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Trial of environmental activists collapses after undercover cop is exposed

(26 Posts)
edam Mon 10-Jan-11 17:17:44

apparently this guy cost us £1.5m over several years - and for zero result

What on earth were they thinking, wasting taxpayers' money and interfering in democracy in this way? Surely these resources should be used to target actual 'extremists' who threaten ordinary members of the public, rather than a bunch of climate change protesters?

Neither the CPS nor the police owned up to this one - a serious miscarriage of justice was only averted because the PC himself admitted what had gone on.

Chil1234 Mon 10-Jan-11 17:24:45

It's less about interfering in democracy and more about the rank stupidity of employing an agent provocateur on an entrapment exercise. If he'd been in there as an observer it would have been a legitimate use of police resources to prevent potential disruption to key infrastructure.

BoysAreLikeDogs Mon 10-Jan-11 17:28:19

o m g

edam Mon 10-Jan-11 17:29:46

To some extent, possibly, Chil - I'd need to know more about what the protesters actually did over those six years and what they planned. But the appalling thing is that the police and CPS were quite happy to collude in a serious miscarriage of justice. It's only been stopped because the protesters found him out.

And also because £1.5m is a shedload of money that could have been spent monitoring real terrorists who want to kill people - like the men behind 7/7 who were known to the security services but not kept under surveillance. Apparently Mark Kennedy/Stone isn't the only spy embedded in environmental groups, so there's several million pounds being wasted spying on greenies instead of potential killers.

Chil1234 Mon 10-Jan-11 17:38:22

I'm afraid I don't distinguish between 'real terrorists' intent on murder and protesters intent on disruption and violence. The police were criticised for not having enough inside information on the student protests last month, for example.

I agree with you that the CPS and the police have some tough questions to answer on why use an agent provocateur, why their man was not being controlled properly, and why the case was still going to go ahead. But I don't disagree with sending police in undercover in principle.

BaroqueAroundTheClock Mon 10-Jan-11 17:51:52

agree with Chil here.

And I'm struggling to see "forced entry" into a (presumably) fairly secure place as peaceful protest.

animula Mon 10-Jan-11 18:53:27

The agent provocateur bit is v. worrying.

I must admit, I am a bit perplexed as to whether it really was a sensible use of resources. i see your point Chil1234, but isn't the reality atm that resources are restricted. This just seems v. silly. Especially since it sounds as though the action they were planning seemed to have relied v. heavily on his "help". ie. they weren't much of a threat before the police became involved.

And I am of the contingent that thinks infiltration of civil protest organisations is often/pretty much nearly always a waste of time, and politically dubious.

edam Mon 10-Jan-11 19:30:01

How strange - most of us do distinguish between murderers and non-murderers.

Chil1234 Mon 10-Jan-11 19:51:01

@animula. Exactly. If he was working undercover he should have restricted himself to taking notes, feeding back information and assessing the risk of the organisation. Not being - as I understand - Mr Moneybags, providing vans, equipment, recruiting people and initiating the next stunt!

@edam. There are more ways of terrorising people than being a murderer

WhatDidYouDo Mon 10-Jan-11 19:55:34

.

WhatDidYouDo Mon 10-Jan-11 20:02:51

Have namechanged for this.

I've met Mark Stone/Kennedy - he was someone that many people close to me considered a friend for a long time. He even had a girlfriend, one of the people he was informing on, it turned out.

But some of the people he tried to get close to had suspicions for a long time. He had no one cause about which he felt passionate - he was always up for a riot on any issue. Like chil says - he was behind a lot of the things he then presumably informed on. He often instigated actions, provided the support to make them work, funded things etc. Always flashing cash (nn was Flash for this). He was found out in the end cos he left his real passport lying around [duh]

IMO and that of the people he betrayed, he acted as a provocateur. God knows whats going on in his mind now - can't see his wife being too chuffed he was shagging a crusty lass, nor the Met that he's dropped his evidence. Thats going to be one lonely man...

WhatDidYouDo Mon 10-Jan-11 20:11:51

I very very nearly posted on MN about it when we first found out who he was last year. His 'girlfriend' was distraught - the feeling of betrayal from someone who had professed to love her. I've got photos of him playing with my dc at a demo. I look at them and think shit, are they in some file somewhere now?

Its a scary thing when you find out someone is not who they say they are.

