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Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

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The past few weeks have seen a rise in protest activity in Auckland, with a corresponding increase in police surveillance and numbers on demonstrations. We believe it is important to be aware of what the police are doing and why.

At the march against the Israeli invasion two weeks ago a photographer moved through the crowd taking close-ups of activists. When challenged about why he was taking photos he replied that ‘it was a free country and he could take photos of whoever he wanted.’ Pressed as to why he was taking photos of individuals he replied that “the issue is about the individuals involved”


He then wandered over and talked to the head of the Team Policing Unit and talked to the cops for about twenty minutes. While we have no way of being sure it is almost certain that he was taking photos for the police ‘Threat Assessment Unit’, a unit which is dedicated to monitoring and harassing political activists. It was this unit which raided the homes of Animal Rights activists in 2003 and which was responsible for Rob Gilchrists ten year infiltration. Officers from this unit regularly observe demos in plain clothing and have been known to participate in protests from time to time.


The following week at the anti-Rakon protest a photographer working for the police moved through the protest getting photos of individuals.

Another photographer probably working for Thompson and Clark was inside the building taking photos of activists and only came out to take photos of the exterior when he thought everyone had left. This guy was incredibly camera shy and ran away when he saw an activist with a camera was still nearby. A security guard working for Thompson and Clark also had a camera and was trying to get photos of individual activists.


This week at an anti-Foie Gras demo police used two cameras to take photos of the demonstration. When an activist attempted to photograph a photographer the officer jumped out of his car and came at the activist threatening “take a photo of me and I will knock you up” and then drove down the road to avoid having picture taken.


All this plus the overkill in cop numbers (5 cop cars at the Foie Gras protest for nine people) is part of an overall campaign to thwart and silence activists in Aotearoa. It is also about monitoring who is active, who is talking to whom and which groups people are in.

Note: We realise that focusing solely on the police will be counterproductive to the causes we are involved in. However the police are seriously trying to disrupt our groups and campaigns and ignoring them will not help us.

Comments

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Somewhere back around 2000 these morons decided that any group that was opposed to 'the "Golden Straitjacket" of the Washington Consensus economic ideology, which embraces the globalisation of finance and trade' was somehow on the way to jihadist pilgrimages into Afghanistan, and funded by the Big O and I dont mean Obama.

At the very least your little activist group trying to save this and that is seen as an international criminal network by the police and that is how they are able to justify to their equally paranoid bosses the funding and resources to reroute units like the SIG away from chasing Osama in Otago to your little rallys against mistreatment of this and that.

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

A video of one of the photographers at the GAZA demo last week can be watched here

http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=nshaZtuZ58g&feature=channel

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

bro what do you expect

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

I expect a mesured response. A peaceful demo doesn't need the popo. If we are standing around with banners why waste tax payers money? Its like they expect every demo to turn into a riot. We have the right to protest without intimadation from the Filth. That needs to be acknowledged by the Rashers.

I think its a case of them being bored, the Sweeney are too shit scared to take on gangs in NZ so they spend all there time intimaating vegetarians.

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

ARA you must not have watched this clip then
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-947291905241301873

These people do hold to these opinions about activists, its popular all through the paranoid delusionals at SIG, its not a case of boredom.

Re: Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Thanks for the link, I have passed it on through my networks. Living in a world which is under the thumb of business people with capitalist world views, who do not see them as violent, is unacceptable, and must be struggled against. It is laughable what Neville had to say, but deeply unnerving at the same time

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

My comment to the people of Auckland. Keep it up. Keep posting these pics please.If indymedia is used for anything this is one of it's main uses. They need to know some of us are not too frightened to photograph them and post the pics. They think they have all the cards. Well done to all and I agree totally the level of intimadation is getting higher. So before you go out on the street ALWAYS have a talk and a plan as to how you are going to deal with the cops. DONT let them decide when to arrest you as much as possible.

Be strong , be well, be happy and know you are never on your own.

Re: Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

A great comment.

Just remember, have someone with you at all times when you're taking photos. Take care while the police are around - you never know what they'll do if they think they can get away with it.

Stand together and we're much safer.

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

"I think its a case of them being bored, the Sweeney are too shit scared to take on gangs in NZ so they spend all there time intimaating vegetarians"
I agree 100%

When the gangs get infiltrated the police produce a rapist like Rickards, when political activist groups get infiltrated they produce a voyeuristic pervert like Gilchrist.

Maybe we should infiltrate the gangs & get them to become political activists.

Re: Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

that's a stupid comment tosser considering:

"Activist Tame Iti and five others face new charges of participating in a criminal gang in relation to so-called terror raids in Ureweras"

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Who are FIT Watch?

Fit Watch are a fluid group of people who have come together to resist and oppose the tactics of the Forward Intelligence Teams (cops who harass protesters).

We aim to act in solidarity with each other, supporting campaigns by being at meetings and protests, making it harder for the police to film and gather intelligence.

