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Policewatch Films

Monday, 4 May 2009

FIT Teams Shut Down in Brighton

FIT teams have been forced to retreat from the Smasho EDO/ITT demo in Brighton. Due to a large number of participants engaging in Fitwatch tactics, they are not able to get any footage.

People have physically pushed, shoved and kicked them out of the demo. A mobile CCTV van was blocked and forced to drive away. Two FIT officers trying to stop someone from doing graffiti were pushed away.

This shows what can happen when we collectively resist our oppression. We no longer have to be passive victims to this policing - we can fight back and we can shut them down.

Congratulations to all those involved in Brighton and good luck for the rest of the day.


Polly S Mann said...

Sounds good. Pushing them out of the way without getting a truncheon in the teeth? For how long will this be possible?

Jay said...

Not all police are bad, not all protesters are bad...

Sadly I work in the security industry and I have been injuried whilst stewarding a "what was claimed" to be a peaceful protest, I got assualted by one of the protestors, after I informed them that I was there to do and job and stop protestors entering the road I was manning... I did not use any force at all.. Shame I regret that now.. If I know I was gonna be hurt, I would have taken a different stance..

In the light of day, if you are going to kick off at a protest (and 99% of people want to go, have their say and leave), then expect fire with fire.

Thanks all..


scunnert said...

Rent a Cop Jay says:

'Sadly I work in the security industry and I have been injuried whilst "stewarding" ... a peaceful protest ...'

Who were you working for and who gave you the authority to be a "steward" and deny folks access to the road you were "manning"?

"Sadly" you sound like a knob. You should also be aware of the presence of agent provocateurs - usually cops or folks working in the "security industry".

gene hunt said...

Scunnert what an intelligent argument you make in your posts, im surprised more people dont follow your little movement with such eloquent prose as those which you spout.

Anonymous said...

Scunnert, I've seen Marshall's provided by organisers being attacked by some of their own fuckwit 'peaceful' demonstrators at the Israeli embassy because they dared to try and stop them from throwing cones at our lines. Peaceful protest MY ARSE, just like today. Thanks for proving our point that you lot can't be trusted to demonstrate without frightening people, causing damage and attacking Police officers who are there doing a job. There were less than a thousand there compared to close to 30k for G20 so here we have but glimpse of what would have happened if you guys have your own way. See you fuckers at the next one, I'll be one of the tall blokes in riot gear stopping you and your 'peaceful' mates from going anywhere remotely damageable.

FIT Watch said...

Jay - often stewards have been known to do the job of the cops - including pointing out people they don't like the look of. No one owns a demonstration. I've organised many protests, but I don't expect people to do what I tell them to do on the streets. You have no authority to tell people where to go, or to tell them how to express their dissent.

Again, the stewards at the Israeli Embassy were not representative of the mood of the people there, but trying to enforce a "party line" decided by hierachical organisations. If people are trying to reach the Embassy and stewards are stopping them before the cops, then they run a risk of being injured. It'd be niave to suggest anything else.

Anon 12:11, have you actually read any of our blog? We are not the defend peaceful protest campaign, we actively support militant confrontational protest as an effective means of achieving meaningful social change.

And good luck stopping us. It didn't sound like you had much success today.

scunnert said...

Anon said:

"Thanks for proving "our" point that you lot can't be trusted to demonstrate without frightening people, causing damage and attacking Police officers who are there doing a job."

I wonder who "our" is and what's the point again? However, I seem to remember seeing video footage of thugs in uniforms wading into a crowd at the climate camp who had their hands up and were chanting: "this is not a riot." Maintaining order my arse. That lot were out for some sport with little hippie chicks and kids.

Don't try to pass the buck here - the cops were/are the thugs out for a little mayhem. You eloquently prove that point when you rant: "See you fuckers at the next one, I'll be one of the tall blokes in riot gear ...'.

Quite possibly, though, you'll be the one with the bandana around your face throwing rocks at your colleagues in uniform. Nothing like a little agro to get the juices flowing eh?


scunnert said...

Gene Hunt I don't have a movement - little or otherwise. What's your game then" You come across as a wanna be poet, intellectual poseur. GTF.

scunnert said...

I do so enjoy these little chats.

