In what appears to have been a lesson well-learned from their American counterparts on how to create your own ‘terrorists’ and violate rights and laws, police in Britain are reportedly spending £9m in a scheme that gathers the personal details of thousands of activists who attend political meetings and protests, and storing their data on a network of nationwide intelligence databases.
Last year Police in some U.S. cities were busted trying to create criminals out of peaceful political dissenters under the guise of fighting the fraudulent ‘War on Terror.’ In a similar move, police in Britain are monitoring ‘domestic extremists,’ despite the fact that they have not committed any crimes.
Domestic Extremism — a term that has no legal basis — can apparently include activists suspected of minor public order offenses such as civil disobedience or peaceful demonstrations. Protesting illegal activities conducted by your Government, trying to change legislation or domestic policy can also subject you to ‘criminal’ surveillance.
The ‘terrorism and allied matters’ committee of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) receives £9m in public funding from police forces and the Home Office runs three national police units that are responsible for combating domestic extremism.
An investigation by the Guardian revealed:
• The main unit, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), runs a central database which lists thousands of so-called domestic extremists. It filters intelligence supplied by police forces across England and Wales, which routinely deploy surveillance teams at protests, rallies and public meetings. The NPOIU contains detailed files on individual protesters who are searchable by name.
• Vehicles associated with protesters are being tracked via a nationwide system of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras. One man, who has no criminal record, was stopped more than 25 times in less than three years after a “protest” marker was placed against his car after he attended a small protest against duck and pheasant shooting. ANPR “interceptor teams” are being deployed on roads leading to protests to monitor attendance.
• Police surveillance units, known as Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) and Evidence Gatherers, record footage and take photographs of campaigners as they enter and leave openly advertised public meetings. These images are entered on force-wide databases so that police can chronicle the campaigners’ political activities. The information is added to the central NPOIU.
• Surveillance officers are provided with “spotter cards” used to identify the faces of target individuals who police believe are at risk of becoming involved in domestic extremism. Targets include high-profile activists regularly seen taking part in protests. One spotter card, produced by the Met to monitor campaigners against an arms fair, includes a mugshot of the comedian Mark Thomas.
• NPOIU works in tandem with two other little-known Acpo branches, the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (Netcu), which advises thousands of companies on how to manage political campaigns, and the National Domestic Extremism Team, which pools intelligence gathered by investigations into protesters across the country.
‘Domestic Extremist’ Units lack Statutory Accountability
A national review of policing of protests by Denis O’Connor, chief inspector of constabulary, will be released next month. It’s expected that a complete overhaul of the three Acpo units — which lack statutory accountability — will be announced.
The Home Office — the UK’s version of ‘Homeland Security’ — backed the set up of Acpo’s national infrastructure in an attempt to combat animal rights activists who were committing serious crimes. Since the criminal activity of animal rights activists has receded, ‘domestic extremist’ units have focused on political groups and activists, including anti-war and environmental groups that engage in peaceful protests.
As with their counterparts in America, British police also employ spies to infiltrate protest groups to inform on them. In the U.S., spies are also used by law enforcement to infiltrate peaceful protest groups and intentionally try to inspire violence and acts that could be perceived as terrorism.
Creating criminals out of peaceful protestors is nothing more than an excuse to justify illegal police activities and to trample civil liberties and rights in the fraudulent ‘War on Terror.’ As noted by InfoWars, “if you care about living in anything like a free society with any modicum of free speech whatsoever, then the message is simple –“ use it or lose it.”