We hope to encourage a culture where their presence is not acceptable and to act when we see people being followed and harassed.

We aim to make it harder for them to photograph and intimidate us by getting in the way of their cameras, taking photos and publishing as much information as we can about them on our blog.

http://fitwatch.blogspot.com/

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

I agree totally with ARA ,considering our right to protest is enshrined in law in this country its pathetic that they turn up like this to protests and photograph and try and intimidate,when across town some poor old lady could be mugged for her pension,FIT watch is an excellent response and i hope it grows and grows!
id also like to know if groups and in particular AR ones get some heat from the state from posting demos on here ?
keep on fighting for the animals guys ,I know I will !

Re: Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

"our right to protest is enshrined in law in this country".

Maybe it's time to hold a demo to defend this right. Ngati Poaka think that they can continually break that law and should be challenged.

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Thanks to those who put these photos and info up here, its so important this is documented. Might be useful to heve all these photos and analysis in one central place, maybe a website just for it, apart from indy. A place for journalists to go to when they're researching future spy stories and protest contravercies. I recon you might find it would attract alot of interest and support from non-activists who have been hassled from the pigs but dont use indy.

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Hes not even a trained photographer, has a pig haircut, pig slouch demeanor of someone who has never done a days real work in their life.

Second guy with the canon eo5 80-200 EL series lens is a trained photographer, probably those crime scene photographer types, his shots will be the ones the cops want because of their clarity and taken with a professional eye.

Those pro photographer types will only use those quicksnap type digicams as backup cameras which if you look closely he is probably wearing one around his kneck under his shirt.

Why that other moose looking clown is wondering around taking pics is a mystery unless he was just a distraction.

Perhaps at the next protests, you could use clowns who have water squirters and go squirt the lenses of the cameras with them, all in fun and jest of course. There is one thing a professional cameraperson hates more than anything and that is someone squirting shit on their lenses - even if its just water.

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

This Australian activist found documents through a court case , that showed the Queensland Police had referred his file to both ASIO and "Military Intelligence" , even though no threat assesment had be requested or compiled.....for civil disobedience.

The documents are on the web at http://cynicismcentral.nigelsim.org/policeintelligenceoxymoron.pdf

The article is at www.cynicismcentral.org/node/32

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Good on whoever took these photos etc.
If the Police are using the defence of a public place and therefore no requirement for a warrent etc.
The so too can you.
Remeber to dot the I and cross your T. When you take a photo of a cop taking a photo of "you" take their number down.
Compile a list of these and where possible then attribute other details free to be known and publish online etc.
Fire with fire and see where that goes.

I however will take the high road and just actas I do (aka too lazy to do mundane stuff).

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

So what's the problem? Are the protestors ashamed to be seen at the "march"?

If so, why?

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

anonymous. said
that's a stupid comment tosser considering:

"Activist Tame Iti and five others face new charges of participating in a criminal gang in relation to so-called terror raids in Ureweras"

Tama iti is actually disliked by the gangs because of the way he introduces possible gang recruits, to political activism.

The term 'criminal gang' is applied to groups of Maori, by the media & Police to inflame public prejudice. To justify spurious charges.

The word gang is hardly ever applied to groups of white activists.

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

The messageis simple people-SMASH THE FUCKEN CAMERAS

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Then what? scratch his boot leather with the jagged stumps of your teeth?

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Interesting article.
If the author would like to speak with me about the issues raised he/she can call me on: (03) 9618583 or email: brent.o'halloran@tvnz.co.nz
I look forward to hearing from you,
Brent O'Halloran

Re: Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

I have emailed this guy

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Noticed this when I was there. That's why I always masked up.

During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon there was definitely a plain cloths/undercover at the protests. Its was a Maori guy wide as a fridge. Asking semi-probing questions. He was looking for information someone who you just met would not really have an interest in. These pigs are easy to pick out. Its just takes a few moments of interaction.

Re: Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Aww just forgot. Any Photogs should take pictures and close ups of all the police present as well as their photographers. Some of them get real nervous and are less likely to pull anything if they are easily identifiable.

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

It's atrocious to see public money wasted in this manner. It clearly follows from a predicatble political strategy to discourage dissent and critism outside the bounds of what is ideologically sanctioned.

However, I want to offer a point of view which may be unpopular here. I am a fan of the police - they serve a very important function in our society. Not this function, obviously. Even though they may appear to be backwards, culturally, and even though they may never have looked critically at the power structures shaping their jobs - I think we should accord them a basic level of respect. They are doing their job - they're just probably ignorant. It's the same with our soldiers. Whilst I am a pacifist, I realise there are certain circumstances (WWII is the last one historically that comes to mind) where fighting is necessary, and these service-men and women are often motivated by a desire to serve. Police are often motivated by a similar sense of service to us. That earns a level of respect with me.

