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Friday, 17 July 2009

Victory for Fitwatchers Everywhere as FIT Hide in Car

Last weekend, at both the Anti Militarist Gathering and a demo at Heckler and Koch, FIT cops - CO996 Mark Sully and 1818 from South Yorkshire police (name anyone???) were spotted skulking in an unmarked car.


















It is lovely to see these cops, who used to be so brazen about their role, hiding away, scared of being confronted and challenged by protesters.

Fitwatch also wonder whether they had the necessary authorisation under RIPA to conduct such covert surveillance. Anyone present at either of these events might want to complain to the IPCC that this surveillance was being carried out, and it is believed the correct authorisation had not been obtained.

Whilst undoubtedly a victory, this is something we need to be aware of. We cannot allow them to lurk in unmarked cars - we must still challenge them and draw attention to their presence.

And, just because we can't see them, doesn't mean their not watching, making notes, and building databases. It is therefore crucial we continue masking up and taking whatever measures we can to protect our anonymity on protests.

Photos copyright - Tash - tash@indymedia.org

27 comments:

scunnert said...

Har har har - it's a start.

Anonymous said...

PC 1818 IS IAN CASWELL FROM SOUTH YORKSHIRE POLICE CURRENTLY DETACHED TO ANOTHER FORCE

Ambrose Chapel said...

As an alien who used to think the UK was so liberal this is truly shocking. Here in Germany we had a demo at Heckler & Koch's hometown earlier this year with about 200 protesters and there were around five police men. What is going wrong in Great Britain, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Another case which suggests there's much to be done > http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jul/21/police-search-mobile-phone-court Will be interesting to see the facts established

Punchy Bill said...

Sounds like the girl in the guardian has been assaulted, and possibly falsely arrested - if they stick handcuffs on you but don't tell you you're arrested, what does that mean?

Anonymous said...

It means that they - these "constables" - are arrogant, brutish, untrained loutish oafs.

nothing unusual, I'm afraid. However all of the event seems to have been recorded on the station video cameras, so we can look forward to full exposure soon. They'll be up here in a trice, we hope.

Snapper12 - News Pictures said...

If I'd seen these two, I'd be laughing and very relaxed about any likely consequences.

A couple of plonkers sitting in a car in full view, obviously aren't taking it seriously, so you can assume those backing them up are just as clueless.

Most likely they're just low achievers who joined the cops because they were stuck and now they're enjoying a break from traffic duty - and just loving all the attention they're getting as undercover, secret sneaky agents. A great bird puller down the pub but that's about as far as it goes - "if I tell you what I do I'll have to shoot you" kind of yarn coming from a couple of walts doing their best to look cool.

If you think about it, you'll hopefully come to the same conclusion I did, which is that what they're actually doing - is farting around gathering mountains of useless information, unfortunately at tax payers expense.

Its the watchers you don't see who know what they're about - but hopefully, they've found something useful to do.

Anonymous said...

you don't have to arrest someone to use handcuffs on them.

Anonymous said...

At it again...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/22/kent_police/

jonsparta said...

Punchy Bill...
You can use your cuffs to detain a person for a stop and search. Although it could have been over kill in this incident. If we believe Gemma's story, which some people have taken as true without even a thought that she could be lying???

Anonymous said...
It means that they - these "constables" - are arrogant, brutish, untrained loutish oafs

Awww. So you have met every officer in the UK. lol. You must have magical powers, jedi or sith?

However all of the event seems to have been recorded on the station video cameras,

Do you now this to be true? I havent see any footage.


Snapper12 - News Pictures

I would agree with you, not very covert. But then again they could have been a ploy to discract you. Then again most senior officer cant find their way to work without a driver. lol. I am not convinced of the reasons why some forces do this sort of intell gathering. We mostly use CHIT's for this sort of events. You would be surprised how many people walk into a station and tell us about these meetings. Again personally i would havent even bother with it.

jonsparta said...

Just one point....why is it a victory?

Anonymous said...

not really a victory if they start moving towards less overt methods of monitoring demonstrators is it? As long as there is ever the risk of another J18 or Mayday mash up, or a bunch of misguided muppets wanting to cause havoc by shutting down a power station then demonstrators are going to monitored. You've just pushed the overt monitoring so far to the point of being unworkable that they'll just do it covertly. Good victory that isn't it?

