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Fuck the police
January 23, 2011 6:18 AM   Subscribe

Activists in the UK are currently rather angry about the news that undercover cops have been sleeping around in order to infiltrate largely peaceful environmental groups - one officer even married an activist. "Everybody knew it was a very promiscuous lifestyle," ... "You cannot not be promiscuous in those groups. Otherwise you'll stand out straightaway.".
posted by handee (91 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
You can be promiscuous, but only our way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:29 AM on January 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Countdown to porno version of A Scanner Darkly in 5...4...3...
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:30 AM on January 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Actually, that was a dumb comment of mine and should be deleted.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:33 AM on January 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can anyone explain why they're infiltrating these groups in the first place? Why infiltrate an anti-racist group?
posted by creasy boy at 6:34 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thread title brought out a wry grin. I don't feel I can comment on anything else here in a way that would be acceptable for MetaFilter (or polite society) so I shall refrain.
posted by Dysk at 6:34 AM on January 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


The 'need to be promiscuous' line is a load of shit, but it fits into tired old narratives about free love hippies and allows the undercover cops to justify what they've done. Arseholes.
posted by knapah at 6:35 AM on January 23, 2011 [26 favorites]


Imho, sometimes, these stereotypes or righteously singular prismed views of those very different (and thus, often, incomprehensible or ungraspable) are some of the most damaging throwaway imagery ever...
posted by infini at 6:41 AM on January 23, 2011


Why infiltrate an anti-racist group?

There's strong overlap between the hard-left and the anti-racist movement types. The former generally have a history of advocating the overthrow of the state, and the British state has been fearing the possibility of a Bolshevik revolution ever since the 1920s. (Why else do you think our gun control laws are so strong?) Hence the interest in, um, penetrating these groups for intelligence purposes.
posted by pharm at 6:47 AM on January 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Can anyone explain why they're infiltrating these groups in the first place?

For the casual sex I guess.
posted by Dr Dracator at 6:47 AM on January 23, 2011 [34 favorites]


Can anyone explain why they're infiltrating these groups in the first place? Why infiltrate an anti-racist group?

For the same reason the police protect EDL and BNP marches.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:49 AM on January 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


"The best way of stopping any liaison getting too heavy was to shag somebody else. It's amazing how women don't like you going to bed with someone else," said the officer, whose undercover deployment infiltrating anti-racist groups lasted from 1993 to 1997.
Funny how that works, even in promiscuous groups.
posted by dabitch at 6:50 AM on January 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also, compare the response to this to the response to the rape-by-deception guy in Israel.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:51 AM on January 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, compare the response to this to the response to the rape-by-deception guy in Israel.

It's a tiny bit different when the protagonist is acting with the authority of the State.
posted by mhoye at 7:05 AM on January 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


As with creasy boy, its the targets that astonish, deep cover infiltration of Reclaim the Streets for God's sake? A non-violent collective who occasionally cause traffic disruption by organising a party in a street!

One of the major issues this controversy has thrown up is that efforts to infiltrate potential 'domestic extremists' in the UK has been led by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), and rather than be controled by a police force the NPOIU is owned by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). ACPO is an association of the Chief Constables of the various UK police forces, and represents the forces rather than the senior staff. It is funded by the Home Office and the different police forces and its stated goal is to inform policing policy in the UK. However it remains a private company, which means it has no democratic accountability and until later this year, has not been subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The NPOIU, aolong with two other ACPO controled teams are now set to be taken over by the Metropolitan Police who have pledged in future to more stringently review whether undercover operations are necessary and proportionate "so that it would come within our command and control system, which would ensure a) compliance with law, b) compliance with rules, c) compliance with ethics".

