Fitwatching at Climate Camp Edinburgh

The poor old FIT coppers from the shadowy National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) seem to be having a hard time in Edinburgh this week.

A video put out on you tube yesterday showed a great bit of Fitwatching by Climate Camp activists. With determination and some nerve they surrounded NPOIU cop Mark Sully and his expensive long zoom lens camera with scarves and banners. They then held their ground as Sully clearly became frustrated, pointlessly snapping his camera over the banners.

This sort of action is far from being a mere bit of bravado. Sully (CO996) and his sidekick Ian Caswell (1818), are not neutral keepers of the peace, as the police often pretend they are. Their role is to gather intelligence on, and disrupt the actions of climate camp activists. Activists identified photographed by Sully’s long lens camera will find themselves labelled domestic extremists with their own file on NPOIU’s database. Climate campers should buy these guys a drink!

According to reports, Scottish FIT were keen to come across as different to the Met. They were friendly, extremely friendly, happy to hang out on the gate, chatting with the gate shift, passing the time of day. There is nothing wrong with friendly, of course, but activists should know that with a FIT cop all is rarely what it seems. Climate campers would be wise to keep them at a very long arms length, no matter how friendly they are.

Overall policing has been described as fairly low key, perhaps reflecting the desire of RBS to keep the whole thing out of the press. There have been scuffles though, between police and activists outside the RBS building. Two people are reported to have been injured enough to need hospital treatment, both injuries apparently the result of being kicked by police officers. Two others were arrested for breach of the police offences, apparently entirely randomly.

Were you there? Reports on the policing of the site / arrests / assaults on activists are very welcome. Mail us on info@fitwatch.org.uk

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24 Responses to Fitwatching at Climate Camp Edinburgh

  1. Jennifer Robertson says:

    “Breach of the police” isn’t a crime, I imagine the two arrests were for Breach of the Peace, a common law crime defined as “a crime at common law committed by one or more persons conducting himself or themselves in a riotous or disorderly manner where such conduct is severe enough to cause alarm to ordinary people or a disturbance to the community”.

    I doubt the arrests were random, in Scotland there is no provision to arrest on suspicion of a crime as there is in England. We have to have sufficient evidence, otherwise the suspect is only detained under Section 14 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. Seems to me you should have done your homework a bit better before your so called peaceful protest started disrupting the lives of ordinary people who, for all you know, may be very committed to Eco Friendly living and opposed to climate change no matter what they do for a living.

    I’ll finish by saying the childish and irresponsible behaviour of some activists and the hostile behaviour of some others, completely undermines the message you’re trying to put across. And you’ve failed to mention the fact that there were more cops than protestors injured in the attacks at Gogarburn on Sunday.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Breach of the Peace in Scotland is a common law offence but it is used to cover anything from blocking the road to riotous behaviour. It is about as wide an offence as you can get, and the seriousness of the charge is determined by which court it is prosecuted in.

    The Scottish police force, like cops everywhere, will arrest if they don’t have sufficient evidence. During the G8, for example, many people, including myself, were arrested without sufficient evidence and all charges were withdrawn.

    I haven’t seen any reports of childish activists – and I also haven’t seen any reports of cops injured, let alone hospitalised.

    And I think RBS certainly got the message!

  3. Jennifer Robertson says:

    No, if there isn’t sufficient evidence the person is detained for up to six hours. If sufficient evidence gathered in that time then the person is released “grounds no longer”.

    And unless you’ve been there over the weekend then you’re obviously not getting the full picture from media coverage.

    As for RBS, they have been facilitating peaceful protest since the campers arrived, even giving them access to water supplies when Scottis Water refused to do so.

  4. Anti Fit says:

    Many thanks for highlighting my typo!! I did of course mean breach of the peace and will correct it.

    Thanks also for clarifying that breach of the peace is a different offence at Scottish law than it is at English law, your definition is helpful. However, it is not unheard of for police (even in Scotland!) to arrest people who are not guilty of an offence. Simply because they were arrested does not mean that the arrests could not have been arbitrary, random or unjustified. I was not there at the time, so cannot comment further, but more than one source reported the arrests as ‘random’.

    I am not aware of any police injured at Gogarburn – if you could provide corroborating evidence that would be appreciated.

    You may not support the actions of the climate campers against RBS, but I would guess that they would feel that the minor damage caused by the climate campers to RBS property is pretty insignificant compared to the horrendous damage that has been caused by the oil industry to communities and people’s across the world.

    Protest does tend to be disorderly, rowdy, angry, noisy and disruptive, particularly when protesters like these are taking on not only the state but powerful corporate bodies. Otherwise it is completely ignored.

  5. Ron Broxted says:

    Put your trust in your sword – and your sword in the police. New Scotland Yard delenda est. Keep up the good work.

  6. Julia J says:

    apparently random arrests??? I wouldn’t have thought so. I was aware from the camp that people were arrested on Sunday night after they tried to take the RBS Bridge with the use of missiles, glass hammers and sharpened plastic knives leaving a number of police officers requiring hospital treatment. I came to climate camp because i believe in protecting the environment, however i dont know when we started attacking innocent police officers who are just trying to do their job. Im disgusted with some of the people at the camp and i am glad i have now left. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  7. milgram says:

    the use of missiles, glass hammers and sharpened plastic knives leaving a number of police officers requiring hospital treatment

    That sounds like complete bollocks. Citation please, not even the Scotsman has tried to pull that one.