Anonymous said...

Let's see how much footage the FIT did gather as the post event arrests begin.
Good effort at shutting EDO - I don't think you even saw it over the weekend!

Anonymous said...

The FITS got some great footage thanks.You may not have seen the FITs - but they saw you.

Anonymous said...

what a bunch of losers, all about kicking off at the cops and then whining like kids when they get a knock back from the old bill, this bunch never noticed when everyone else grew up, next time they get nicked they should put them in a ball crawl, that'll entertain their childish minds for long enough.

PC Plastic Fuzz said...

Lifted from my blog:

The Argus News website reported that before the protest/*riot, the Chief Constable of Sussex Police warned all his officers to behave (patronising much?). The tactics for this protest were clearly very relaxed in comparison to the G20 tactics. I had a look through the YouTube footage today and the pictures on flikr, nothing very interesting. You hear lots of police saying “please can you get back, please, thank you”. While the protesters scream swear-words and other venomous things, while missiles, smoke bombs and paint are thrown at them. The police response is almost pathetic.

The reports suggest that, even though lots of offences of criminal damage and assault police were reported, only three people have been nicked. And one of those was for obstructing the highway. (is there anything I can reasonably say to get you to comply with my request…etc.)

SmashEDO is a protest group against an arms factory somewhere within Brighton from what I can gather. I’m a little bemused as to why one of their main targets for the criminal damage and intimidation, was MacDonald’s. Perhaps they have provided food to the arms factory when their canteen was infested with cockroaches some year back. Just a guess. There were lots of targets of Smash EDO, and they all had VERY loose connections with the arms factory’s and war in general.

Abuse and criminal damage to a Macky’Ds with children and mums inside…not really on is it.

And going on what the local press in Brighton have said, they’re not really winning support of the locals. Hundreds on comments in relation to the riot/protest from the Argus website were 99% against SmashEDO and for the police action. Which was quite refreshing to read. The people of Brighton are clearly very intelligent people.

I’m not a big fan of having a go at soldiers, having had family who died for my freedoms and all. Which is why I was a little unhappy to learn an army recruitment centre was one of their targets. It seems like most of the ‘protesters’ are way too young to understand what the army is about and how, thanks to the army, they are actually allowed to wreck a whole city, assault police, lob missiles at police that hit innocent MOPs and get away with it with just 3 arrests for the whole day.

They fought for your right to protest you thick bastards.

These loose connections to the arms factory really astound me. I mean, will they be going after a factory which makes metal used within the arms trade? Screw making companies? Green and brown paint companies? Food/caterers that provide rations for our troops? Farmers who sell eggs and milk to Foodmaker’s/caterers who provide rations to our troops? What about Agricultural educational establishments that teach farmers how to farm?

The fact that many of these protesters were photographing and filming the clashes with police on their Chinese and Korean made electronic gadgets seems to have been missed. Bless.
Perhaps we should all protest outside their homes, chanting and calling them child killers because of their loose connection.

Anyway, the reason for the post was to look at what MCM has highlighted - the issue of how softly-softly can end in chaos, criminal damage and a lack of reassurance to the locals.

There were less than 1000 people at the protest/riot in Brighton. The approach from the police was to leave them to it unless they started causing damage and obstructing the road for too long it would appear. No kettling or any of the G20 tactics. They let people climb on scaffolding and place signs and cause criminal damage with paint etc. Only three arrests throughout the whole day in relation to the protest. Just three arrests!

SmashEDO have said this was a success. I bet they have. Cause mass disturbance, criminal damage and assault police and get away with it! Yay for soft policing...I mean, this police state!

Anonymous said...

incidently, the police did try to kettle the demonstrators on a number of occaisions, however due to a bit of quick thinking (or perhaps running around like headless chickens) this was avoided on multiple occaisons.
my priority is not police brutality, it's the police and their role in maintaining a globally oppressive system that we could and should work to replace on every level

Anonymous said...

To the copper above

1) McDonalds owns 61,000 shares in EDO. Hardly a "loose connection".

2) The actions of the Armed forces in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have nothing to do with freedom. It seems you are the one who doesn't know what todays army is about- fighting wars for corporations. Noticed huge profits from the iraq war for corporations? and how about the estiamted 1,000,000 people killed as a result of the actions of our troops? The armed forces and the actions of our government have killed far far far more people than any terrorism has.