It is also notable that one of the undercover policemen has accused the Nottinghamshire police force of failure to disclose evidence to accused climate change activists that would have exonerated them on various public order charges.
posted by biffa at 7:06 AM on January 23, 2011 [17 favorites]


Jeez, if I'd known that I could get paid a full police salary with benefits for spending all my time being a green activist and sleeping around...
posted by Segundus at 7:06 AM on January 23, 2011 [27 favorites]


Also, compare the response to this to the response to the rape-by-deception guy in Israel.
What? They're totally not analogous situations in any way. There was no point in the entire rape by deception discussion when anyone thought the guy was authorized by the state to have sex with women for the purposes of information gathering.
posted by craichead at 7:07 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trust ... trust the police.
posted by adipocere at 7:08 AM on January 23, 2011


Part of the reason this unit is still around is mission creep, it originally focused on the more violent parts of the Animal Rights movement. But when that went quiet they had to justify their budgets so they expanded to cover folks like Reclaim the Streets. At this point they deserve the right royal kicking they are about to receive.
posted by invisible_al at 7:14 AM on January 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't know how uncommon this for undercover cops. In the early nineties when I was in high school in a little town in Ontario, a female undercover cop infiltrated a group of acquaintances in the town for drug offenses, as they all did drugs and there was some dealing going on. She had gotten into a relationship with one of the guys and was living with him. I heard he was very much in love with her and wanted to marry her.

Then about eight years ago I was dating a cop myself. He told me he wanted to go undercover to infiltrate biker gangs, but that he wouldn't do it because the personal cost would be too much — not only for himself, but for everyone he cared about. He said "you go in deep" when you go undercover, and he'd be given a fake identity complete with prison record, would have to get some tattoos and pack on some weight, and have very little contact with his family and friends lest they be endangered or give away his real identity. As for a relationship, he said he wouldn't want to endanger a woman, and, had he been with me, it would have taken the bikers all of two minutes to figure out something was up because I was so NOT the kind of woman bikers date, i.e., educated and working at a professional level job, and without a substance abuse problem. He'd either have to remain single or get involved with one of the women in the biker gangs. So as much as he wanted to help get some bikers off the streets, he had decided against it because he wanted a normal life with a normal girlfriend.
posted by orange swan at 7:15 AM on January 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also, compare the response to this to the response to the rape-by-deception guy in Israel.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:51 AM


Why in the world would anyone do that?
posted by Sailormom at 7:19 AM on January 23, 2011


As with creasy boy, its the targets that astonish, deep cover infiltration of Reclaim the Streets for God's sake? A non-violent collective who occasionally cause traffic disruption by organising a party in a street!

This has to be basically winning the undercover cop lottery.
posted by graventy at 7:21 AM on January 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Leeds activist Mark Barnsley made an interesting public statement about his unwitting friendship with PC Kennedy.
posted by Abiezer at 7:27 AM on January 23, 2011


This has to be basically winning the undercover cop lottery.
Apparently various of his colleagues in the undercover unit were making snide comments about his claims to be stressed out, pointing out that the worst that was going to happen if he got caught was being made to finish his lentil curry and leave.
posted by Abiezer at 7:29 AM on January 23, 2011 [25 favorites]


Why else do you think our gun control laws are so strong?

Because the police are your protectors, and therefore if you're doing nothing wrong you don't need a gun?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:30 AM on January 23, 2011


it seems to be a common occurrence. A very similar case emerged in germany a few weeks ago, a police informant infiltrated the leftist/anti-fascist scene in the university town of Heidelberg for more than a year.
This sort of broad investigation of an entire political scene without a certain target by a police officer is strictly un-constitutional in germany (the german intelligence service "Verfassungsschutz" is authorized to do such things though), but no mayor political party or media figure displayed any great surprise or outrage when he was uncovered.
posted by ts;dr at 7:35 AM on January 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of the episode of 21 jump street where Office Tom Hanson had to shoot heroin to get in good with some art students. Talk about with fulfillment.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:48 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


As with creasy boy, its the targets that astonish, deep cover infiltration of Reclaim the Streets for God's sake? A non-violent collective who occasionally cause traffic disruption by organising a party in a street!

To be fair, I doubt that promiscuity is required to infiltrate Hizbut at Tahrir.

What invisible_al says is right though, this task force was originally formed when there was quite a lot of violent animal rights activism going on. Remember pre-2001 everyone was predicting that the new terrorism was going to be environmental in motivation - of course that never happened. Really operation should have been pulled years ago, but there was a certain degree of bureaucratic empire building going on within the police. Combine that with no external oversight, and you'll always get messes like this.
posted by atrazine at 7:49 AM on January 23, 2011


On the downside they had to sleep with environmentalists.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:49 AM on January 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why in the world would anyone do that?

