More Fitwatch stuff – advice for Students

•November 16, 2010 • 2 Comments

From Fitwatch -

“The remarkable and brilliant student action at Millbank has produced some predictable frothing at the mouth from the establishment and right wing press.  Cameron has called for the ‘full weight of the law’ to fall on those who had caused tens of thousands of pounds of damage to the expensive decor at Tory party HQ.  Responsibility is being placed on ‘a violent faction’, after the march was ‘infiltrated’ by anarchists.

There are an encouraging number of intiatives to show solidarity with the arrested students – something that is vital if they are to avoid the sort of punitive ‘deterrent’ sentences handed out to the Gaza demonstrators.  A legal support group has been established and the National Campaign against Cuts and Fees has started a support campaign.  Goldsmiths lecturers union has publicly commended the students for a ‘magnificent demonstration’ .

This is all much needed, as the establishment is clearly on the march with this one.  The Torygraph has published an irresponsible and frenzied ‘shop-a-student’ piece and the Met are clearly under pressure to produce ‘results’ after what they have admitted was a policing ‘embarrassment’.

51 people have been arrested so far, and the police have claimed they took the details of a further 250 people in the kettle using powers under the Police Reform Act.  There may be more arrests to come.

Students who are worried should consider taking the following actions:

If you have been arrested, or had your details taken – contact the legal support campaign.  As a group you can support each other, and mount a coherent campaign.

If you fear you may be arrested as a result of identification by CCTV, FIT or press photography;

DON’T panic. Press photos are not necessarily conclusive evidence, and just because the police have a photo of you doesn’t mean they know who you are.

DON’T hand yourself in. The police often use the psychological pressure of knowing they have your picture to persuade you to ‘come forward’. Unless you have a very pressing reason to do otherwise, let them come and find you, if they know who you are.

DO get rid of your clothes.  There is no chance of suggesting the bloke in the video is not you if the clothes he is wearing have been found in your wardrobe.  Get rid of ALL clothes you were wearing at the demo, including YOUR SHOES, your bag, and any distinctive jewellery you were wearing at the time.  Yes, this is difficult, especially if it is your only warm coat or decent pair of boots.  But it will be harder still if finding these clothes in your flat gets you convicted of violent disorder.

DON’T assume that because you can identify yourself in a video, a judge will be able to as well.  ‘That isn’t me’ has got many a person off before now.

DO keep away from other demos for a while.  The police will be on the look-out at other demos, especially student ones, for people they have put on their ‘wanted’ list.  Keep a low profile.

DO think about changing your appearance.  Perhaps now is a good time for a make-over.  Get a haircut and colour, grow a beard, wear glasses.  It isn’t a guarantee, but may help throw them off the scent.

DO keep your house clean.  Get rid of spray cans, demo related stuff, and dodgy texts / photos on your phone.  Don’t make life easy for them by having drugs, weapons or anything illegal in the house.

DO get the name and number of a good lawyer you can call if things go badly.  The support group has the names of recommended lawyers on their site.  Take a bit of time to read up on your rights in custody, especially the benefits of not commenting in interview.

DO be careful who you speak about this to.  Admit your involvement in criminal damage / disorder ONLY to people you really trust.

DO try and control the nerves and panic.  Waiting for a knock on the door is stressful in the extreme, but you need to find a way to get on with business as normal.

Otherwise you’ll be serving the sentence before you are even arrested.”

Solidarity With Fitwatch

•November 16, 2010 • 3 Comments

Copied from Indymedia.

“Fitwatch are a loose organisation who for several years have narked off the filth by exposing, blocking and challenging the Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT), the branch of the police used to spy on and harass protesters. If you’ve ever been on a demo or even at a community festival or football match then you may have noticed them pointing a camera at you because they’re too scared and lazy to be proper coppers.

After last weeks events at Millbank during the student demonstrations fitwatch.org.uk published some advice for those worried they had appeared in the press and may face arrest. The piece called Beating police repression after the student occupation can now be read, thanks to the bungling Met on a growing number of sites across the internet.

The fitwatch site was shut down apparabtly on request of Acting Detective Inspector Will Hodgeson from CO11. Early reports suggest that this happened due to a request from the police to the site’s host complaining the site may be involved in perverting the cause of justice. This is a worrying development. Whilst we will doubtless know more tomorrow, as yet it does not seem a Court Order had been issued which, means the filth are now bullying internet hosting companies into removing material which upsets them.