Being demonstrators gives NO ONE the right to threaten or cause damage, or put lives at risk by shutting down power stations. Maybe the Police should all stay at home for the next big demo? how long would it be before it descended into anarchy and riot? How many people would then blame the Police for not turning up and cracking a few heads to keep you pathetic juvenile minded freaks in line?

Anonymous said...


not really a victory if they start moving towards less overt methods of monitoring demonstrators is it? As long as there is ever the risk of another J18 or Mayday mash up, or a bunch of misguided muppets wanting to cause havoc by shutting down a power station then demonstrators are going to monitored.

Erm, forgive my ignorance, but, well, why?

What you are actually saying here is "Because we want to keep tabs on the actions of a small band of people, we can claim to right to just surveil everyone - building up databases with no accountablity to those subjected to these measures, and that's just all fine and dandy coz we're police officers..."

If that is what you're atually saying, then I'm afraid you're not fit to be police officers.

No matter how nice you think the police are at the moment, neither of us know what they will be like thirty years from now - by collating information on people's political views like this you could well be endangering lives yourselves.

And before you say "But the police would never be a threat to people like that" - consider for a moment both how the service has changed in recent years, and also how willing you are to abandon your principals to get what you want.


You've just pushed the overt monitoring so far to the point of being unworkable that they'll just do it covertly. Good victory that isn't it?

Not really, no. (I'm not from Fitwatch btw...)

Everyone is losing here - and I do mean EVERYONE. The police are utterly destroying the respect the public have/had for them.


Being demonstrators gives NO ONE the right to threaten or cause damage,

Quite right - in my view...

Of course, being demonstrators also doesn't give the police the right to simply treat everyone as criminals either. Do you even remember "Investigations", "The Presumption of Innocence" or "Reasonable suspicion" anymore, or is it just arrest the scroates and we'll work out what for on the way to the station...

or put lives at risk by shutting down power stations.

Again, not acceptable.

Maybe the Police should all stay at home for the next big demo? how long would it be before it descended into anarchy and riot?

It might be an interesting experiment. I rather doubt for example that the Climate Camp in London would have descended into a blood bath without your uniquely calming influence...

How many people would then blame the Police for not turning up and cracking a few heads to keep you pathetic juvenile minded freaks in line?


Juvenile?

I'm not the one coming onto a public forum making groundless attacks against people I've never met.

As for "turning up and cracking a few heads together" - that particular flippant throwaway comment illustrates the calibre of the modern police service...

Martin

Anonymous said...

At what point did I say I was a Police officer Martin? I'm not, I'm a paramedic - one who has been attacked during demonstrations, despite being in uniform and looking nothing like a riot cop. The most recent one actually attending to a member of the public at the G20 who was hit by a glass bottle to the neck and head thrown by some stupid mug who was trying to hit Police officers.

And yes, if a small group of people within a known larger group are out to cause damage and put lives at risk by shutting down power stations then yes, the Police should monitor them.

Anonymous said...

hi there paramedic,

indeed, we know all about all of the absolute hail of bottles flung at the police by the hordes of mindless thugs as ...ooops.. as Ian Tomlinson lay mortally wounded and dying, don't we??
Did you not see the bottles that put him down, eh?? eh???

I'd give up on that one if I were you..

cred zeero

Punchy Bill said...

Jonsparta - I don't think that girl in the Guardian is the most credible witness, but from the film on the Guardian site it's clear that someone falsely told her that it's illegal to film the police and then used force to try to take her phone off her. Whether or not he identified himself as an officer, that behaviour is absolutely unacceptable. Her claim that officers refused to identify themselves,although we don't have proof, seems quite credible given the many other cases of officers disguising their identity, arresting people who ask for their numbers etc etc.

Anonymous said...

right, so because the Police pushed someone over that means NOTHING else happened? how childish and ridiculous is that argument?

The man I treated at the G20 who was hit by the bottle was hit in the morning before anyone even knew about the man who died. There are plenty of videos of the Police being attacked with poles and various things thrown at them. Does the fact that a man died excuse the actions of all those people long before everyone else jumped on the band wagon? I've treated lots of people injured at demonstrations, innocent members of the public, demonstrators AND Police officers, I've also been attacked at demonstrations by (usually drunk) idiots who would attack anything in a uniform, even those of us who are there to help people. It makes me sick that some people here ignore history and evidence about what happens during a big demonstration just because they think they are different. As long as there are small groups intent on causing damage and mayhem that WILL inevitably cause injuries to people then the Police should be trying to stop them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Paramedic,

First of all, my apologies for presuming you were a police officer... I jumped to conclusions, and was wrong to do so.