How many of these activists do you think would have slept with these men if they knew they were cops?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:50 AM on January 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


In Beaumont Texas, cops were sleeping with prostitutes as part of a plan to make an arrest on the owners of the spa who were believed to be trafficking various illegal goods and services. The two detectives question - one of them even allegedly got his wife's permission to do that type of undercover work. When it of out what they were doing, the higher ups fired the two detectives and then a countersuit ewe immediately filed by the two officers claiming wrongful termination.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,409061,00.html

I think in Texas, we see that this kind of signaling potentially has a separator equilibrium bc the stigma associated with cops doing this to make arrests is fairly high. But perhaps in UK, pooling may be more likely to form. If the cost of doing these actions are not substantially different for the "real types" vs the "bad types", that can happen.
posted by scunning at 7:54 AM on January 23, 2011


Countdown to porno version of A Scanner Darkly in 5...4...3...

or The Secret Policeman's Balls
posted by hal9k at 7:58 AM on January 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


This has been going on for ages, and it continues to be outrageous. The Met has yet to answer questions regarding it's operations, and the activities of a certain "Constable Neil", going back as far as 1982.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:03 AM on January 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


How many of these activists do you think would have slept with these men if they knew they were cops?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:50 AM


Probably depends on how the cops were dressed.
posted by Sailormom at 8:12 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty: "Also, compare the response to this to the response to the rape-by-deception guy in Israel"

Ah! Thanks, PG... I *knew* this topic touched on familiar issues but I couldn't recall from where... Then I recalled a discussion over on LJ regarding this Israel story.
posted by symbioid at 8:17 AM on January 23, 2011


Shades of McDonald...
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 8:35 AM on January 23, 2011


"Everybody knew it was a very promiscuous lifestyle," ... "You cannot not be promiscuous in those groups. Otherwise you'll stand out straightaway.".

Utter. Bullshit. Activist groups contain promiscuous people, faithfully married or partnered people, celibate people, all sorts of people. Just like, you know, regular people. Still, cops telling lies to justify their shitty behaviour is hardly a new phenomenon.
posted by Decani at 8:36 AM on January 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


I hear LGBT activists are also promiscuous. Time to investigate deeply the scourge that is santorum.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 8:37 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


You cannot not be promiscuous in those groups.

God, I wish.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:38 AM on January 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


one officer even married an activist

And thereby outed himself?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:39 AM on January 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


More seriously though, I find the premise that a cop would "stand out straightaway" if they did not engage in sex with other group members highly questionable. I've known people involved with anarchist and anti-racist groups (ones that would certainly be considered more radical than Reclaim the Streets) who for various reasons (often some kind of spiritual or sXe kick) did not have sex with anyone. This was never questioned by other group members, except perhaps quietly, in private, by people who wanted to have sex with those people.

In short, fuck narcs- but don't fuck them.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:42 AM on January 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why infiltrate an anti-racist group?

Equality threatens the status quo.
posted by yeloson at 8:42 AM on January 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Or, as Fontenelle once said, in his Eulogy for René d'Argenson, who was at the head of the French police from 1697 to 1715:
To keep up perpetually in a city, like Paris, an immense consumption, some sources of which may always be dried up by a variety of accidents; to repress the tyranny of shop-keepers in regard to the public, and at the same time animate their commerce; to prevent the mutual usurpations of the one over the other, often difficult to discriminate; to distinguish in a vast crowd all those who may easily conceal there a hurtful industry; to purge society of them, or tolerate them only as far as they can be useful to it by employments which no others but themselves would undertake, or discharge so well; to keep necessary abuses within the precise limits of necessity which
they are always ready to over-leap; to envelop them in the obscurity to which they ought to be condemned, and not even draw them from it by chastisement too notorious; to be ignorant of what it is better to be ignorant of than to punish, and to punish but seldom and usefully;
to penetrate by subterraneous avenues into the bosom of families, and keep for them the secrets which they have not confided, as long as it is not necessary to make use of them; to be present every where without being seen; in short, to move or stop at pleasure an immense multitude, and be the soul ever-acting, and almost unknown, of this great body: these are, in general, the functions of the chief magistrate of the police.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 8:46 AM on January 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wanna read the reports these guys wrote.


