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Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Sergeant Gerry Parker, Z8349, Essex FIT / FSU


Gerry harasses Essex youth as part of Operation Leopard.



Gerry is also very concerned about climate change.


Thursday, 17 July 2008

The Greenwash Guerillas

On 16th July the Greenwash Guerillas staged a demo outside London's Business Design Centre which was hosting the Guardian Climate Change Summit, sponsored by e.on

I was collared for a stop & search and was "advised" that the cops would be policing the event "rigorously".

So where were all the FIT?

One identifiable FIT officer (N1 340), liaising with a couple of other - what looked like - wannabe FITs... or absent the so-familiar yellow/blue jackets?

Whatever...

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Monday, 7 July 2008

Fitwatch: The Story So Far

It's been just over a year since we started a concerted campaign against the FIT Teams, so we thought it was time we celebrated some of our achievements.

FIT no longer feel safe on our demonstrations. According to their own statements, they have felt "intimidated" by our tactics, and we have at times, rendered their intelligence gathering operations "ineffective". We have seen several demonstrations where the cameraman has had to be "withdrawn", and we have shown we can do this even when our numbers are small.

In June last year, I wrote "The cops are so comfortable outside our meetings they think they don’t need back up. Four cops and a photographer feel safe outside our meetings." This is no longer the case. There were ten officers at the London Fete meeting, and they called in a van of TSG to back them up.

Despite numerous arrests, they have yet to secure a conviction. Trials have seen judicial review threatening senior crown prosecutors wheeled out to unsuccessfully take on unrepresented defendants. Evidence has included statements from Superintendents, and the printing out of the contents of this blog.

On the streets, we have been part of a general trend in changing the psychology of demos. Increasingly, people are refusing to be pushed around, and more willing to take on the police. Forcing a photographer to withdraw from the crowd is like pushing through a police line - it shows resistance can be successful. It shows we can change the dynamic of a situation.

We've got a long way to go, but after years of subjugation, we've started fighting back, and the effects are visible. Let's keep up the pressure and see what we can achieve in another year.

From Zero Tolerance to Zero Arrests

Last weekend's London Fete/No Borders protest in Croydon saw a tough new practice enforced in public order policing - a zero arrest policy. Well, tough if you're a cop anyway. The assembled TSG and FIT on the ground were none too happy with this innovative tactic, and instead responded with the time honoured boot and fist approach.

However, the assembled crowd, whilst small, showed they would not be pushed around by these bullies. Early in the demo, whilst we were still in the centre of Croydon handing out papers, the cops tried to bring out a photographer. Within seconds, he was swamped with people waving banners, pieces of paper and hands in front of the camera rendering him completely ineffective. The FIT were forced into a situation where they either sparked a confrontation in a busy shopping centre, or they withdrew the camera. They chose the path of least resistance, and left to jeers from Fitwatchers.

Later, away from the hordes of Saturday shoppers, they became more violent, both in keeping the march off the road, and in defending the cameraman. However, the crowd were not subjugated, and pushed back, fighting against this intimidation.

No arrests were made, and despite being drastically outnumbered, many people were left feeling empowered by the experience.

Congratulations CO11 - we love your zero arrest policy - long may it continue!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Fitwatch at G8 protests

4th July - Japanese Embassy - 12pm - 101-104 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7JT

5th July - London Fete Against the G8 - 12pm - Croydon Central, North End, Close to the entrance of Whitgift ShoppingCentre


FIT on the rampage - Carnival For Full Enjoyment, Edinburgh, G8 2005.



When writing a call against police tactics for an anti G8 protest, it would be very easy to concentrate on repression. Most G8 protests have, after all, attracted widespread repression.
However, we thought it would be nicer to focus on the last major G8 protests in the UK, and the memory of cameraman Neal Sinclair lying face down in a rose garden.
Join us for similar rosy memories, and be a thorn in the side of the FIT team.
Fitwatch is a tactic to fight the FIT by all means necessary.
Anyone can fitwatch, and it can be as confrontational or pacific as you want.