A media release yesterday from the Justice NOW collective! shows how both police and corporate spies are still taking a major interest in the activities of small peaceful protest groups. From the media release:
The anti-terror police are still spying on legitimate political protest, and they are still lying to the public about what they are doing despite Howard Broad’s assurances that they do not target political groups’ said Sally Darity, spokesperson for the Justice NOW! Collective.
In central Wellington, a member of the Special Investigation Group (SIG), Detective Richard Grover, was caught photographing a small animal rights protest against a restaurant serving foie gras (force-fed goose/duck liver) on 5th August 2009. When questioned by local cameraman Daryl Hunt about what he was doing, Grover initially denied any knowledge of the situation before admitting to taking photographs and hiding his camera in a grocery bag. Later that day when he was contacted at the Wellington Central Police Station and the realisation that his cover had been blown set in, he changed tact once again, this time denying even being at the protest.
Note the photograph attached proves the Detective was actually at the protest.
People need to realise that this isn’t just something that happens to those “radical fringe protesters” as seems to be a common perception on the left. The emails police informant Robert Gilchrist was sending to the police included stuff on unions, environmental groups and anti-war groups. I have caught detectives from the police counter-terrorism units taking photographs of people at large marches of varying kinds. Their focus is always on which groups / causes are most active at the current time. This means that presently they will be interested in any intelligence on the groups protesting Paula Bennett breaching the privacy of solo-mothers, as well as protests / action against the super-city.
I have very little hope that the current government will do anything to stop the police overreaction to protests (after all they refused any sort of an inquiry into my ousting of police informant Robert Gilchrist), but I very much wish Labour would wake up and realise how much of this they are responsible for. After all, with Labour in opposition, it will be many of their members who will now be being spied on for their activism.