From Cell to Sell: Police Recruit Activists as Spies
May 12, 2009
Source: The Guardian (UK), April 27, 2009
In Scotland, police have been offering environmentalists money in return for information about activist groups. “They said ‘if you help us, we will help you,'” one anti-nuclear activist stated, referring to military police officers. The The Guardian reports that “a network of hundreds of informants … claim to have infiltrated a number of environmental groups,” providing police with “information about leaders, tactics and plans of future demonstrations.” One of the groups targeted by police, Plane Stupid, was previously infiltrated by a corporate spy. A police statement stressed their “responsibility to gather intelligence,” saying contacts were made “to ensure that any future protest activity is carried out within the law.” Plane Stupid responded, “Our civil liberties were invaded and our right to peaceful protest called into question simply to defend the interests of big business.” Scotland’s Sunday Herald reports that the covert police campaign goes back to at least 2005, when military police set up “cosy chats” with people arrested during a protest at a nuclear arms site.