Message written and distributed by Steve Wallis, 26/10/2009
Note that I couldn't find the following diagram, showing the structure of the police apparatus spying on us, on the Guardian website. I have therefore scanned it in from the newspaper (pages 6-7, Guardian, 26 October 2009)
I've been aware for many years that, since I (as a key
revolutionary socialist) am a threat to the powers that be, that they are
spying on me and interacting in various ways to try to prevent a socialist
revolution from taking place. Of course I've not been sure whether the spies
are in the police force, MI5 or conspiratorial infiltrating organisations
outside the realm of the state (and perhaps on an international basis -
socialists organise internationally and it is only sensible for our enemies to
do likewise, especially in these days of the internet).
[Recently I've discovered from website statistics, with many more accesses from the USA than the UK, even after distributing documents in this country, that the main surveillance is actually from the USA - perhaps the CIA. It seems that computers are being used to read most of my material, perhaps because if human capitalists did so, it would be likely that they would be converted into socialists! I've also noticed a lot of accesses of my songs/musical poems from China, suggesting that the Chinese regime is attempting to compete with the CIA in its modelling of society (internet censorship prevents them from accessing my web pages, almost entirely, but for some reason they have much less restricted access to my songs than elsewhere in the world); stats from the Indian mirror of my personal website suggest that most of these accesses are from computers rather than human beings (partly because files in obscure formats get as many hits as those in MP3 or
Anyway, today's Guardian contains a number of articles (in the first of a three part series presumably continuing tomorrow and Wednesday) reporting on police surveillance of "domestic extremists" - "far left groups including anti-war campaigns", "environmental protesters such as Climate Camp and Plane Stupid", "animal rights protesters" and "far right groups such as the English Defence League" (a picture below the latter caption shows an EDL skinhead making a fascist salute despite EDL claims they are not Nazis). I've included links to all the articles in today's Guardian below. The second contains photographs of 24 activists on "spotter cards" dropped on an arms fair protest in 2005, including of the comedian Mark Thomas to whom they were sent - perhaps it says something about the balance of forces in society then and now that they have finally appeared on the Guardian front page four years later! I'm not on either card but recognise some people who
are. ID cards haven't been introduced yet but there is a "giant national database of activists labelled 'domestic extremists'" (run by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit).
The articles explain that not having a criminal record (or even being charged) are not reasons for exclusion from this database which reportedly lists thousands of us. I don't have a criminal record but have been arrested on two protests (charged at one) - the first an anti-fascist demo in Oldham where the police used divide-and-rule, using a cordon to sepaeate mainly white protesters on my side of the road from mainly Asian youths who'd been defending their areas under threat from the BNP and NF on the other (I was the first person to attempt to break through the cordon); the second handing out leaflets calling for a boycott of Israeli goods outside Marks & Spencer in Manchester.
The Guardian predictably objects to this massive level of surveillance, but let's be honest - the powers that be would be exrtremely stupid to simply stand by and let us change society without a big struggle! Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems have been developed for speed cameras to catch speeding motorists, so it would be utterly stupid not to use the same cameras for spying on left-wing activists! When we've spotted police with video cameras on demonstrations, we wouldn't expect them to chuck the footage away if no criminal activity took place!
The most disturbing aspect of all this to me, a point not mentioned by the Guardian, is calling us left-wing activists "extremists". Much legislation has been passed supposedly targeting terrorists and potential terrorists - so-called "Islamic extremists". Of course it would have been discriminatory to mention Islam in the legislation, and I have long realised that (if they could get away with it) the state would sooner or later use it against people like myself, even if we don't take up arms to try to take power. This is not just hypothetical - such legislation has already been used against "animal rights extremists". But, unlike an ex-comrade of mine, the late Terry Fields MP who said "a militant is a moderate who has got off his knees", I'm not frightened to admit that us revolutionary socialists are extremists!
Police in £9m scheme to log 'domestic extremists
Spotter cards: What they look like and how they work
How police rebranded lawful protest as 'domestic extremism'
Campaigner uncovers police files for £10 and a letter
Activists repeatedly stopped and searched as police officers 'mark' cars
Doth I protest too much? (by Mark Thomas)
There's also a surveillance page on the Guardian website at http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/surveillance