Then again, expecting any sort of empathy from a copper? What was I thinking...

scunnert said...

PPF writes:

" ... even though lots of offences of criminal damage and assault police were reported, only three people have been nicked."

Of course they weren't nicked as they were most probably cops having a larf. These tactics are so old they're yawn inspiring.

But really - what an insult that the Chief Constable of Sussex Police warned all his officers to behave. Tut tut - 'You hear lots of police saying “please can you get back, please, thank you”. How demoralizing is that to a gang of fascist, ass kicking, storm troopers? They'll be expecting you lot to help old ladies across the road next.

Anonymous said...

I quite like the global system as it is to be honest, I think I'll work to maintain that, sure it has its downsides but so would any other system when put in practice.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 09.27

Easy for you to say in your privileged developed nation. Try going to a 3rd world country that is still reeling from imperialism and is now facing neo-colonialism and the theft of resources. The system doesn't seem to work as well for them...


scunnert said...

PPF reports on his blog:

"The Public Order Act 1986 replaced various common law offences, introducing new offences and powers with respect to the preservation of public order. Section 1 creates the offence of riot.

"1(1) Where twelve or more persons who are present together use or threaten unlawful violence for a common purpose and the conduct of them (taken together) is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety, each of the persons using unlawful violence for the common purpose is guilty of riot.
1(2) It is immaterial whether or not the 12 or more use or threaten unlawful violence simultaneously.
1(3) The common purpose may be inferred from conduct.
1(4) No person of reasonable firmness need actually be, or likely to be, present at the scene.
1(5) Riot may be committed in private as well as in public places."

Why weren't the cops at the G20 done for riotous behaviour then?

WV = pigra - Oh my!!

scunnert said...

@Anon 09.27

Your global system in action:

Wanker indeed.

Anonymous said...

like i said, its not perfect, but you're right, from where I am it seems great.

Anonymous said...

: 10.16

Then we're all agreed. You're a wanker who couldn't give a shit about other people because you're comfortable.

gene hunt said...

No scunnert im about as much of a poet as you are. However I am little bit more intelligent. How do I know this ? Well its easy. Its from reading this blog for the past couple of weeks it always good for a laugh.
Yes I to enjoy these little chats.

Anonymous said...

Erm, no we're not all agreed, I'm sure if I went looking I could find far more people who don't care enough to leave their house for a demo than those who would. So however right you think your opinions are you have no right to force them on me, or the people you scared the other day whilst out with their kids or families.

Anonymous said...

Nice assumption I was at the protest, seeing as I wasn't.

And yes, apathy is a big problem. however, you recognise problems and don't care to help them (by your own admission), which makes you a selfish bastard.

The point is, demo's are not "forcing our opinions" but rather highlighting issues and voicing our opinion. Civil rights and the abolition of slavery didn't come about by sitting on yer arse!

Anonymous said...

When you intimidate other members of the public, make them feel they can't co exist in a space, attack a place they use their freedom of choice to be in with their children, then YOU are attacking civil liberty, YOU are infringing their rights, YOU are forcing your opinion on them.

Anonymous said...


YOU are infringing on people right to protest...

If all protests are "forcing opinions" then you'll be outraged by civil rights movements? By labour strikes? By Anti-war protests? By people demonstrating for the right to vote?

Not all of these movements were inherently peaceful- does this mean they are despicable?

Direct action has been used throughout history. To condemn it is to give up your voice.

Anonymous said...

I didn't condemn anything, I didn't say all protests forced peoples opinions, I'm not infringing anyones right to protest, I'm using my right to my opinion and free speech to say that I think that the kind of protest described here isn't without victims, and I'm not counting the feds in any way shape or form as victims.

I'm trying to put the point that whilst people seem to think this halo clad cause does no harm and creates no vicitms it's not the case. And often it affects people who are not intended to be affected, this shouldn't be done with impunity as it is, or a shrug to show how this cause is more important than theirs, its not, not to them, like yours is to you. Hypocrisy is what I see when you write you self righteous diatrirbes. You are no better than those you seek to overthrow.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say it was without victims. I personally think this particular protest should have moved more towards the EDO site, but as I wasnt there I cant say much about the atmosphere and how others there thought.

