Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shock news: the police are liars

Just to recap on police mendacity around the camp for climate action last year;

Confiscated weapons: toilet roll, camping equipment and board games. The weapons stash (as it was described by the BBC) is pictured right. It's like a game of Where's Wally isn't it - can you spot the WMD children?

Injured cops: top cops blamed protesters for over seventy injuries. Turns out that not a single one of those injuries had been caused by protesters. Boo boos include bee stings and heat exhaustion. The one I like the best was "officer injured sitting in car"... wtf? The BBC shakes its head in a disappointed manner.

Monitoring journalists: first they said they didn't target journalists, then they said it was okay, be cool, today Bobbies say it was wrong. I'm sure they really mean it, after all if it took them this long to come clean they must have thought about it long and hard, having a real change of heart.

The police tried to say they filmed journalists by accident - in the hurly burly of a large, complex protest. But the footage shows clearly that the police camera man knows exactly who he's filming and that they work for ITV, Sky and other broadcasters, taking great interest in the showing of press identification. In fact, he makes it clear his opinions on the freedom of the press to come and go from the protest and journalists are later followed to a restaurant where they file their reports using wifi.

It also appears that the Metropolitan Police may have lied in court about the practice which isn't just naughty - it's imprisonable. Well it would be if the courts cared about policemen lying to them.

Police targeting journalists for surveillance is not cool. Lying about it takes that not coolness and adds an extra pinch of tut. Do watch the Guardian's sample footage of the films the police took, fascinating stuff.

Is it cos they are horrid? Yes. But it's also because they want to justify their actions, and if you pump up the threat in the press - making out protesters are tooled up and are nasty to good, honest coppers by stinging them with bees it allows you to rough them up, intimidate them, make protesters life a misery and generally behave like arseholes.

The police have a material interest to lie because it gives them more scope to abuse their powers - which means we need to introduce a material interest for them to tell the truth - like sacking those who tell pork pies. Apologies really are not enough when it is clearly *policy* to lie to both Parliament and the press. The police can't be trusted to uphold the law until they are subject to it.

Climate campers can be found later this year giving it some to the city whilst the G20 is in town.

1 comment:

Strategist said...

Well said, Jim and thanks so much for producing such an excellent summary.

Yes we need accountability and yes a head or two should roll - it was an appalling operation with riot police and nasty little "police intelligence" characters completely out of control. A disgrace to Kent Police - even if half of the stuff wasn't their personnel, it was their patch.

The Asst Chief Constable in charge of the operation should therefore be reprimanded or sacked, and the Chief Constable who, if I remember rightly, was on holiday at the time (showing how much of threat they really thought it was) should do the decent thing and resign or be fired.

Can anybody supply their names?

Even rightwingers opposed to protest and in favour of burning coal should be appalled at the waste of money in this operation. The money they must have blown through was unbelievable, it was just a total bonanza for regular bobby's overtime and for stupid overfunded units with their paramilitary fancy dress and boys' toys.