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Police caught on tape trying to recruit 'Plane Stupid' protester as spy

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tomm2thumbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 10:20 PM
Original message
Police caught on tape trying to recruit 'Plane Stupid' protester as spy
Source: Guardian UK

Undercover police are running a network of hundreds of informants inside protest organisations who secretly feed them intelligence in return for cash, according to evidence handed to the Guardian. They claim to have infiltrated a number of environmental groups and said they are receiving information about leaders, tactics and plans of future demonstrations.

<snip>

Matilda Gifford, 24, said she recorded the meetings in an attempt to expose how police seek to disrupt the legitimate activities of climate change activists. She met the officers twice; they said they were a detective constable and his assistant. During the taped discussions, the officers:

Indicate that she could receive tens of thousands of pounds to pay off her student loans in return for information about individuals within Plane Stupid.

Say they will not pay money direct into her bank account because that would leave an audit trail that would leave her compromised. They said the money would be tax-free, and added: "UK plc can afford more than 20 quid."

Accept that she is a legitimate protester, but warn her that her activity could mean she will struggle to find employment in the future and result in a criminal record.

Claim they have hundreds of informants feeding them information from protest organisations and "big groupings" from across the political spectrum.

Explain that spying could assist her if she was arrested.

Warn her that she could be jailed alongside "hard, evil" people if she received a custodial sentence.

<snip>

When lawyers acting for Plane Stupid contacted Strathclyde police this week to establish the identities of the detective constable, they were initially told by the human resources department there was no record of his name.

But when the Guardian contacted the force, they acknowledged officers had had meetings with Plane Stupid activists.

In a statement last night, assistant chief constable George Hamilton said the force had "a responsibility to gather intelligence", and such operations were conducted according to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). The force would not comment on the identity of the officers.


Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/24/strathclyde-police-plane-stupid-recruit-spy




In the UK - but always good to see what is happening in the real world we live in
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 10:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. They don't play in the UK. When you're "assisting the police with their inquiries" they mean
business.

People who denigrate the US, and our system of government (notwithstanding the BushCo abuses) should get a load of some of the shit they pull over there, and get away with, simply because there's no laws against what they do.

Their surveillance, for example, is way more onerous than ours. They even have detector vans that run around and determine if you have a television set operating, like the old Nazi radio detecting vans. I'm not talking about cable or satellite, I'm talking lousy over-the-air transmissions.

If you haven't paid for your license, well, you're fucked. They'll come knocking at your door, late at night, too. Very creepy.

Bush was really trying to model us after UK in many aspects. He liked the fine blanket of surveillance they had working.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 03:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. The detector vans are due to the BBC being a tax supported service..
The BBC seems to get a better rating here in the US than our own domestic news services, Fox, M$NBC and so forth.

BBC programming is paid for by taxes on operating televisions within the UK.

Do they fly helicopters with sophisticated infrared detection gear over your home in the UK looking for evidence that it is too warm? That is done regularly in the USA..

It's quite amusing how easily we can point the finger at the surveillance practices of other countries while turning a blind eye to our own.

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Ohio Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:12 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. huh?
"Do they fly helicopters with sophisticated infrared detection gear over your home in the UK looking for evidence that it is too warm? That is done regularly in the USA.."

I have never heard of this. What are you refering to?
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Thor_MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Most people do their gardening outside, but some do it indoors.
Those indoors gardeners tend to specialize in one crop, and their grow lights can cause a building to be warmer than it would otherwise be.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. As the other poster noted, pot is often grown indoors under lights these days..
The lights produce heat, infrared cameras can detect heat, they are often used by law enforcement to look at buildings to see if they are warmer than they should be.

If your building is too warm you might be growing an illegal crop.

You want to win the drug war, right?
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pam4water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. The Man Who Was Thrusday,
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caseymoz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
3. In Britain they really don't have a 'constitution' as such.

Really, the main body of their law is based on many documents and declarations. It isn't gathered into one document. There is no real Bill of Rights. If they seem to have liberties now, it's only because they've bought off the monarchy, who still formally runs the government.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 03:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. What's the difference if you have a constitution or not?
If you don't follow the one you have?

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caseymoz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. Because at least the people have a written agreement to hold the government to.

That's what a Constitution is, a written promise by the government to its people, which give it the right to govern. A main problem we are having is that the people don't hold the government to its promises, and actually they have been tricked out of doing it. I mean, being a Congressional Representative is the most secure job you can get. Its turnover rate per election is something under two percent-- that's a percent a year. Meanwhile if they beat the odds and happen to lose an election they then start a lucrative career as a lobbyist.

The Presidency has been allowed to break the law with impunity. If Nixon and his people had gone to prison after Watergate, do you think we would have had the troubles with Iran-Contra or the whole presidency of George W. Bush? Or if, say, Ford had been impeached for pardoning Nixon (don't say that wasn't possible, and even if he had beat it, it would have been a discouragement for the Presidency to undermine justice later on).

It's true of both a copyright and human rights, the people have to defend their rights or lose them. They must hold the government to its promise to respect and defend their rights. To effectively do so, they would push legislation in their states which give them time. I never thought I would embrace the idea of "Sundays off" but it seems it might be a good way to give people a chance to gather and organize politically. This tends to keep people from organizing effectively. As it is, corporations with the tacit approval of the government have been allowed to atomize and dilute the people's abilities to defend their rights. People could make demands like this. More than likely, the effort to win back the effective power to gather and organize has to be started at the state and local level.

I'm not saying exactly that the people are directly at fault. They have also been tricked into reducing their ability to defend their rights. The main result of it is that they have far less time and unity to do so.

It looks like things are changing to the better. The turnover rate for incumbents has been much higher in the last two elections. The people in the states and districts have to look for Representatives and Senators who are soft on enforcing rights and be willing to vote them out. As for the Presidency, we need to change the serving terms to maybe six years with a two year "extention" decided by election, and make impeachment or other punishment more of an effective threat.

The people have to secure their abilities to force the government to defend their rights.
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Blandocyte Donating Member (830 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
4. Anarchy in the UK
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:28 AM
Response to Original message
8. Hardly much of a suprise
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ohio2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
11. What? no video of stupid people caught doing stupid things? nt
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
12. Why don't they spy on the right-wing for a change!
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conspirator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. because the right wing spies on itself and everybody. They are the control freaks nt
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