Perhaps some people were "scared" of people who fought militantly for racial equality- does that mean they shouldn't have bothered. Perhaps a letter to their MP would have sufficed.. (!)

1,000,000 people marched against the Iraq war in London. The government didn't listen or care about these opinions or protests- is it any wonder people turn to militancy in the face of an unresponsive, uncaring government who "act on behalf of the people" then ignore any dissent?

FIT Watch said...

Let's get a sense of perpective on this.

According to UNICEF, two million children were killed between 1986 and 1996 as a result of armed conflict. A further six million were also seriously injured or permanently disabled, and countless others were forced to witness or take part in violence.

Graca Machel, the author of the report, also recently stated that "wars have always victimised children and other noncombatants, but modern wars are exploiting, maiming and killing children more callously and more systematically than ever."

Oxfam have called the arms trade "out of control" and state that " as well as prolonging and intensifying conflicts, the poorly regulated arms trade causes huge levels of waste, corruption and debt."

There is no comparison between the effects of the global arms trade and what anyone would have witnessed in Brighton.

Besides, especially post G20, passers by would have been far more scared of baton wielding riot cops than any protesters.

jaxwabbit said...

What about Edinburgh FIT ? I demand some pix of them ..

Anonymous said...

"Two FIT officers trying to stop someone from doing graffiti were pushed away."

So 2 cops who were trying to do their LAWFUL duty were prevented by a bunch of jobless fuckwits. You talk about militant action, but when you morons are on the recieving end you don't stop complaining about it to whomever will listen.

You aren't protestors, you're just idiots with nothing better to do. And as a side note, you're struggles against oppresion are NOT winning over the general population. I've yet to meet anyone who works and pays taxes who agrees with any of you.

Really Fit said...

I really don't know why some people waste their time posting comments on blogs they don't like!

This is an initiative against FIT teams and bullying public order cops. Full stop. You don't like it, go somewhere else.

People on demonstrations where targeted property damage has occured (and it was very targeted, no personal property was damaged on the protest) are perfectly entitled to be part of this initiative. FITwatch is not judgemental!

I am not prepared to accept FIT surveillance, harassment, intimidation and violence at political protest. At all. And I will do my damndest to defend people from it.

Judging from the widespread support we have received over the last two years I don't think I'm the only one who feels that way.

jonsparta said...

How demoralizing is that to a gang of fascist, ass kicking, storm troopers?
Scunnert, i hope you are not comparing me to the Nazi's? If you are then i will forward your comments to the Jewish Anti-Defamation League. I dont think they will find it funny.

hmm. how to stop the arms trade? or even to control it? Interesting feel i am back at uni, i think that its totally impossible, until we turn the world into a waste land. The war in Iraq, yead kind of see your point but still having contol of that oil still is not helping. As for the war in afghanistan well they dont have anything, except drugs of course. Empires come and go, nations rise and fall i am afraid thats how it is. Still like the old French Philosopher said " i may disagree with your beliefs and way of life but i will die to defend them." (or near enough, you get what i mean!)
So you will find me out defending the mean streets where i work and policing every sort of protests but when it really counts i will be voting out this bunch on nobs. Although we do need to have someone to replace them. Any ideas? And dont say the Lib Dems, they are arses to a man where i live.

Anonymous said...

know what i love about all this. all you idiots on here harping on about a load of crap that in general the rest of the population couldn't give a toss about. if they did there would be more than (as opposed to a lot less than) a thousand of you actualy at the demo.

whats more most of the people that were there probably didn't give a crap , i mean watch the news and you see someone on there when asked why are you protesting today say 'we don't like guns's' and look at their friend who says 'yeah'. that's it! I mean come on, sureley you need to get a better and more credible bunch of people there don't you.

but that would look bad for you wouldn't it. because the truth would be out , that in fact 99% of you come from middle / upper class backgrounds, and your the kind of people that didn't get the attention you so craved from mummy and daddy and were forced to comply with the social stereotypes and values your families positions and status' demmanded of you. More privelaged that the people that work at edo or mac donalds come to that. the kind of people that live in the shit hole of an estate thats accross the road from the factory. The estate, by the way, i come from. the estate that depends on jobs from that factory and others like it to feed our families - and no i don't work in the factory.

