London Indymedia

FIT team harass Disarm DSEi convergence centre

cop watch | 09.09.2005 15:13 | DSEi 2005 | Repression | London

London's Forward Intelligence Team (F.I.T.) arrived 2 hrs and 6 mins after the address for the Disarm DSEi convergence centre was advertised on indymedia uk.

Disarm Dsei have issued a callout for people to come to the convergence space in London.

They are being harassed by a Forward Intelligence Team who are currently standing inside the convergence centre gates.

cop watch


Hide the following 4 comments

Yes but

09.09.2005 16:29

Fair play and all that, but you've set up a convergence centre to help the protests and events running for the next week - so you'd expect the police to be interested in monitoring the place wouldn't you.

I mean if they didn't have the place under surveillance then they'd be a bit crap really.

There's a big difference between following and photographing people and filming people going to meetings as opposed to monitoring the protests as they develop and happen.



10.09.2005 06:54

It wasn't just surveillance. Initially there were two whole vanloads and certain people were followed by cops right on their heels. It was the usual FIT process of intimidation pure and simple. We had a good laugh though when someone went up to a cop van with a camera and the paranoid cops slammed their van door shut to avoid being photographed. They definitely don't like their own medicine.

A. Noid.

Met bruisers

10.09.2005 10:43

Hey, why not put up photos of the FIT vans and any of coppers you can get on indymedia - could be a laugh, and maybe people can identify them in case their intimidation tactics cross the line later on during the DSEi mobilization. It is our right to watch those watching us!

Or how about having everyone with a camera go out and do a 'kettle' on one of their vans; even better, jump out from behind their vans and say, "Hey, your a FIT copper" as they like to do with other protestors.

Might as well have fun.

If the convergence centre is now legally occupied, what right do they have to be standing inside it's grounds, anyway?

Freedom To Protest


10.09.2005 13:08

The job of the FIT team is to build profiles of activists. They want to find out and record as much information as possible: names; what groups you are in; where you fit in to the hierarchy and how important you are; if are you an organiser; if are you a writer and what material do you write; are on the periphery or at the centre of things.

They operate overtly (in the open). Along with many other techniques they also use harassment techniques to wind people up so that they give out more information about themselves and others. They also act as a deterrent.

Other branches of the police do the covert work, such as special branch. If you read last weeks papers you would know that all of special branch's work is being transferred to the new 2,0000 strong anti-terrorist unit and MI5.

These people who are directly employed by the state operate covertly (in secret) , and rarely have direct contact with activists. They employ others, known as agents, who they control and pay, to infiltrate, act as agent provocateurs or just gather information. There will, of course, be some of them within activists groups. People who need money for drugs, alcohol gambling, to pay off debts, or the out and out unprincipled greedy are vulnerable to being recruited as agents. Black mail is regularly used to force people to become agents, mainly if someone has commited a crime, or is a sex offender.

Sometimes officers of the secret state infiltrate groups, but not that often. Listening to telephone calls, reading email, bugging, planting miniature TV cameras, monitoring mobile positions, and monitoring the movement of vehicles is mainly done by MI5, and of course the new anti-terrorist unit. They focus on anyone they consider subversive (those who might undermine the state and capitalism).

FIT's use of in-the-face overt monitoring, surveillance. and direct harassment, sometimes physical compliments the work of the overt operators. It is a cheap and "cheerful" - and efficient - way of getting information. So, be careful what you say, because they are profiling you and observing what you look like and how you act. They will over time build up a picture, and then laiase with other agencies to get the complete picture. They can easily take photos later.

So things like using a pseudonnym on Indymedia is a good idea because they can use what you write to build a more sophisitcated profile. Additionally, protecting your identity, and wearing differents clothes/hats on demos and actions is good. Not giving away personal information to people that you dont know can be a good idea too.

If you dont care what info the cops have on you, like me, then fare enough. In theory they can only arrest you if you break the law, but too frequently they ignore this basic liberal principle. So if you are not planning to break the law that might effect the way you protect your identity and whether you care what the cops know.

Keeping calm and employing a sense of humour can be very helpful in dealings with the FIT team, but always remember thay are after information about YOU.

Ed Campbell


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