Yes and no George, yes and no

This is what the head of a police unit set up to monitor domestic extremism said in 2009: \”I\’ve never said – and we don\’t see – that any environmentalist is going to or has committed any violent acts.\” That chimes with my experience. Two years ago I searched all the literature I could lay hands on, and couldn\’t find a single proven instance of a planned attempt in the UK to harm people in the cause of defending the environment. (That\’s in sharp contrast to animal rights campaigning, where there has been plenty of violence.) No one has yet produced a factual challenge to that conclusion.

I\’ll just about accept your very careful wording there (planned attempt…harm people…UK….defending the environment) but I\’m afraid you\’ve not quite got the point.

As you yourself point out, the Animal Liberation Front isn\’t so careful: and they do have an offshoot, which started in Brighton, called the Earth Liberation Front. Who are very definitely on the non-cuddly side of environmental activism.

I\’m just ecstatic about the idea that some small portion of my tax money is spent on checking that that peaceful, entirely legitimate, environmental movement doesn\’t spill over into that domestic terrorism thing. As it has done in the US for example. And spending such tax money so that if it does the perpetrators can be arrested and tried.

11 comments on “Yes and no George, yes and no

  1. But you might as well say because the bnp is prone to violence the police should infiltrate ukip (I guess this might happen already given some members’ extremism). I know you’ve dropped the libertarian stance but… Or is this a joke? It’s hard to tell

    Tim adds: At any UKIP meeting you can usually get half the room to agree that the other half (doesn’t matter which way around you do it) are infiltrators. And I’d be entirely amazed if there weren’t actually one or two real ones: just as I’m sure there are in the BNP, Tories, Lib Dems and Labour.

  2. Seriously – the authorities claim they don’t have enough money to keep an eye on people they claim to know are involved in acts of terrorism, so why on earth are they spending money on infiltrating and watching* groups that might, at worst, be involved in acts of vandalism?

    * the claim is that at least one undercover officer did not merely watch but encouraged, funded and helped plan possibly unlawful acts…

  3. I don’t care if they’re terrorists or not. We know that groups like Plane Stupid are prepared to disrupt the lives of others, and I’m pretty cool with the police making their lives miserable until they stop doing it.

  4. Trying to shut down a power station seems pretty disruptive to me. I would classify that as terrorism. Not up there with blowing up buses and trains, but it is a direct attack on the country’s vital infrastructure.

  5. The small numbers who perform half-baked actions are not the danger. The eco-freaks infiltraition of ordinary society and their endless propaganda IS.
    Have you ever had one of those days where you are sick of the human race and wished to see all of us wiped out?. Well the green movement is working every day to bring that about with a singlemindedness that would put Lex Luthor to shame.
    Half-baked bluebottles snooping about will have no effect on the evil that is greenism as their actions are immoral not illegal. It will only serve to promote the agenda of state snooping.

  6. I don’t care if they’re terrorists or not. We know that groups like Plane Stupid are prepared to disrupt the lives of others, and I’m pretty cool with the police making their lives miserable until they stop doing it.

    If their actions are criminal or potentially criminal or could result in, say, a breach of the peace, fair enough. If they aren’t criminal, then it’s not something for the police – despite the fact that Plane Stupid would annoy me if they disrupted my flight*.

    I’ve no problem at all with the police watching and infiltrating groups they reasonably suspect of being involved with criminality. Again, it’s the authorities that claim they lack the resources to keep an eye on people they ‘know’ to be the really serious offenders – I wouldn’t know.

    * The process in short: the airport ought to ask the police to ‘observe’ airport staff asking Plane Stupid to leave the premises; if Plane Stupid do not comply within a reasonable time it is trespass and police can get involved to prevent breaches of the peace.

  7. At any UKIP meeting you can usually get half the room to agree that the other half (doesn’t matter which way around you do it) are infiltrators.

    Is it implausible that (a) this hasn’t helped the party’s, er – not complete success, (b) that it’s a neat way of disrupting marginal causes and (c) that this might be a reason to frown on such policies?

  8. ukliberty,

    If their actions are criminal or potentially criminal or could result in, say, a breach of the peace, fair enough. If they aren’t criminal, then it’s not something for the police – despite the fact that Plane Stupid would annoy me if they disrupted my flight*.

    Conspiracy to commit trespass (unlike trespass itself) is a criminal offence.

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