We don't want you here, we live here, we work around here and when you fuckwits have made OUR town look like a shit hole we have to stay here and be reminded of you loosers that don't actually give a shit about the factory or the bombs or the results they have.

you can move on to cause problems for some other poor twat that doesn't want you in their town.

rather than come here and cause the people that live here shit - and they're the only ones affected by what you do, use your time constructivley. use all of that useless university education you have gained off of mummy and daddys shirt tails and do to educate people and try and create change for the better.

and as for fit - the only reason you don't want them watching you is because you have something to hide! if your not prepared to do the time - don't do the crime. and thats why they're watching you. so that next week or next month when your laying in bed at 11 in the morning cos your poncing off the rest of us and can't be arsed to go to work, they can be happy in the knowlegde that when they kick your door in and lock you up, they can do so in the knowledge that they have got the scrote they were after!!!

and way to go to tag a recruitment office! you owe those guys a debt of life - they and they alone are the only reason you are here and have the freedoms you enjoy (and frequently abuse)

reply in any way you want - i couldn't give a fuck about anything you say cos your all a bunch or useless parasitic wankers! fuck off and die :-) or better still go to iraq and protest - i'm sure there's some lovely people there that would just love to show you their appreciation. ta ta

Anonymous said...

It's funny you know, but when I met a group of squaddies in Berlin - just returned from Iraq - they seemed quite aware they weren't fighting for my 'freedom'. They hated every last minute of it. They didn't even want to talk about it. They wanted beer, before they went back on tour, of course, hungover.

I think that it's great that there is such a broad range of 'opinion' on this blog. It shows that people are genuinely interested in 'over policing'.

Yes, protestors are pretty much always middle class. So get on the streets yer sen -

tho not for the BNP.

you crazy fool you.

Clovis said...


complain all you like to the anti-defamation league. they'll think as much of you as i do, as they are based in the united states and therefore will show short shrift to whining british cops.

Clovis said...

with regard to the talk about soldiers dying for people's right to demonstrate - a couple of points.

80% of people sleeping rough are ex-forces. from talking to them, they have few good things to say about the police, who frequently move them on and otherwise harass them. invoking dead soldiers to bolster your case when you victimise their colleagues used and cast aside by the state is, to say the least, hypocritical.

i can't think of a conflict in which, among the declared war aims of the united kingdom, freedom to protest has been numbered. certainly the practice of the british forces has been to repress protest, from the use of the yeomanry at peterloo and general dyer's ordering of the amritsar massacre, not forgetting bloody sunday.

what the men and women who fought and died did not fight for was for those unable to string an argument together to invoke their names for all manner of unlikely and unseemly reasons.

Clovis said...

Anonymous 1554 (5/5) wrote:

"When you intimidate other members of the public, make them feel they can't co exist in a space, attack a place they use their freedom of choice to be in with their children, then YOU are attacking civil liberty, YOU are infringing their rights, YOU are forcing your opinion on them."

You seem to be forgetting the exclusionary effects of surveillance, such as CCTV - or Mosquito devices aimed at young people. The privatisation of public space, which has largely taken place without any real public debate, has left many visible minorities excluded from large numbers of areas. Police - usually in the guise of PCSOs - are deployed to ensure peaceful dispersal of schoolchildren; as are cops with headcams, which I have seen in Islington.

Streets are reduced from being public places in which people can congregate to chat and mingle into conduits, simply there to take one from a to b. Behaviour which is seen as disruptive, regardless of whether disruption occurs, is banned. The numerous misleading signs about the banning of drinking on the streets in town centres, for example, are aimed at removing beggars and boisterous young people from the public space.

Any form of spontaneity, anything which has the potential to be out of the ordinary, is banned. All this in the name of allowing people to go about their business! The life of 'the community' has to go on, even if large segments of that community have their business, their activity, stopped for no very good reason.

