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Saturday, 28 June 2008

Call out From SHAC for Fitwatchers at National Demo

It's the SHAC national march and rally in a few weeks, time to make ourselves heard and to show Huntingdon that SHAC will never back down. Even if corrupt lawyers and judges think it necessary to trample on our rights.

Based on the escalation of police activity recently as seen on the recent anti-war marches and the smash EDO carnival it can be assumed that Foward Intelligence (FIT) will be out and about intimidating protesters for this march too.

On that basis it would be good if we could get some people out and about documenting the police activity and if necessary confronting it head on by blocking their abilities to take photos with signs and banners.

If you don't know what someone from FIT looks like just look for the overweight coppers hanging around with the ridiculously oversized cameras.

The march and rally will be taking place in Peterborough July 12th meeting 11am at the Stanley recreation ground, with the protest heading off to the gates of HLS after the march.

For further information see - http://www.shac.net/National2008/index.html

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

..and one new name


Allow me to introduce
ZD 45,
Darin James Birmingham.

A few FIT pics from the Bush demo 15th June










For future reference:
CW4036 with photog; YB 180; YE 88; ZT174; CW3055; CW 1864
From article on Indymedia here:

Friday, 20 June 2008

Local Immigration Teams to be Introduced Across the UK

Apologies for this not being directly related to FIT... but I can foresee FIT's remit being extended even further!

Abstract:

"New Local Immigration Teams are being introduced across the UK, alongside Local Crime Partnerships with police, as part of a major refocus of the work of the UK Border Agency (UKBA), Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced today. Around 7,500 UKBA officers and staff up and down the UK will be reorganized into 70-80 Local Immigration Teams and given a clear mission to focus on local immigration crime...

Each local team will enforce the full range of immigration laws, concentrating on intelligence gathering, the disruption of illegal activity, tracking down and detaining immigration offenders and failed asylum seekers, and tackling illegal working. The new teams will work shoulder-to-shoulder with police, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and local partner agencies, in a new series of partnerships announced today. Staff in Birmingham, Croydon, Glasgow, Liverpool and Sheffield will also fingerprint foreign nationals applying for their ID cards from November this year."

You can read the full article here

New Names for The Collection


A couple of familiar faces we know have names for:

ZD4 - Joe Ross













And here he is with his partner, ZD57, Glenn Williams.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Friday, 13 June 2008

Fitwatch at Anti Bush Demo

Last week, the Carnival Against the Arms Trade saw large numbers of people effectively tackling FIT.

In Brighton, we had them on the run. Now let's see if we can do it in London.

Join in Fitwatch tactics at the anti-Bush demo, Sunday 15th June, 5pm, Parliament Square.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

"You Can Stick Your FIT Team Up Your Arse!" - a personal account of fitwatching at the Carnival Against The Arms Trade

Smash EDO's Carnival Against the Arms Trade was one of the best actions I've been to in a long time for a variety of reasons. It was heartening to see so many people starting to confront police cameras, and even more empowering to see so many police lines broken.

I've confined my highlights to fitwatching for the purpose of the blog, but this is not intended to take away from any of the other wonderful things that happened.

Attempting to keep the Evidence Gathering Teams away from the very impressive looking bloc at the start of the march was a lot of fun. We literally had them on the run. By the end, we simply had to approach them with our banners and flags, and they'd leg it down the road. They spent the majority of the march unable to get clear shots, and people on the bloc thanked us for keeping them away.

The anti-fit chanting from the march was brilliant, and acted as solidarity for fitwatchers. It can often feel slightly isolating being outside the main mass of people, and this made us feel as though we were still part of the march.

When we arrived, an EG team thought they could escape us by climbing a hill. They were quickly surrounded, and had to beat a hasty retreat. It was a lovely sight to see the number of people pouring up the hill after them.

Two petty (or is that pretty?) sights from the day - Steve Discombe losing the plot, screaming and swinging his baton, and Ian Skivens getting splattered in white paint. Unfortunately, I didn't witness the latter, but have been reliably informed it was a sight to behold.

I don't want this post to sound facile, and I know it's not about having fun. But being empowered after so many years of them calling the shots is fun. The tables are turning. We are coming back. It'll take a while, nothing ever happens overnight. But slowly, we will build a new, effective street movement, a movement which will not be pushed around by the cops, a movement that will not tolerate harassment and intimidation. A movement ready and willing to fight back.

Fitwatch will not do this by itself, but it is part of changing the psychology of demonstrations. I'm bored of hearing "Whose Streets? Our Streets?" being chanted as the cops pen us in. Whose streets? Let's think about that one, and let's reclaim those streets.

"No Justice! No Peace! Fuck the police! " Come on then...anyone coming to the anti-Bush demo on 15th?...

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

FIT in Skegness!

From the Skegness Standard:

PC Terry Standbrook...

"A NEW community beat manager has been appointed for Spilsby, Wainfleet and Burgh le Marsh...

...He is a trained tutor and looks after probationary officers when they begin their careers. He is also a fully trained member of the Police Support Unit and Forward Intelligence Team."


Read the full article here

Monday, 9 June 2008

More pics from Brighton

A few more shots from the Carnival Against the Arms Trade where I've managed to decipher collar numbers. These all appear to be local intelligence-gatherers rather than FIT proper...

CC728 EGT
_G104848

CS5 EGT (with camera)
_MG_5551 _MG_5529

CC268 EGT and CP581 EGT
_MG_5509

CC728 EGT on the right
_MG_5567

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Prosecution finally admits defeat in climate camp fitwatch trial

The case brought against two fitwatchers for obstructing FIT teams at the Climate Camp in August 2007 finally collapsed at Uxbridge magistrates court last week.

The two defendants had been charged with obstructing a police officer – despite the fact that they were alleged to have obstructed a civilian police cameraman.

Eventually, ten months after the initial arrest, after disclosure rows and threats of judicial review, and after the personal intervention of CO11 officers to try and keep the case on track, the prosecution had to admit defeat. They accepted in court last Friday that they had no evidence to present, and they withdrew the case.

This means that despite fitwatchers having disrupted a number of their surveillance activities, and despite bringing four activists to trial, the police have not so far been able to gain a single conviction.

I have a feeling that irritates the hell out of the FIT team.

And it was nice to have a victory even after the decision in the high court case of Wood.

There’s been a fair bit of discussion in the comment section of the blog about this case, which on the face of it, doesn’t look like it’ll be much help in maintaining our 100% record of acquittals in court.

The case – and it was a pretty weak one in my opinion - was brought by Liberty and CAAT, and as it stands establishes that FIT surveillance is lawful, proportionate and justified, and does not interfere with an individual’s right to privacy. Nice one Liberty, good work.

The case will go to appeal to the House of Lords, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens then.

The full Wood judgement, if anyone wants to read it, is here
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2008/1105.html

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Carnival Against the Arms Trade

Wednesday 4th June, Brighton. Carnival Against the Arms Trade, tying in with the local smashEDO campaign.
I'll leave it to another fitwatcher to do a more complete write-up, but what I really do have to comment on is the really impressive fitwatcher activity at the event!

Local intelligence-gatherers CP581 EGT and CC268 EGT...
_MG_5705 _MG_5504

CM440. A Brighton favourite apparently...
_MG_5493

Left: CSP621 and CC5484. Right: 2058 and CSP621 ...
_MG_5475 _MG_5472

Load of pics of the event, including more cop shots, here