PaisleyLeaf Mon 10-Jan-11 20:22:10

"Surely these resources should be used to target actual 'extremists' who threaten ordinary members of the public"

Doesn't shutting down a power station threaten ordinary members of the public then?

edam Mon 10-Jan-11 21:27:57

Paisley - who says they were actually intending to and capable of shutting it down? I know which frightens me more out of the 7/7 bombers, who were known to MI5 but allowed to carry on plotting 'because we can't watch everyone' and environmental activists who have never killed anyone.

PaisleyLeaf Mon 10-Jan-11 21:53:33

Newspapers reporting beforehand said that they were intending to.

and "The group admitted the plan to shut down the power station"

Who knows now.

But it's a serious enough threat to the lives of ordinary people to warrant resources I think.

BaroqueAroundTheClock Mon 10-Jan-11 22:05:31

they obviously thought they were capable of getting in. And I don't suppose they were just going to knock on the security/reception window and say "hey we're just going for a look round" - do you?

Any of the extemist/militant eco or animal activists are just as big a threat as a "terrorist"

this in my mind is terrorism - it's done to incite fear (terror) into people for a political gain.

In my mid-late teens I became heavily involved in animal (and to a smaller extent eco) activism - it was the talk of exactly the sort of thing which made me step back and support from the fringes instead of in the middle.

There will always been extremists in every political or religious based group - who will be prepared to go to great length to make their point. No - we may not have seen stuff like in the article I linked to above in the UK - but then again 10yrs ago we never thought we'd have Al Qaeda setting of bombs in London.

As far as I'm concerned if someone is capable of even thinking about forcing entry into somewhere then who knows what they were capable of.

Groups that are organising peaceful protests don't generall tend to include ideas of storming private property and shutting things down - they protest peacefully and legally.

edam Mon 10-Jan-11 22:35:36

I think it's daft to compare people who protest about global warming to actual terrorists who we know are planning mass murder. Especially when we know the security services failed to track the
7/7 bombers 'because we can't check up on everyone'. Turns out actually they could have placed the bombers under surveillance, they just chose to spend the money trying to coerce green activists into committing crimes, instead of stopping people who were serious about killing dozens of people.

That case Baroque links to is one woman in the US not the UK - who didn't actually kill anyone.

The 7/7 bombers were on dh's train, btw. And I'd been working in BMA House the day before (where the bus bomb exploded). Forgive me if I feel personally more under threat from suicide bombers than people who think global warming is a bad thing.

PaisleyLeaf Mon 10-Jan-11 23:12:33

It's not just people who 'think global warming is a bad thing' though is it?. There are many who think global warming is a bad thing trying to work for conservation, change political policies/public opinion, come up with new scientific ideas, fund innovations, promote awareness etc

You have every right to feel angry re funding and 7/7, and because of your experience feel that is a very real threat to you.
I know vulnerable people who depend on medical equipment who (not living in London and travelling by tube) would probably feel a week long power cut would be more a threat to their lives.

aviatrix Mon 10-Jan-11 23:18:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edam Mon 10-Jan-11 23:19:10

Blimey, don't think in any way at all I qualify as having an experience of 7/7 beyond that of anyone else in the country who heard about it and was horrified.

But I do think it's bizarre to try to bracket green campaigners with terrorists intent on mass murder. The two are not the same at all. Millions of pounds and years of police (and CPS) time wasted achieving absolutely nothing - time and money that could have been spent preventing people who we know are planning mass murder and who we know are capable of carrying it out.

PaisleyLeaf Mon 10-Jan-11 23:26:17

I'm not bracketting anyone
I just can see why the activists are worth some police resources.

(I misunderstood about your DH's train then).

Chil1234 Tue 11-Jan-11 07:37:50

"But I do think it's bizarre to try to bracket green campaigners with terrorists intent on mass murder"

The bracket is 'criminal behaviour'. We have undercover police monitoring organised crime gangs, people traffickers, drug smugglers, money launderers.... None of these people are going to blow up a tube train either but they are people - like the eco-protesters - that police suspect have serious/violent criminal intentions.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 11-Jan-11 08:21:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aviatrix Tue 11-Jan-11 10:28:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edam Tue 11-Jan-11 17:00:03

Quite, aviatrix. And the completely disproportionate waste of resources that could be used protecting us from people we know are actually planning mass murder, FGS.

(Paisley, I meant the bombers travelled to London in dh's train - we discovered actually in his carriage - which is a scary thought but nothing in comparison to those who were injured or killed.)

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