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Monday, 28 January 2008

Police March FIT pics

Update to my last post... now sorted through all the pics and extracted those with clear shots of numbers. Not quite as many as I would have liked (originally had quite a few more, but they weren't FIT!)...

CO 2558
CO 5090
CO 5466
SX 32

You can see them all here

Fitwatchers are of course welcome to use them.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Fit Watch Delay Start of Police March

Okay – maybe for only five minutes – but at least we got to obstruct 20,000 cops, which might be a record.

Fit Watch set out to turn the tables on the cops at the Police Federation march and give them a taste of their own medicine. It wasn't out most organised action by any stretch of the imagination, and there are many areas to improve, but we did manage to annoy a large number of cops with our prop and piss taking (as can be evidenced from the number of cops now responding to our blog.

Whilst some members took photos, others handed out leaflets explaining that there was a Section 14 in place and they should be sensible and move into a pen. However, we ran out of leaflets within minutes due to the blind obedience of cops who saw the Met police logo and took them without question.


The flyer, however, was wrong. We meant to impose conditions on the march under Section 12, not 14 of the Public Order Act. But like any good police direction, we were making it up as we went along.


Making it up was certainly what the cops who arrested the two fit watchers were doing. Whilst we were originally arrested for breaching the commissioner's regulations for standing at the front of the march, it took an hour of discussions at West End Central, (including a few huddles outside of the CCTV ed custody suite), and a promise from the custody sergeant that they “would find something”, before they came up with the heinous crime of highway obstruction.

After ten and a half hours in custody, an interview which included statements from fifteen cops (not including the ever present FIT team, whom we'd of course want to give evidence in court), we have been bailed to return to West End Central in March. We are challenging the police to prosecute us. They may not like us, but is it worth the expense of getting fifteen cops (including the Chief Inspector) into court for highway obstruction?

Furthermore, the original confrontation arose because a Fit Watcher wanted to join the march and the police stopped her. They claimed (and this is reiterated in their notebooks) that the march was a closed event and was only open to members of the police federation, their families and friends. This contradicts the statements from the police federation who claimed “we didn't ask him to leave because whether we like it or not we live in a democracy”, when challenged about the presence of a BNP leader at the front of their march.

The growth of Fit Watch is giving a clear message that people are no longer prepared to tolerate repressive policing.

Fit Watch will be holding a public meeting on Saturday 8th March, 2pm, at LSE.
More details will be published soon – but should be a good chance for people to get together and discuss how we resist current policing tactics.

And, a special invitation to those lovely officers in the Forward Intelligence Team. You are cordially invited to attend this meeting (standing outside, of course), as it will give us an ideal opportunity to start the day with a practical session.

Who's Lying? The police or the police.

The scum can't have it both ways. Who's lying? Take your pick.


Either the police federation's spokesperson Metin Enver was lying when he said “Some of my colleagues saw we had the BNP Mayoral candidate with us. The one thing we want to make clear is we didn't invite him. It wasn't a closed march. He chose to attend by his own accord which is his right in a democracy. It is disappointing if anyone chose to join the march for their own agenda.”


Or the Chief Inspector who was Bronze Command for the police march was lying when he asked for a Fit Watch member to be removed on the grounds that it was an “invitation only event, open only to police federation members, their families and friends.


So, here's the challenge Mr Policeman. When we answer bail in March, I dare you to take us to court. We can then cross examine the Chief Inspector and find out whether he lied, or whether the cops were happy to invite far right scum to take part in their demonstration.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

fitwatch on the cop march

I was looking forward to spending a happy couple of hours on the police demo giving cops a hard time for claiming rights to demonstrate that they deny to others. For once the police were not doing everything they could to ID and photograph the marchers. They were not building up their database of ‘dissenters’. And they were not harassing or intimidating organisers. It was a far cry from how the normal public are treated when they seek to demonstrate.