Attended a Greenpeace meeting about whales. These people really seem to like whales. I think they may be conspiring with whales to overthrow the government. I will investigate further by getting close to the group's leader, who goes by the name Sunshine, and, incidentally, has a banging set of knockers and is an ardent yoga practitioner. After I have earned her trust, I will subject her to a thorough "interrogation," if you know what I mean.
posted by dortmunder at 8:48 AM on January 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


Officer Friendly
posted by jason's_planet at 8:49 AM on January 23, 2011


Don't forget Mefi favorite topic, Julian Assange.

I wouldn't find this practice so offensive if it weren't so stupid and wasteful. It betrays a certain worldview by the police, as well.

In the U.S. we should mandate that any undercover police activity supported with federal funding require equal application of the law in disparate groups. In other words, if you sex up a yoga practicing Greenpeacer, an equal amount of time has to be spent sexing up beer swilling John Birchers.
posted by Xoebe at 8:50 AM on January 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


There was this from the Cardiff Anarchist Network on being infiltrated by a different police spy, 'Marco'.
posted by Abiezer at 8:54 AM on January 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


So as much as he wanted to help get some bikers off the streets, he had decided against it because he wanted a normal life with a normal girlfriend.

sounds a little too pat. he's probably an undercover biker sent to infiltrate straight society.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:59 AM on January 23, 2011 [28 favorites]


Yet another overlooked reason to break the law: free honey trap sex.
posted by dgaicun at 9:04 AM on January 23, 2011


I'm not sure why we should be outraged by undercover cops having sex with their targets anymore than we should be outraged by undercover cops in the first place. That we routinely allow cops to go under cover is the problem, not that they then conform to one of the lifestyles of the group they are infiltrating. After all if cops were prohibited from copulating with persons of interest it would be pretty easy for groups to eliminate undercover cops from their organizations.
posted by Mitheral at 9:04 AM on January 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


It betrays a certain worldview by the police, as well.

oh yes, much as comments like yours betray the worldview of internet users.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:06 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I liked the thread title too. Although "The Spy Who Loved Me" would have also been pretty good.

Obligatory: Help The Police.
posted by norm at 9:07 AM on January 23, 2011


Reminds me of the time they planted a rookie narc in the freshman dorm at the college I was attending. They decided not to prosecute anyone after it was revealed that the narc slept with a 17-year-old.
posted by luckynerd at 9:27 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why we should be outraged by undercover cops having sex with their targets anymore than we should be outraged by undercover cops in the first place. That we routinely allow cops to go under cover is the problem, not that they then conform to one of the lifestyles of the group they are infiltrating. After all if cops were prohibited from copulating with persons of interest it would be pretty easy for groups to eliminate undercover cops from their organizations.

As has already been pointed out, the notion that promiscuity is part of the identity of these groups is a myth.
posted by odinsdream at 9:39 AM on January 23, 2011


Animals, cops, romance, farce? I smell a date movie.
posted by condour75 at 10:14 AM on January 23, 2011


I'm not sure why we should be outraged by undercover cops having sex with their targets anymore than we should be outraged by undercover cops in the first place. That we routinely allow cops to go under cover is the problem, not that they then conform to one of the lifestyles of the group they are infiltrating. After all if cops were prohibited from copulating with persons of interest it would be pretty easy for groups to eliminate undercover cops from their organizations.

Hah, just imagining the conversations is amusing.

"Are you a cop?"
"Of course not"
"Then you won't mind fucking me?"

I'm outraged that they're infiltrating these groups on fishing expeditions, but I've expressed that opinion enough recently. However the fact that they seem to be encouraged, tacitly anyway, to get involved in sexual relationships is rather disturbing.
posted by knapah at 10:25 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


"When you are using the tool of sex to maintain your cover or maybe to glean more intelligence – because they certainly talk a lot more, pillow talk – you would be ready to move on if you felt an attachment growing.

"The best way of stopping any liaison getting too heavy was to shag somebody else. It's amazing how women don't like you going to bed with someone else," said the officer,


which contradicts his line about "necessary group promiscuity," no?
posted by eustatic at 10:27 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's obviously a long-term eugenics program; by breeding cops with lefties you get more centrists.

