Prior to the trial, dodgy pathologists producing dogy post-mortems were contributing to the media fog of misinformation and another inquest found Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed – yet today, his killer walks free.

It is tempting to view this as another miscarriage of justice; just another ‘bad apple’ slipping through the net, another injustice among many we have to endure in the age of austerity. But it goes further than that. Brazenly, the state has revealed its inherent violence. We cannot overlook the lengths to which the establishment is going to in maintaining the status quo and normalising excessive social control. Recent events – the cuts, bank & Olympic bailouts, killer cops, financial fraud and the heavy sentencing that those who fight back must endure – demonstrate the contempt with which the elite hold our lives and liberty. We can no longer view these aspects of our daily lives in isolation – they form a bigger picture, and it looks bleak.

From an early age, we are imbued with a morality and deference that is held up to be universal and virtuous. Many of us continue to hold onto this even though we may identify as people who are activists or agents of social change in some way. But this morality is nothing more than a means of ensuring our conformity to the violence of our everyday lives – clearly, there is one law for them and another for us.

We need to re-assess our values and reclaim our means of resistance.  We need to have a healthy respect for a diversity of tactics. We need to recognise the potential of our solidarity as a weapon. We need to view our inaction as dangerous. We need to recognise that it is not those in face masks that pose a threat to our demonstrations, but those in riot gear. Because, from now on, the state has issued its’ footsoldiers with a licence to kill and made a declaration of war on a potentially rebellious population. Regardless of whether a small percentage of the population vote every five years or not, we are alarmed by the authoritarian trajectory of our political system – it needs to be disrupted and brought down before it gets even more out of hand.

On Thursday, a demonstration was called in response to the verdict. Whilst we appreciate the initiative taken in organising it at such short notice, it was essentially poorly attended given the seriousness of the situation. Far more people expressed outrage on social networking sites the following day, than on the streets the day before. Whilst these sites are useful tools for organising, they are not the be-all and end-all. We need to transfer the rage from the Internet to the streets. We need to be able to respond to critical incidents with haste and determination. And most importantly, we need to act in solidarity with each other.

Remember: the cops are not your friends. They are highly unlikely to ‘join’ your protest, no matter how much they are getting cut.

Wise up & act up!

Total Policing means Total War.

A call to kettle FIT and Police Liaison in Brighton

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

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.