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Do the City of London Police really see Occupy London’s peaceful protesters as domestic extremists?

 

On Saturday evening Occupy London – part of the global movement for social and economic justice – was passed a rather interesting document: a “Terrorism/Extremism update for the City of London Business Community.”

Ten copies of this document were handed to Occupy London at its Bank of Ideas building by someone claiming to be a local businessman. The document has since been confirmed as genuine. [1]

The use of fear as a political tool has been well described by others. [2]

This same fear and intimidation was evident in the policing of the Wednesday’s N30 strike march through London. It is something Occupy London and other peaceful concerned citizens have experienced as they sought to remind the highest paid that they cannot continue to ignore this economic climate without questions being asked of them directly. [3]

Occupy London would like to take this opportunity to demonstrate how the use of this kind of rhetoric can give an impression that is slightly divorced from reality. The language of fear comes easily to those who like to feel they are in charge, but its danger is in its addictive quality.

The City of London police’s recent communication – of which there have presumably been a series – starts off with Al-Qaeda and ends with a blameless educational sightseeing tour of Canary Wharf, casting aspersions on the electricians’ continuing industrial action along the way.

The document exhibits other signs of worrying paranoia. The reference to “suspected activists” seems to demonstrate a disturbing loss of perspective. Activism is not a crime and the desire to participate in democratic decision-making should not be a cause for concern for the police in any free society.

An institution that confuses active ciitizens with criminals and equates Al Qaeda with efforts to reimagine the city is an institution in grave danger of losing its way.

We would welcome clarification from the City of London Police as to what exactly constitutes “hostile reconnaissance reports concerning individuals who would fit the anti-capitalist profile.” What does hostility mean in this context? Does it come from those being reported on or those doing the reporting? The City of London police’s phrasing here is simply unclear and risks placing groundless fear in the place of constructive dialogue – which ultimately serves noone’s interests.

See the document for yourself here:

 

 

Notes

[1] Independent – Police in city see occupiers as terror risk http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-in-city-see-occupiers-as-terror-risk-6272434.html
[2] Adam Curtis – Fear gives politicians a reason to be http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2004/nov/24/terrorism.world
[3] N30, corporate greed, Xstrata and the right to protest http://occupylsx.org/?p=1755

 

24 Responses to “Do the City of London Police really see Occupy London’s peaceful protesters as domestic extremists?”

  1. … and to top it all, they can’t even spell Colombia! Doh…

     
    • “Colombia” in English is spelled “Columbia”, like “España” is spelled “Spain” or “London” becomes “Londres” in Spanish. And it’s “duh”, not “doh”.

       
  2. So Occupy is listed on the same piece of paper as Al qaeda and the IRA. No more needs to be said really, except that this is quite deliberate and the establishment is out of its mind.

     
  3. You guys are doing a great job.. but a so very naive! Here you have a written declaration – putting Occupylsx in the same context as terrorist groups. Something the public will of course fear. Then you have a spoken reversal by the Met. Why on earth are you not punting that Met Chief states that Occupylsx is not a threat? He said it and you miss the opportunity to use it. It brings into doubt the Mets ability to tackle terorism,because they confuse it with other mnor issues, and that brings into question their competance to protect the Public, because of the “other” pressure that is on them to deal with the ebaressment of Occupylsx. So “external” pressure to use resources on Occupy weakens Mets abiity to deal with more serious issues.

     
    • We’ve seen no “spoken reversal” from the Met (who are not responsible for this document), just a wobble from the City of London Police, who claim that their decision to list Occupy London on the same piece of paper as Al-Qaeda reflects “poor wording.”

       
  4. The extremist activity of police forces that kettle, use metal walls to prevent access of citizens to their city, arrest passive protesters and continuously support without questioning the corporate overlords who they defend at the expense of the majority.
    That extremist activity is never questioned in Parliament, yet should be challenged if we are not to descend into a police state with civil rights being gradually removed.

     
  5. The police seem to be notifying local businesses about potential threats to their operations. As Occupy recently started to break into and occupy businesses buildings (empty or in operation) then it seems reasonable that the police keeps businesses up to date with the threat you pose to them. I agree that the title Terrorism/Extremism doesn’t seem to fit your movement but I guess that is just the name of the document. Maybe the police should call it Terrorism/Extremism/Crime or something like that instead.