Anyway, I'm sure people losing their libraries, schools, community centers and having their tuition tripled feel pretty good about continuing to fund the "employing full time detectives to bang treehuggers" program.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:30 AM on January 23, 2011 [21 favorites]


Anyway, I'm sure people losing their libraries, schools, community centers and having their tuition tripled feel pretty good about continuing to fund the "employing full time detectives to bang treehuggers" program.

Yeah, £250,000 per agent per year according to Mark Kennedy.
posted by knapah at 10:48 AM on January 23, 2011


No sex please, we're British.
posted by Xere at 10:51 AM on January 23, 2011


In the U.S., police are given very thorough and pretty standardized training on when they may draw their guns, fire them, etc. Is there any equivalent training with respect to deploying their penises in the course of duty, whether it should be erect or flaccid (i.e. "safety on"), under what circumstances it is appropriate to ejaculate, etc? And what does the equivalent to a firing range look like?
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:56 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


No sex please, we're British.

I'm sure these officers just lay back and thought of England all the while.
posted by orange swan at 11:18 AM on January 23, 2011


Wow...so i guess the sex is more dangerous than the food in britain, now.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:19 AM on January 23, 2011


odinsdream writes "As has already been pointed out, the notion that promiscuity is part of the identity of these groups is a myth."

Which is why I hedged it with "one of the lifestyles"1. The character the cop is playing must require (assuming, and I know this is a big one, competence) promiscuity or at least be more believable with it or we wouldn't be having this conversation. Now the cop or his handler may be able to choose a different character and maybe that would be best however having made the decision to adopt a promiscuous persona the cop should commit to it.

1Which isn't a condemnation of leftist group even though it is playing out that way in the media; it's hard to imagine any organized group of any political bent that doesn't have some promiscuous members.
posted by Mitheral at 11:39 AM on January 23, 2011


Can anyone explain why they're infiltrating these groups in the first place? Why infiltrate an anti-racist group?

Because the major terrorist acts since 2003 in the UK have been comissioned by leftist groups. It was Reclaim the Streets that blew up the tube and buses, right?

Also, the British police don't need to infiltrate neo-Nazi groups. As leaked mailing lists for the BNP show, they're members in good standing!

this task force was originally formed when there was quite a lot of violent animal rights activism going on.

Formed under the authority of RIPA extensions passed in 2003, actually. So no, that's no excuse either.
posted by rodgerd at 11:40 AM on January 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


(And, I might add, yet another charming legacy of the Blair-Brown-Straw approach to civil rights)
posted by rodgerd at 11:53 AM on January 23, 2011


Wow...so i guess the sex is more dangerous than the food in britain, now.

Why are people so down on British food? Curry is delicious!
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:55 AM on January 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


If I were one of the people an agent slept with, under false pretenses, I'd sue for fraud. This is really fucked up. For a government to exploit citizens in the name of ... what? Infiltrating groups that pose little threat? While they're busy with this horrible misuse of power, how many real crimes go un-investigated? This is really foul and loathsome.
posted by theora55 at 12:02 PM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The character the cop is playing must require (assuming, and I know this is a big one, competence) promiscuity or at least be more believable with it or we wouldn't be having this conversation.
I don't entirely understand this way of thinking, to be honest. It basically boils down to the assumption that anything a cop does must have been for a good reason, because otherwise why would he do it? And that's only true if you assume automatic good faith on the part of cops.

Maybe both the agents and the handlers thought it was unreasonable to expect strapping young(ish) men to be celibate for long periods of time, and they were going to make up some bullshit about a culture of promiscuity in order to justify the cops indulging their God-given right to have sex. Maybe the higher-ups authorized the sex-having because they thought it was funny to trick some hippy bitches into screwing a cop. Maybe the cops were just horny, and they convinced the higher-ups that the investigation would be compromised if they didn't sleep around. I don't know, and neither do you. But given that there was clearly a lot here that was deeply questionable, I don't see any reason to assume that everyone was acting on perfect good faith.
posted by craichead at 12:06 PM on January 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


After all if cops were prohibited from copulating with persons of interest it would be pretty easy for groups to eliminate undercover cops from their organizations.

You are Robert Anton Wilson and I claim my revolutionary mind-liberating sexytimes.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:18 PM on January 23, 2011


With the advances in anesthesiology, it hardly seems necessary to infiltrate with intimacy, when all interrogators need is Propofol, and a relaxant. So I guess this is easy in the bedroom. The interrogations can go on as long as the Propofol lasts and the victims don't remember being asked any questions. The statement is "it's important how you say goodbye." The victims go home, or the perp goes home, and the only memory is one of a physical encounter, but the interrogation happened. This can be done again and again.