The good news is that the offending piece, now being much discussed on twitter (2) can be found at:

 http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/beating-police-repression-after-the-student-occupation/

 http://dirt.thevacuumcleaner.co.uk/2010/11/beating-police-repression-after-student.html

and here:  http://norfolknonaligned.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/beating-police-repression-after-the-student-occupation/

and also at

 http://bryanspygar.blogspot.com/2010/11/beating-police-repression-after-student.html

 http://projectsheffield.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/httpfitwatch-org-uk-has-been-suspended/

as well as UK indymedia, Bristol indymedia and Scotland indymedia as well as being linked to on facebook pages, republished in forums etc.

And of course google (3).

All in just two hours, please join in, republish and show the Met the internet will not be censored. Add links to anywhere else you’ve spotted it in the comments below.

Fitwatch have said they ain’t going fucking anywhere and will be back online soon, in the meantime you can catch them on facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fitwatch/103821345868

(1)  http://www.fitwatch.org.uk/
(2)  http://twitter.com/search?q=%23fitwatch
(3)  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:qv4goBQOpDYJ:www.fitwatch.org.uk/+fitwatch&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a

Last post on Fitwatch before closed -

“Police seek to capitalise on student “riots” to justify further repression and their own budgets.

Although the actions of the students last week were inspiring and
empowering, it should come as no surprise the media savvy police are
using it as an ideal opportunity to both fight back against cuts to
their budgets and to counter the recent bad press regarding protest
policing.

The NCDE domestic extremist units claim to have suffered in the cuts. Former head of NCDE, Anton Setchell has retired, and head of NETCU, Steve Pearl has been given the boot, and both have been replaced by a cheaper, junior model – Detective Chief Supt Adrian Tudway. Steve seems particularly upset about getting sacked and has been whining to the Telegraph about how, if he was still running the units, their intelligence on the riots would have been better.

As usual, he is talking nonsense. The police didn’t predict the disorder because it wasn’t planned; the march wasn’t hijacked. I read the same websites as the cops, I know lots of activists, the intelligence we all had before the demo would have been similar. Yes, there were rumours of civil disobedience, and autonomous blocs, but
this is true of every major demonstration. It would certainly have been true on the entirely peaceful February 15 Iraq demo, and there was no particular reason to believe this would be any different.

This is a desperate attempt by an unpopular unit to appear relevant and we must not be fooled. NCDE are bleating about cuts when only a few weeks ago they were squandering money sending Ian Caswell to Plymouth to monitor and photograph Trident Ploughshares pacifists.

The students who occupied Millbank are not domestic extremists, they are angry, brave and passionate people who care about what this government is doing to the country. They have grown up witnessing the futility of being herded from A to B and listening to the platitudes of irrelevant politicians.

Ordinary people are angry with even a Daily Star poll showing the majority in favour of the students rioting. The fight back is on, and no amount of intelligence on the usual suspects from a redundant unit is going to make a difference.”

•October 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

blacksheepdiarist:

Best article I have read in ages!

Originally posted on SeanMcP Blogfeast:

Alan Bennett famously wrote: “History? It’s just one fuckin thing after another!”. He was right, of course, but the older I get, the more I come to realize that its weight lies far more on individuals than on nations.

On October 12th 1917, 95 years ago today, my granddad, Tom Duckett, was a Gunner on the first day of the Battle of Paschendaele. At home, my mum was 5 weeks old; my grandma had spent the previous two years traveling round England, with a baby girl and latterly pregnant, so she could spend some brief times with her husband – Portsmouth, Shoeburyness – they don’t put gunnery schools in easily accessible locations.

Tom was lucky, he survived the war and had the great ‘good fortune’ to go through it all again, as an ARP Warden in Liverpool during the May Blitz in 1941. In the fifties, when visiting us in…

View original 2,206 more words

The Big Blockade – Devonport.

•October 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth not only refits, maintains, and upgrades the submarines which carry the UK’s immoral and illegal Trident nuclear weapon system, but it is also increasingly becoming the dumping ground for old and out of service nuclear submarines. Plymouth is being paid for its role in the servicing of Britain’s weapons of mass destruction by becoming the ‘Sellafield of the South West’.

A decade of Trident Ploughshares blockades and disarmament actions have helped build a strong and broad movement against nuclear weapons in Scotland. The Scottish government was elected with a policy of nuclear disarmament. Now it is England’s turn.