You're quite right when you say that people engaging in violence at demonstrations need to be dealt with - the vast majority of demonstrators would agree with you.

My point, which you have very neatly sidestepped, is that if you have a small group of trouble makers, then that's who you should be targetting - not perfectly peaceful folk who aren't causing a problem.

The whole purpose of FIT seems geared around intimidation, and innocent, law abiding members of the public SHOULD NOT be intimidated by the police. The police should actually be ensuring these people are able to go about their business!

I don't like that fact that everyone is subjected to an unaccountable data collation exercise merely to deal with a tiny percentage of people on a demonstration - the end does not justify the means. Not only should this data not be in the possession of the police - it shouldn't exist in the first place.

If I thought Fitwatch was about trying to shield the hooligans from justice, then I would condemn them - but I really don't think that is what is going on.

Martin

Anonymous said...

More of the same :


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/8164697.stm


I don't have any sense coppers understand why they're there.

Anonymous said...

'the police pushed someone over' says paramedic at 03:32.
indeed they did.
and then this para goes on to put an argument into my mouth - his/her actual words about why/what happened elsewhere/elsewhen, or so - not my words at all, at all.
so para - keep your words right out - you hear - out of my mouth - you invasive, dissembling, so & so.

I don't know where they've been, for a start.

I trust there are those looking on here who can guage his/her ethos.

jonsparta said...

Anonymous 24 July 2009 09:21:

I can understand why people find this could be seen as over steping human rights. But after studying law, the Human Rights Act is often used time and time again to protect criminals. In my force we take cameras out and photograph well known billy-burglars. They hate it because they believe we are keeping tabs on them all the time.

But people that live in the estates love it. If you have been broken into, you are twice as likely to be broken into again. In the most deprived areas you are up to three times more likley to be broken into. Often it is the same person. We target only the PPO's or PYO's, one of which had been convicted of 50 burglaries and TIC'd 201 other crimes. Trust me people were over joyed when he was sent down. Photographs of his trainers and cloths was the evidenced that nailed him as well as his yellow mountain bike he used to get around!

Anonymous said...

"But after studying law, the Human Rights Act is often used time and time again to protect criminals."

It helps ensure the Police don't abuse people.

This is a further case where the Police appear to have abused their powers to manage a situation where someone completely legitimately exercised their rights >

http://www.medwayeyes.co.uk/rightsandwrongs

I think we're starting to see much less tolerance for cops bending a breaking the law.

jonsparta said...

No you are not quite getting it. Yes there is the occasional abuse of power, that i am not arguing against. But the Human Rights was never needed to protect the public there is also a ton of Acts for that. Compare it to the hundreds of criminals getting away with well murder.

I am talking about criminals routinely getting away with every crime under the sun and still not going to jail, because they will often use the Human Rights Act to get away with it. I have watch young men in court pleading that in their childhood they were abused so thats why the raped a young girl. They will stand up in court and saw 'I have never had anything, so I reckon it was ok to nick that car..' etc etc. Once a court took into account that because the young criminal came from a shit background he should be given a house and car and a job because he never got the chance that the rest of us got!!!

Bullshit to the Human Rights Act, down with European law makers...sorry on my soap box, i have no love for that unelected, power hungery. crazy lot. We will totally regret ever being apart of them...

Anonymous said...

@jonsparta

Did the court award that guy a house, car and job then? Or did they find him guilty and give him a smaller punishment than was expected?

More seriously, what part of the human rights act are criminals using to get away with things? The examples you give seem more like criminals arguing mitigation and trying to get lower sentences.

Have you actually seen cases where criminals have tried to argue they were not guilty due to their childhoods etc. rather than argue for a lower sentence?

Also, if the human rights act was repealed, which human rights do you see the police breaking to make us safer? If they're not going to break any of the current rights then getting rid of the act wouldn't help, so which ones are they going to break and how will it help?

The rights covered in the human rights act are:

Right to Life
Inhuman Treatment
Slavery
Right to a Fair Trial
Right to Privacy
Freedom of Conscience
Freedom of Expression
Freedom of Assembly
Marriage and the Family
Discrimination

Anonymous said...

jonsparta said "We will totally regret ever being apart of them..."

This seems to contradict what comes before.

Anonymous said...

"doesn't mean their not watching"

You illiterate fuckers need to get a proper job.

jonsparta said...

28 July 2009 04:06

I apologise for my spelling! Just to make clear....we will regret ever being a part of Europe.