But things sadly didn’t go to plan. Apparently I failed to follow the ‘Directions of the Police Commissioner’ which seems to be a posh way of saying ‘you must do as you are told’ And I ended up by seeing a lot more of the inside of a police cell than I did the march. No doubt our cop spammers will find that hilarious, and I’m glad to give them a laugh. But I was very sorry not to be able to spend more time with what seems to be a growing contingent of fitwatch supporters. It was great to see people turning out to support us.

I’ve not heard too much yet about how things went after the start of the march – contributions welcome to this blog. I have heard that Class War made sure that all of the cops on the march got a bit of unwelcome attention and some home truths, which is nice to hear.

Big thanks are in order to the fella who produced for us some very stylish black fitwatch bandanas, which were worn as facemasks to good effect, confusing the hell out of the police, who genuinely couldn’t tell who was doing what when, and frustrating the FIT photographer. There’s no doubt about it, a group of people with similar clothing and facemasks makes it damn hard for ‘intelligence gatherers’ to do their job. [With luck we may be able soon to offer the opportunity to acquire these stylish fashion accessories – in return for a small donation to the (presently non-existent) fitwatch funds. Watch this space.]

Admittedly we had small numbers on Wednesday, and what we did won’t shake the world. (Although I sincerely hope that most of those turning up had more fun than I did.) But something is better than nothing, and fitwatch is undoubtedly growing in support and activity. Bigger and better things to come.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Police Pay protest march

Load of pics here but they're unsorted at the moment. Soon as I get time I'll extract all the FIT-specific ones, tag them with appropriate numbers, and post another link to the collection.

As ever, fitwatchers can use whatever ones they want.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Fit Watch Prop for police march




Metropolitan Police Service

New Scotland Yard

Broadway

LondonSW1H 0BG

020 7230 1212


Dear Sir/Madam
Under Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986, we are imposing conditions on this demonstration.


Whilst we respect your right to peacefully demonstrate, we fear that due to the nature of this protest, there is a risk of public disorder.


We have provided you with a pen in which you are welcome to continue your demonstration. It is a little out of the way, and of no significance to what you're protesting about, but we are committed to facilitating peaceful protest.


Should you fail to comply, you will make yourself liable to arrest, and reasonable force may be used against you (kicking, punching, pressure pointing, asps, cs gas etc).


Come along, move along now. Be sensible. We don't understand why you have to be so difficult. You're not achieving anything by this behaviour. Go and stand in the pen and you can protest all day. Remain here, and you will be arrested, and who will see your protest then?


Alternatively, we will let you leave the area one at a time, but not until you've been searched, had your photograph taken and given us your name and address for our ever expanding database.


Yours faithfully,
Fit Watch
http://www.fitwatch.blogspot.com/

“It is a striking historical peculiarity that allows police to enjoy broad popular support, and even think of themselves as heroes, when it used to be that they were well known as scum and lackeys of the ruling class.”
How Nonviolence Protects the State
Peter Gelderloos

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Fit Up the Cops: It's Pay Back Time

January 23rd
CORRECTON
meet 9:30 - Tyburn Pub - Edgware Road (nearest tube Marble Arch).

On January 23rd, the police will be marching through London demandinghigher pay.

Present will be violent trouble makers and threats to publicorder, including veterans from J18, Mayday and G8.

Fit Watch are determined that this small minority will not wreck havocthrough Central London.
We will therefore be providing an overtsurveillance presence with the aim of deterring anti social behaviour.

The cops have been violently crushing our struggles for years. They areviolent thugs who don’t deserve any money, let alone more money.

Let’s show they’re not welcome on our streets.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Profiling the Police

In preperation for our overt surveillance presence at the police march, we think it's about time we started our own profiles of the FIT. The FIT are constantly collecting profile information about us, including friends, the ways in which we respond to different situations, what winds us up, makes us upset and how they can get to us.

It's time we reveresed the tactics and compiled our own information resources on what makes these cops tick.

Any information will be gratefully received and used for Fit Watch briefings. Whilst we are happy to receive any information, we are always particularly interested in information on our old favourites such as Discombe, Skivens, Wettone, Knowles, Pritchard and all the photographers.