The social sorting resulting for a number of means of surveillance denies civil liberties, denies people their freedom of choice and forces an arbitrary opinion of what is and what is not seemly on people every day of their lives. You don't have to be a protester or a criminal to be subject to the disciplinary norms enforced by the extended policing family, being black, Asian, young or poor is frequently enough to get you barred from certain activities and certain areas. It doesn't matter if this is a de jure or de facto exclusion, the effects are much the same.

Forward intelligence policing is another exclusionary practice, not just used on anarchists and other malcontents, but on entire communities, such as Operation Sadler in Southampton. What value are people's rights to freedom of expression if freedom of assembly's undermined by invasive policing? While the police would like us to believe that everything outside the home (and workplace) is an area in which there is no right to privacy, that's not quite the case (see the Friedel case, for example, where the ECHR determined that the right to privacy travels about with you).

That's what should frighten you, that as a matter of policy successive governments in this country have connived at the systematic destruction of anything they can't control in public. In comparison to that, an irregular inconvenience in London or Brighton's nothing.

Anonymous said...

lol @ 80% of commenters being cops

Anonymous said...

Clovis - your so full of shite. 80% of people sleeping rough are ex forces my hoop! 80% of those sleeping rough CLAIM to be ex forces when in fact only 12-16 % actually are. Get your facts right. I know because I work with them and I was one of them so don't try and use them to justify what you do shit head!

'what the men and women who fought and died did not fight for was for those unable to string an argument together to invoke their names for all manner of unlikely and unseemly reasons'

your words I believe - practice what you preech.

Clovis said...

anonymous 1324

You're quite right on the level of ex-forces homeless. The 80% came from something i heard off the telly, but a quick google confirmed your statistic. However, if it's 'only' 12-16%, I'm sure you'll agree that's still an utter disgrace - is there any other sort of employment which sees such levels of former personnel reduced to such circumstances?

However, i wasn't the person who brought 'they died for your freedom' into this discussion, as you'll see if you read the posts above. It's a fact (see for example the shelter website) that many rough sleepers complain of police harassment. As i say, it seems to me to be rather hypocritical of posters such as PC Plastic Fuzz and anonymous 1110 from 7/5 to bring in 'our glorious dead' when so many former service personnel sleep rough, at least in part due to the government's abysmal abdication of responsibility towards them following their service, given the harassment i pointed out. Nowhere did i use that as justification for fitwatching - I'm surprised you seem to think I have.

Disgruntled taxpayer said...

To Clovis, you talk bollocks about CCTV being "exclusionary". How exactly....? How (and please be factual, none of your liberal left wing bollocks) does a CCTV exclude people from congregating? Especially if, and most are, it's an unmonitored system?

Secondly, you talk about peoples' rights to congregate being disallowed, by the Police and PCSOs being used to move on youths e.t.c.

Have you EVER been on an estate at 10pm responding to a phone call from a member of public who has just had their window put through and now they have 15 drunken thugs outside their house taunting them? Didn't think so.

I couldn't give a shit about protestors, I know that eventually this government will run out of money and the benefits you rely on to enable you to protest during what should be a working day will dry up. My only problem is that you see the problems faced like communities in Brighton from your descending on them like locusts as an "inconvienience" rather than the plague you really are.
You swoop in, trying to enforce your opinions on a populace that really do not care. All they care about is being able to live their lives peacefully without a rabble of unemployed lefty students turning up to disrupt the peace.

Anonymous said...

Clovis wont run out of money, mummy and daddy are probably minted, when clovis gets tired of this lark it'll be a quick pop home in the Range Rover a word in the ear of one of daddys pals and the job at the multinational globalising capitalist bank will be clovis' in no time!

Clovis said...

Disgruntled taxpayer

I don't know where you get your information from that most systems monitoring public space are unmanned. Every local authority in London which has a CCTV system has a manned control room. For example, the one in Hackney is in the old Stoke Newington town hall. Though the majority of CCTV systems are unmanned, that's simply because the majority of CCTV systems are run by the private sector, and are mostly in shops covering private space. To reiterate, the majority of systems I've been talking about (and I thought this was obvious through my repeated use of the term 'public space') monitor, er, public space. Whether every camera in a system is continually monitored is another issue: with several hundred local authority cameras in, for example, Camden, it is difficult to imagine they are. Despite this, the constant flicking between cameras, and the monitoring of some cameras (in Camden, you'd expect those covering Camden Town to receive a fair bit of attention on a Friday and a Saturday night), means that busier streets are likely to be continuously monitored. Certainly the cameras round Archway seem to move continually indicating surveillance.