Perhaps a decent strategy could be as follows. Perhaps when they turn up we could be cordial, non-confrontational, and chat to them: make it clear to them what we are protesting and why (in rational discourse), that we are doing so legally, and that we do not intend to break any laws. So maybe like a Ghandi approach. If they want to be confrontational, be prepared, be in groups, but stay cordial, stay rational, and stay legal. That way you won't fuel the fire, and maybe (hopefully) some of them will realise what they are doing is pointless. Give them reason to take the fight to you, so to speak, and you play to their animal instincts!

That's my humble opinion.

Peace.

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Im with George on this one, the police SIG types have grouped peace activist groups in this country that have international equivalents, as world wide criminal organisations and this is why they use these draconian surveilance techniques.

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Christchurch has seen a significant number of police at protests in the last year too. April fools critical mass drew at least 7 police vehicles. Greenpeace's Little Harbour protest drew 17 police.

We had a least 3 security guards (From Prov-vision aka TCIL) watching us in Happy Valley this weekend for the celebration of the successful occupation for three years. We suspect there were more security guards around.

Re: Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

If you could post any photos of them that would eb great. I think it would be worth an article explaining who they were and what they were doing.

Photo of 2 security guards in Happy Valley weekend 24-25 Feb

Here is the photo we have of two security guards in Happy Valley, They told us the shovel was for digging a toilet...
Another security guard was later seen

Re: Photo of 2 security guards in Happy Valley weekend 24-25 Feb

Thanks for this

the guy on the right looks familiar but I cant be sure, I havnt seen the guy on the left before.

Re: Photo of 2 security guards in Happy Valley weekend 24-25 Feb

Wrong shovel for digging. That type of shovel is only good for shoveling coal.

Re: Re: Photo of 2 security guards in Happy Valley weekend 24-25

There are camping spade for digging a toilet.
Taking something like that in the bush just doesn't make sense. Being aware that coal shovel has no practical application, why take it? I hesitate to answer "protection". Does that mean they fear the actions of the snail lovers? Well yes it does. What reason do they have for this fear? No evidence, so it must be paradoia.
OK so all you snail lovers be aware the security are paranoid and armed with improvised weapons, be careful out there.

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

Wellington police surveillance just days before Howard Broad said they were not interested in legitimate protest activity... Good video

http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=CN8kpUoZ30c

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

No surprise to me. When I was more actively involved with anti-war and pro-Palestinian protest in 2003 (young children prevent me being as active now) I was followed near my home, I had people who were obviously police or govt wandering in my garden pretending they were real estate agents and people taking photographs of me and my baby daughter in my garden. I called the police about one guy after I got his number plate (how naive am I!) and was assured that I needent worry. NZPOst gave me ownership details of the car which belonged to Quotable Value. I called them and they confirmed they had no-one in the area but the next day a senior manager called me to assure me that they had in fact been there. I know someone who works there - not a big group in wgtn who said that was wrong. THey spy and they lie then they use those lies to convict. I wanted to bring my children up to be able to trust the police, to go to them if they need help. What a joke. I mean 14 years ago a guy I know was raped by another man- he tried and tried to prosecute the rapist but the cops said that he was lying, that it was a gay experience gone wrong and 2 days after the attack they turned up at this guys house and pressured this vulnerable guy to sign a form saying he would drop all charges. They have ruined his life.

Re: Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

There is a reason people conceal their identiy, 'mask up' at demos and have a high level of security culture and secrecy. It's generally not a bad idea to try and protect yourself from these psychos.

The police are profiling us. Anyone who posts on here will have their IP addresses logged by the SIS etcera... It's a small place in Aotearoa so it's not hard for them to see whos doing what and monitor everything they do.

Society is transforming into a very large and technological prison. The working class are being forced to police themselves. Borders, CCTV, bugs, parabolic microphones pointed in your windows, private investigators, infilatrators, undercovers, private security, electric fencs, electronic gates, nano-chipped products...

Its becoming dangerous just to go dumpstering for food because that many people are being arrested.
Some counter-surveillance could slow the bastards down. That means putting glue in locks, cutting wires of cameras, stealing them if necessary. Putting speakers by windows where you have you're meetings to intefere with parabolic microphones. Using bug sweeps where you go to meet. Taking the batteries out of youre phones at planneries or just not taking them with you. Talking sensibly in general and considering all risks. If they cannot be eliminated, isolate them, if they cannot be isolated, minimise them... Not making stupid texts, emails, phone calls, whatever... we've all done it in the past.

If you're going to take on the beast, you dont do it naked! Consider all risks and consider every possible measure and counter-meaure that can be taken when it comes to these paranoid psucho-paths who are closely monitoring you.

They declared war on the population long ago. It's fascism creeping in and ignoring it wont make it go away...

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

This is a well organised website

http://www.copwatch.com/

Re: Ongoing Surveillance of Activists in Auckland

lock 'em all up! bring on 1984!!! woohoo!!!