Rohypnol, and other date rape drugs offer a bonanza to information gatherers, and other date-rapists of every inclination.

Propofol was invented because some "patients" have post traumatic stress from common operating room procedures. Propofol makes it where no short term memories are stored. "Patients" can talk, and carry on like normal if they are not under a general anesthetic, but have no memory of even having surgery. So the particulars of a sexual encounter/interrogation pleasantly carried out, certainly vanish into a haze of pleasant, (or unpleasant) body memory.

A friend said that the little guys in the memory warehouse will work ceaselessly to put the boxes in place, even without the map of clear memory, and eventually there is breakthrough, as piece by piece, locations where memories can be stored get narrowed down.

A lot of new laws were put in place in the US regarding infrastructure. Large swaths of the American west were set aside for power corridors, and companies were given rights to use lethal force to guard infrastructure. So rights of interrogation may as well have come with the rights of lethal force, it just remains a question as to how scared a company has to be to be immune from prosecution for human rights violations? Funny thing, if environmentalist victims can't remember the interrogations, then when that tree fell in the forest, certainly no one heard it at the time, if they weren't "there."

What I am saying is, a lot more of this is going on than people know. I kid you not about this. These drugs were not developed first by humane considerations. They have been in use for some time, before surfacing as a tool for medical practice.
posted by Oyéah at 1:15 PM on January 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Undercover Cops Go Under The Covers
Film at 11

(Tune in to find out: Are they sleeping with your children??)
posted by salvia at 2:13 PM on January 23, 2011


Reminds me of the LAPD.
posted by millardsarpy at 2:53 PM on January 23, 2011


At this point they deserve the right royal kicking they are about to receive.

The right royal slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket, a wink, and an "on your way now"?

This isn't going to stop, and this isn't peculiar to Britain. From Canada and the USA, Australia and New Zealand, Britain and Germany, and every other western nation, surveillance of peace groups is routine. Every few years or months, something like this makes the papers, then everything settles back down to business.

Remember when police in Canada actually got caught on video when they sent undercover cops to infiltrate a peaceful protest in order to attack their fellow officers, giving police cover for their plan to storm the protest? That was a few years back - and do you think any heads have rolled yet? Do you think any charges were laid? Do you think anyone was even much as slightly demoted over that? As far as I know, the results are always the same - a public "Our Bad, It won't happen again", then right back to doing it.

The police involved in this are not sorry they did these things, they're sorry they got caught. In contrast, when a perp displays that attitude at his hearing, he doesn't get let off, he goes to jail.
posted by -harlequin- at 2:58 PM on January 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


The lesson I take away from this is that the police have no morals, but police, according to Wikipedia, are "to regulate behavior and enforce order within their territory for the betterment of the general welfare, morals, health, and safety of their inhabitants."
posted by millardsarpy at 3:37 PM on January 23, 2011


Propofol puts you to sleep: just ask Michael Jackson. There are drugs that don't ease pain but can reduce memory: scopalamine was once used in labor under the belief it was an anesthetic, but instead it just erased the memory of the pain, this may be what you are thinking about.

Anyway, it's no longer used in anesthesia.
posted by Maias at 4:14 PM on January 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


"As regards being with women in very, very, very promiscuous groups such as the eco-wing, environmental movement, leftwing, or the Animal Liberation Front – it's an extremely promiscuous lifestyle and you cannot not be promiscuous in there."


Ah yes, those skanks had it coming to them. If you are a woman who considered voting Green Party, is against drilling for oil in ANWR, recycles yoghurt containers, opposes unnecessary animal testing, or volunteers personal time to your community, you are for sure a dirty promiscuous whore and everybody definitely knows it.
posted by 200burritos at 5:21 PM on January 23, 2011


What a waste of time. They should send someone to infiltrate boardroom meetings, the IMF and the WEF instead.
posted by harriet vane at 11:25 PM on January 23, 2011


Why infiltrate an anti-racist group?

Anti-racism is the de facto mainstream position, codified into law and taught in public schools. Racists are universally reviled by polite society.

