Kevin Doyle Blog

Writing and activism

Guardian video: British police target Fit Watch

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A still from video footage obtained by The Gua...

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Check out this video published online by the Guardian newspaper today.  It highlights the increasing heavy handed approach of the British police to dissent.  Nothing new in one way, you might say.  But the video does underline the increasing ‘lawlessness’ of elements within the police force.  It also highlights that in certain situations and in their dealings with certain ‘dissident’ elements in the UK, they feel they have carte blanche to act violently and with impunity.  (Imagine what they get upto when the cameras are not turned on them – as they were here in this example.)

In the video, two activists with FIT Watch, Emily Apple and Val Swain – they were monitoring police tactics at a climate camp protest – were  arrested and manhandled on trumped up charges of obstruction.  Both women were held for a number of day in prison.  All charges were later dropped.  Note that FIT are Forward Intelligence Teams.  (In latest developments, the FIT Watch site has been censored and has been pulled offline by UK police – see here.)

The Guardian are to be commended once again from publishing this video and making it widely available.   As with their work  around the killing of Jimmy Mubenga and Ian Tomlinson, they have brought valuable footage into the public arena.  And that is vital when we are dealing with violence by the state (and its privatised security off-shoots like GS4)

If you can, spread the word about this video and what it is highlighting. Provoking greater awareness of assaults such as this one on these two activists can lead to greater vigilance among the public.  And greater vigilance around our civil rights will be vital over the next while.

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