On the 1st of November we are calling on people to join us to continue to increase the pressure by non-violently blockading the Devonport submarine base.

http://www.tridentploughshares.org/article1608

And They All Wear Their Poppies With Pride

•November 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

They All Wear Their Poppies With Pride

There’s rats in the trenches
A thousand foul stenches
Of piss, pus and puke, blood and death
Jim’s screaming his head off
‘Cause Frank hasn’t got one
And Joey’s just drawn his last breath
While back home in Surrey
They try not to worry
And keep all their doubts locked inside
For in a few years
There’ll be no more tears
And they’ll all wear their poppies with pride…

She can’t understand
As she holds the girl’s hand
That her daughter’s no longer attached
They were all blown to hell
As a terrorist cell
Though a wedding was all that they’d hatched
And back in the West
They’re so sure they know best
Though they’ve tortured and murdered and lied
And they don’t want to know
What the body counts show
As they all wear their poppies with pride…
Oh, they all wear their poppies with pride…

At the annual board meeting
Arms dealers are greeting
Reports of their profits with glee
They’ll always be willing
To make a quick killing
From slaughter and mass misery
And when it’s all over
They’ll head off to stuff
The big bellies their suits cannot hide
And they won’t spare a thought
For the carnage they’ve brought
But they’ll all wear their poppies with pride…
Yes they’ll all wear their poppies with pride…

Whoever you mix with
There’s bound to be someone
Whose mind is still caught in the mesh
Those soldiers aren’t heroes
They’re nothing but fodder
For the thing that grows fat on our flesh
And you show no respect
For the ones left behind
Or the miserable sods who have died
If you can’t face the truth about why they were killed
And you still wear your poppies with pride…
If you still wear your poppies with pride….
Do you still wear your poppies with pride?

Paul Cudenec
November 2009
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/11/441409.html?c=on#c236896

Stop the Nuclear Dump, Plymouth October 2009

•November 9, 2009 • 2 Comments

The 31st of October saw a demonstration through Plymouth against the proposal to cut up old nuclear submarine reactors in the Devonport Dockyard.  It is sheer lunacy to attempt this experimental and highly dangerous work in such close proximity to the homes of some 250,00 people.  It is already bad enough that the Trident submarine are refitted and serviced here, without endangering the environment and the people of the city even further.  Despite the people of Plymouth being against such work, as found in previous consultations, the MOD is going ahead with yet another ‘consultation’, probably until it gets the answer it is looking for.  This demonstration showed that ordinary Plymouthians are not as pliant and gullible as the MOD and Babcock Marine seem to think.  DON’T DUMP ON OUR CITY! (or anyone elses for that matter.)

cropped 110
Marching through Plymouth City Centre.

About 2-300 people gathered in the City Centre at noon and marched through the town. 

Suki's CND Oct 2009 113

Suki's CND Oct 2009 116

After listening to speeches outside the Guildhall, many of those gathered then headed towards Devonport Dockyard to march around the gates, and listen to yet more speeches and calls to action at the Camel’s Head gate.

Suki's CND Oct 2009 141

Suki's CND Oct 2009 146Suki's CND Oct 2009 137

Suki's CND Oct 2009 153

Those of us based in Plymouth would like to add our great thanks to those who travelled to come to this demonstration.  Special mention must go to Tower Hamlets CND, Southampton CND, Yorkshire CND, Rochdale Peace Group, London CND, the ‘nuclear leeks’ of Kingsbridge Peace Group, Penzance CND, Tavistock Peace Action Group, and the varied groups of trade unionists, particularly from Unison.  Thanks all.

Peace out.

PS – more pics are available on the Plymouth CND Facebook page.

The Reason for the War in Afghanistan.

•July 11, 2009 • 3 Comments

(copied from Medialens, originally from http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jul2009/pers-j10.shtml )

The largest military operation since the Obama administration took office is now underway in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. Some 4,000 marines, along with hundreds of British troops, are attempting to impose control over an ethnic Pashtun population that has opposed the US-led occupation ever since the 2001 invasion overthrew the Taliban government and installed the Karzai regime.

At the same time, the Pakistani government, primarily because of financial and political coercion by Washington, has ordered its military into a brutal offensive against the Pashtun people of northwest Pakistan. Their crime is that they share a common history, language and culture with the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and provide support to the Taliban insurgency over the ill-defined border between the two countries.

The human cost has already been staggering. In a savage act of collective punishment, the Pakistani military has forced at least 2.5 million people from their homes in tribal agencies such as Bajaur and Mohmand and from the Swat Valley district of North West Frontier Province. The US is complementing the assault with almost daily airstrikes on the homes of alleged Pakistani insurgent leaders, particularly in the agencies of South and North Waziristan. This week alone, American missiles have killed at least 80 men, women and children.