Any activist group calling themselves anti-racist is quite likely way off the deep end.
posted by unigolyn at 11:30 PM on January 23, 2011


Anti-racism is the de facto mainstream position, codified into law and taught in public schools. Racists are universally reviled by polite society.

Note that racism in Europe is very different from racism in the US. In Europe, racism is mostly directed at immigrants - usually from the poorer eastern European countries or the Third World - and is much more socially acceptable than you would think, even if it's expressed in less visible ways.

In this sense, you can't think of a European anti-racist activist group as some kind of Black Panthers.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:00 AM on January 24, 2011


Any activist group calling themselves anti-racist is quite likely way off the deep end.

Perhaps on the planet where Mosely's intellectual descendants don't still march and petrol-bomb "dirty Pakis" for shits and giggles. Your planet sounds like a nice place.
posted by rodgerd at 1:22 AM on January 24, 2011


WHO WANTS TO GO FISHING!
posted by clavdivs at 2:07 AM on January 24, 2011


What a waste of time. They should send someone to infiltrate boardroom meetings, the IMF and the WEF instead.

"They" appoint the governors of the IMF already, so they'd be spying on themselves.
posted by atrazine at 2:27 AM on January 24, 2011


Also who would want to sleep with an IMF board member?
posted by Dr Dracator at 3:55 AM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


It doesn't suprise me that there are Police infiltrators in these groups. As people have noted, getting from any left wing group to quite bonkers and scary left wing groups isn't that hard.

And it doesn't suprise me that the Police would use honey traps.

What does suprise me is the assertion that you must be promiscuous. From what I've seen of the radicalised left, this is utter, utter nonsense.
posted by seanyboy at 4:31 AM on January 24, 2011


I'm just amazed that these cops actually managed to have sex. If there is one thing I have noticed about UK police in 6 years living here it is that they are stunningly ineffective at doing what they are supposed to. So once told to have sex I would expect them all to decide not have sex because the crown prosecutors would say it wasn't good enough so why bother.
posted by srboisvert at 4:31 AM on January 24, 2011


pope guilty: I don't know why you'd assume the police aren't doing exactly the same to groups like the EDL and the BNP. I know there's political mileage to be made from asserting as much, but do you really believe this? Honest question.
posted by seanyboy at 4:33 AM on January 24, 2011


Back in the day, state agencies set up a far right group called Column 88 as a honey trap, and I've heard rumours of similar activities with the current shower.
posted by Abiezer at 4:51 AM on January 24, 2011


pope guilty: I don't know why you'd assume the police aren't doing exactly the same to groups like the EDL and the BNP. I know there's political mileage to be made from asserting as much, but do you really believe this? Honest question.

Statistically there are far more men in the EDL and BNP than in the environmentalist movements infiltrated by these particular police. I suspect that there are far more male police officers willing to have sex with female climate change activists than there are female officers willing to have sex with EDL/BNP.

I'm sure the infiltration is occurring into EDL/BNP etc, but I doubt that the sexual aspect is remotely as common.
posted by knapah at 5:24 AM on January 24, 2011


pope guilty: I don't know why you'd assume the police aren't doing exactly the same to groups like the EDL and the BNP. I know there's political mileage to be made from asserting as much, but do you really believe this? Honest question.

Yes. History shows us that the governments of liberal democracies will very cheerfully cuddle up to and protect fascist and proto-fascist movements. Go look at pictures of fascist marches in liberal democracies, and at every march we see cooperative relationships between the police and the fascists. (This coziness has led to the left-wing joke that there is no such thing as a fascist march, only police marches with fascist delegations.) The same can not be said for police treatment of left protestors, which has a now well-established model for disrupting, neutralizing, and destroying left protests.

When fascists march, the government spares no expense in protecting them. When the left marches, no expense is spared in disrupting and violating them.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:00 AM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Women blocked access to New Scotland Yard in a protest at police behaviour. Top placards!
posted by Abiezer at 3:17 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


harriet vane: "What a waste of time. They should send someone to infiltrate boardroom meetings, the IMF and the WEF instead."

50 and 60 year old fat white guys aren't as good in the sack as young, nubile, yoga-loving greens.
posted by QIbHom at 1:00 PM on January 25, 2011


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