     
    • The fact that now any peaceful demonstration could be hijacked by the Occupy people and end up with buildings being attacked and citizens being terrorised in their place of work would surely justify the Occupy movement’s inclusion on this newsletter. To be honest, I have the feeling that Occupy would be quite pleased with this – other than Wednesday’s incident their movement seems to have lost its way recently with some of allegations made of financial impropriety etc so anything that gets them back in the news (as a victim no less) would surely be welcome

       
      • Oh Dear!

         
      • Is it OCCUPY who will be pleased with this document OR those who have infiltrated the movement ?
        plenty of mainstream news article admit that the OCCUPY movement is infiltrated by police etc. google stuff below,

        Real democracies don’t infiltrate legitimate protest groups | Annie …
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/…/police-infiltrate-protest-group...
        21 Oct 2011 – Annie Machon: How is it justifiable for police to spy on those exercising their democratic rights and perjure themselves as Jim Boyling did?

         
    • Finally a voice of common sense and not overreaction.

       
    • Exactly right. The city police website makes it clear their ‘terrorism’ bulletin covers ANY potential disruption to the City, which would include Occupy.

      http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cityoflondon.police.uk%2FCityPolice%2FCommunityPolicing%2Fcommunityemailandsmsscheme.htm&h=jAQFDYzP8AQGn69N5d-hCY4XJTFFDyWsUgetiWvRerM9fRg

       
  6. Are you sure about this?

    Why on god’s name would the city of london be sending internal documents to the business community about a concluded trial in belarus on the same piece of paper as occupy london planned events? What perpose could this be belarusian information possibly serve to anyone who isn’t a belarusian, academic or professional in the field. Same for FARC and Pakistan.

    This looks like some kid got 3 vaguely terrorist sounding stories from the internet and pasted it with some vague stuff about occupy.

    Don’t know if you guys were duped by a prank, or if this is a silly piece of AP or if this is genuine but I would certainly be very very certain of my sources before i make such a central piece of it on my blog and facebook.

    in solidarity

    Mr E

     
    • Did you read the linked Independant article (footnote 1)? The police have confirmed this is a genuine letter they sent out to ‘key trusted partners’…

       
    • “What perpose could this be belarusian information possibly serve to anyone who isn’t a belarusian, academic or professional in the field? ”

      Given many international HQs are based in the CIty, it would be useful to be kept up to date of the current political climate in other countries, if businesses were looking to expand there, or had significant suppliers or customers in those regions.

       
    • yep, ur prolly right

       
    • It is true that this might be done just as a prank, but I am very glad the document has been shown to their larger community.

      From observations, police are already using powers at Finsbury square and at the Bank of Ideas that could suggest it may be genuine.

      And from another observation, If the protest was a terrorist threat, it would not be targeting empty buildings, surely.

      It has already shown that the camp is vulnerable to extremists like EDL, who were stopped from going to cause harm to the camp, which the police did a good job to stop. It confuses me therefore to read this, because the camp community is more likely to gain harm from extremists than be extremists, so police should be continuing to protect the camp.

       
      • There’s separate police forces and different agendas to be considered here.
        The Met did a great job protecting the camp. This is “City of London Police” … a different sausage altogether.

         
        • Thanks for the enlightenment on differing police services/forces.

           
    • Well there you go, my scepticism was unnecessary – the feds are truly, truly useless.

       
  7. Surely the “Anit Terrorist Hotline” at the bottom is the key. We just rat on the government being terrorists and all will be well right… ?

     
  8. The City of London Police, despite the respectful appearance of its uniform, is as legtimate as a private security organisation, they serve as the body guards or the hardmen of the Mafia behind them. The financial Mafia of city of London is using its ill gotton loots from the people to equip their security arm of plastic bullets, taser guns etc to intimidate anyone who dare to protest against their practice of looting.

    We will find out in a few weeks time if this Mafia also has the Judiciary in its pocket too.

     
    • If there was a prize for most ludicrous post the one above would surely have walked away with it

       

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