The famous panopticon designed by Bentham which has received such coverage in recent years, did not allow the prisoners to know whether they were being monitored, and it's absolutely the same with CCTV cameras, when from the four sorts of system - proactive, reactive, unactive or autoactive - are working. You can just surmise what they do, in part from observation, from what the trade press, like CCTV Image magazine, publish, and what comes out in academic journals or from investigations like the parliamentary or EU reports on surveillance.

And the upshot of these, to save you the time investigating them yourself, is that CCTV does have an exclusionary effect. The wearing of hoodies is, for many young people, a fashion at least somewhat inspired by not wanting to be filmed. The response to this from shopping centres, and Wetherspoons pubs, is illuminating. You probably followed the story a few years ago about shopping centres banning hoodies from their premises. Many Wetherspoons don't allow people to wear hats on the premises, for ease of filming. And the police insistence on pubs installing CCTV systems as a condition of their licences was recently highlighted. It's not simply pubs or shopping centres, though, which have used CCTV or the excuse of CCTV to get rid of people they don't like. Railway stations are famous for it too - and don't insult people's intelligence by saying that systems at, for example, Liverpool Street are unmanned. The literature on the practice of CCTV controllers, which you clearly are ignorant of, makes clear the prejudices which they bring to the job and the way in which they focus on groups of people they believe undesirable and which they then draw police or security guard attention to. A camera on its own doesn't exclude people, true. But a public space CCTV system is not a camera on its own, it is an assemblage of parts which in combination warns people of its existence through signage, has at its heart a control room of people remote from the public but yet with the power to interfere with people's lives at a distance (whether through loudspeakers as occurs in some places or through recourse to police or security personnel to enforce the operator's prejudices) and which seeks to maintain a sort of order based on a number of usually unwritten premises. People who look like they belong in an area are left alone; those who appear to the operator like outsiders receive the attentions they can direct.

As for this utter wank about 'unemployed lefty students', it's a contradiction in terms. You can't be 'unemployed' if you're a full-time student in higher education, as students have not had access to the benefits system during their studies for about twenty years. The grants system too has been largely withdrawn in favour of student loans. It's not as though this has been done in secret, it has received press coverage on numerous occasions over the past two decades. While I don't deny the reality that there are some unemployed protesters, protesters - like the rest of society - are largely in employment. And even if they were all on the rock, it wouldn't lead to their opinions being worthless as compared to those of people with jobs.

My entire post seems to have flown high above your head. Which doesn't surprise me, given the pisspoor excuse for an argument you've submitted.

Clovis said...

anonymous 0210

if only that were true.

Anonymous said...

Clovis, you never really answered the question with a factual response. The fact is CCTV doesn't exclude anyone from anywhere, not unless they're a criminal.
So what if kids wear hoodies, lots of adults do too, it's easy enough to catch someone wearing a hoody.
As for monitoring, there is a big world outside of London, a world where most CCTV just sits and records quietly in the background.

At the end of the day, the people of Brighton didn't want you and your stupid protest. The public in most towns and cities don't want it, it is a cause that few people believe in, evidenced by the piss poor numbers of people you have who turn up, and a significant number of those only being there to cause trouble.

You guys are just like Facists, you're trying to impose your ideas and beliefs on the rest of us, stifling our right to just go about our daily business because it's constantly being interupted by you and your friends' bullshit.

You are all mainly student or unemployed types, because only you guys have enough time to sit and read through books written by Marx saying to yourselves "hmm this looks like a good idea, lets go and intefere with peoples'".

Get a fucking job.

Clovis said...

CCTV does exclude people. I have pointed to the use of CCTV in shopping centres and railway stations, for example, as places which use it directly to exclude. CCTV surveillance has had a visible impact on people's behaviour - I pointed to the wearing of hoodies by young people as a means of resistance to being filmed. Just because a lot of people wear something doesn't mean they're all wearing it for the same reason, or that they're all criminals. Clearly they're not! But for many young people wearing a hoodie is obviously a sign that they do not desire or enjoy being monitored.