After nearly eight years of fighting in Central Asia, Obama has escalated the conflict to a new and bloodier level—the “AfPak War” being waged on both sides of the border. It has no end in sight. David Kilcullen, the former advisor to General David Petraeus, who helped plan both the Iraq and Afghanistan troop surges, told the British Independent this week what is being openly discussed in the White House and on Downing Street:

We are looking at 10 years at least in Afghanistan, and that is the best case scenario and at least half of that will be pretty major combat. This is the commitment that is needed, and this is what the people in America and Britain should be told, and they should be told that there will be a cost involved.”

The truth is that the governments of the US, Britain and the other countries taking part in the war are telling their people as little as possible. They are being assisted by a corrupt media establishment that allows itself to be censored and provides only the most sanitised reports.

British journalists who have been “embedded” with NATO forces in Afghanistan told the Guardian last month that the coverage of the war was “lamentable”, “outrageous” and “indefensible”. Thomas Harding of the Telegraph admitted: “We have constantly been told that everything is fluffy and good and we, and the public, have been lied to.” (See: “A lack of cover” http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jun/15/afghanistan-embedded-journalists-mod )

Typical of the official lies was the statement of US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, quoted in the USA Today, that American troops were in Helmand to “create a new atmosphere where the people reject the Taliban and their culture of fear and intimidation”.

In point of fact, as the New York Times acknowledged last week, the Taliban is gaining support due to hatred for the US and NATO occupiers and their puppet government in Kabul. On July 3, correspondent Carlotta Gall noted that “the mood of the Afghan people has tipped into a popular revolt in some parts of southern Afghanistan” and that people had “taken up arms against the foreign troops to protect their homes or in anger at losing relatives in airstrikes”.

To suppress the resistance, the Marine Corps is imposing a regime of “fear and intimidation” on the 250,000 inhabitants of the Helmand River Valley. The tactics being directed by General McChrystal are modelled on the counter-insurgency methods he applied in the rebellious areas of Iraq. The main towns have already been placed under military rule. The movement of the population to markets, shops and hospitals will be controlled and monitored by curfews, checkpoints and constant searches and street interrogations. Local leaders will be pressured into identifying insurgents, who will then be targeted for assassination or capture by special forces’ death squads—whom the media dutifully call “combat reconnaissance patrols”.

It is remarkable that even as the Obama administration has escalated the war, it has virtually dropped the original pretext that was used to justify it.

What ever happened to Osama bin Laden? He is rarely if ever mentioned and Al Qaeda is increasingly relegated into the background in the official propaganda and media accounts.

This is no small matter. The ostensible legal basis on which American troops are in Afghanistan is the “Authorization for Use of Military Force”, the joint resolution passed by the US Congress on September 18, 2001—one week after 9/11. The resolution authorised military force for the purpose of capturing or destroying the Al Qaeda leadership, beginning with bin Laden, so as to prevent further terrorist attacks.

Nearly eight years later, there is barely the pretence that American troops are in Afghanistan to hunt down Al Qaeda. Instead, the war is declared to be against the “Taliban”—a label indiscriminately applied to any Afghan who resists the US-led occupation. At no time, however, was there an accusation that the Taliban had a role in 9/11. The Bush administration’s justification for targeting the Islamist government in Kabul was that it rejected an ultimatum to turn over the Al Qaeda leadership to the United States.

The dropping of the original pretext for the invasion poses the question: with what purported legal justification has the US government and its allies continued and escalated the war? The truth is they have none. Nothing remains but the reality of an imperialist war of plunder and domination.

The US-led occupation of Afghanistan and the terrible violence engulfing Pakistan is the culmination of 30 years of American imperialist intrigue in Central Asia to establish strategic and economic dominance over the resource-rich region.

From 1979, US governments funded and supplied an Islamist insurgency to overthrow an Afghan government backed by the Soviet Union. In the 1990s, the Clinton White House encouraged its Pakistani ally to help install the Taliban in Kabul in the belief it would be favourable to the aspirations of US companies to win control of major oil and gas projects in Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states, and build pipelines through Afghanistan. When civil war and instability prevented the realisation of those plans, the presence of Al Qaeda was exploited, at least by 2000, to begin preparations for a direct US conquest of the country.

The September 11 attacks provided the pretext to set the plan into operation. As well as potential access to the resources in neighbouring countries, the occupation of Afghanistan provides the US and its NATO allies with a strategic forward base to project force against rival claimants for regional influence such as Russia, China, India and Iran.

The AfPak War is not a war against terrorism, or for democracy, or to help the long-suffering Afghan people. It is an indefinite, colonial war whose central aim is to turn Afghanistan into a US client state and ensure that Pakistan remains firmly under Washington’s geo-political influence.

Homepage: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jul2009/pers-j10.shtml

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.