Because operators are limited to what they can see on the screens, they almost of necessity target suspects because of their appearance. CCTV operators are there specifically to detect events and people out of what they consider the norm. Which means that CCTV operators are going to be looking for such people, it's most certainly not a neutral tool. And once people are so targeted, they are unlikely to keep such an experience to themselves - which means that excluding one set of people is going to have a knock-on effect as other people reinforce this exclusion by not going to the shopping centre, station, park or wherever where the initial event occurred. The use of CCTV to exclude is not generally on the basis of behavioural targeting, rather the evidence from studies of CCTV operators is that is based on categorical targeting - old people, young people, black people and so on. Just because you haven't experienced this doesn't mean it doesn't affect others.

Your claim that CCTV doesn't exclude people 'unless they're a criminal' simply doesn't hold water. As is obvious to anyone with half a brain, criminals look much like the rest of us. They certainly can't be determined from a CCTV control room, hence operators base their interventions on arbitrary criteria which more often affect entire groups than people targeted on the basis of behaviour, as mentioned above. What you seem to be getting at, is similar to my point, that people internalise exclusion, refusing to go somewhere from where they may be excluded based on their own or others' experience.

There's something more to fascism than you're making out. People are often taken to task for bandying the term fascist about, to the extent that as an insult it has been for many years anything the complainant doesn't like, as it's used in your comment. Where have anarchists tried to impose their beliefs on you? A demonstration is not an imposition of beliefs, nor is it stifling your right to go about your daily business - indeed, you've not shown how you were in any way, shape or form prevented for doing anything. How has your life been 'constantly interrupted'? If you do have a point to make, can you make it without hyperbole or bullshit? I'm not persuaded you can.

As for reading Marx, while I wouldn't recommend it, it's not the intellectual challenge to most people it so clearly is for you.

BTW, I have a job.

Anonymous said...

"I've yet to meet anyone who works and pays taxes who agrees with any of you.

That's because no one wants to hang around with the kind of person who assumes you're a "jobless fuckwit" just because you go to a protest or hold a less than glowing opinion of the police.

I'm a post-graduate in full-time employment and I'm not happy about the police's attitude to public protest.

Anonymous said...

"Have you EVER been on an estate at 10pm responding to a phone call from a member of public who has just had their window put through and now they have 15 drunken thugs outside their house taunting them? Didn't think so."

If you don't like it, leave and find a different job. "I do one thing useful, therefore you can't complain about any of my other activities," is a ridiculous form of argument. Besides, I don't bitch about catching a 7:21am train or doing a 12 hour day helping people with reading difficulties because that's what I signed up for when I took the job.

"You are all mainly student or unemployed types, because only you guys have enough time to sit and read through books written by Marx"

Or maybe I just read a lot faster than you do. Given the reading speed/ability of the average copper, it's the most statistically probable answer.

Anonymous said...

Well these comments have been interesting reading....but i stopped once i saw the comment stating that if you've got nothing to hide from F.I.T then whats the problem.

I was at the smashedo demo and i was a peaceful protester, i didn't throw anything, cause any harm to anyone but yet i was filmed on numerous times by F.I.T. Now in Oct 15th (another smashedo demo) i was ONLY filming the demo and not actually part of it. The demo had been 'kettled' by the police in the middle of the Rd. I went to film it and was ASSAULTED by a policeman who eventually arrested me some time later under section 60AA (Anti Terrorist Act) for keeping myself warm and wearing a scarf (I do suffer from a medical condition, which i will have for the rest of my life). I have video footage of F.I.T filming MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC....mainly myself. Now F.I.T have stated that they film those on the wtf were they filming those of us who were stood away from the protesters???

I have nothing to hide but yet I DON'T want to be constantly filmed because I express my HUMAN RIGHT to protest. Also aren't we like the only country IN THE WORLD who have the largest CCTV operation? Can't CCTV keep an eye on trouble makers, if so then why on earth do we need F.I.T to film/photograph us and keeping us on that special 'we don't agree with the government' list....can anyone say Nazi Germany????

Really Fit said...

To anon above:

I heard about what happened to you, which was utterly absurd. Did you make a complaint in the end - maybe you could keep us posted as to what happened with it?