  8. acab says:

    OMG, looks like police already sending their PR officers under name of Julia and Jennifer to do their work here. Or perhaps they are just idiots on their own? Hard to say. No, we are not ashamed of ourselves and no amount of silly fucking comments from the likes of you will change it. And don’t come with the sob stories about injured coppers. Whilst there is nothing wrong with it, only injured coppers at Climate Camp protests would be ones that injured themselves kicking the shit out of somebody. Thank you for your attention. Now you trolls can fuck off back to the hole you crawled from.

  9. Congratulations to men and women of Lothian & Borders Police for their patience and tolerance in the face of the deliberate violence and vandalism at climatecamp.

  10. Jennifer Robertson says:

    So Acab thinks that injuring cops is acceptable behaviour eh? That’s a brilliant way of getting your message across, doesn’t make your campaign look like the extremist fringe at all.

    By the way, I assume you’ve gone home in your car to your central heating and are using your laptop to post this while burning electricity. Or are you using your mobile phone, with the coltan deposits while squashing a few unlucky frogs and threatening to fire bomb the RBS on site nursery school?

  11. WTRVoice says:

    “Overall policing has been described as fairly low key, perhaps reflecting the desire of RBS to keep the whole thing out of the press.”

    Just to make it clear, RBS are not in control of Lothian & Borders Police, obviously. RBS did allow a piece of their land to be used without complaint and, as one other commenter pointed out, supplied the camp with water, but they don’t have control over the police.

    The policing was decided by Lothian & Borders Police.

    Meanwhile I think the very fact that RBS were willing for their land to be used in this way goes against the idea that they wanted the whole event to be kept out of the press. I’m sure they know how these events go as much as we do and expected it to turn dangerous, provocative and reflect negatively on those taking part.

  12. No comment says:

    Interesting how you lot pretend to be peacful and for the enviroment, thanks for cutting down the tree and the gate in an effort to get your tower through….FAILED. Thanks for damaging the posts at the main walk way at the same gate in an effort to get your tower through….FAILED. Thanks for presenting yourself in all media aspects as peaceful……criminal damage to 2 x windows in the building….FAILED. Thanks also for putting the lives of several police officers in danger whilst crossing the bridge and thanks for assaulting 2 of them in the process……Presenting a positive image for peaceful Protest need is say….FAILED…..Did I mention however, thanks RBS for supplying water during that not so peaceful or succesful protest…..

  13. bob says:

    I think the Climate camp is a great place, child friendly, and they always clean up their litter!

  14. Lynn Sawyer says:

    He he he, I was busy elsewhere and regretably could not get up to Climate Camp but if you are going to make stories up then try something more subtle. Climate Campers would have been dragged off to the cells in their masses and the media would have gone crazy if there were any truth in these reports. At Kingsnorth there was some scare story highly exagerated about police officers getting hurt. Turned out that they had recieved injuries such as wasp stings and falling out of police cars NOT ONE was from an attack by an activist despite repeated, unprovoked and deliberate violence from them. Here’s a thought, maybe they were having a good old scrap with one another after all at the G8 the Scottish police were very annoyed with the English for trying to take over on their patch. Dearie me.

  15. Aldo Capaldo says:

    Unfortunately what should have been a peaceful protest on a serious subject was hijacked by the idiots who come solely to try to fight the police, under the banner of climate concern.
    Thumbs up to the legitimate people who tried to keep it family friendly and educational.
    Thumbs down the prats in the boiler suits and masks, using a catapult to bombard balloons filled with excrement at the police and bank building.
    Thumbs up to the police, who handled it correctly and did not rise to the abuse, intimidation and violence thrown at them by the so called “eco warriors”

  16. Ron Broxted says:

    I also agree with ACAB. (Great handle BTW!)

  17. A Camper says:

    “thanks for cutting down the tree and the gate in an effort to get your tower through….”

    The trouble with lying in public is that you may be found out very easily. I am pretty familiar with the bridge where the siege tower met the police, as I spent many hours there over the weekend.

    There were two trees nearest the bridge. The one on the right was far too large to be cut down and not appear lying on the ground in photos. It can be seen clearly in the photographs of the siege tower and the police on Monday, still standing. The one on the right is in the photos too. Someone might have trimmed some branches, but if they did that is not cutting them down.

    If a gate was cut down for the siege engine then that would have been done on Monday afternoon. There was no gate there on Saturday or Sunday, so it could not have been cut down on Monday. Why would RBS have a gate there? It might be the site of the infamous bollards, but there was not a gate there.

    FAIL.

    “Thanks for damaging the posts at the main walk way at the same gate”

    There was no gate.

    FAIL

    “criminal damage to 2 x windows in the building”

    The bank/police claimed five windows. Were they lying?

    FAIL

    “Thanks also for putting the lives of several police officers in danger whilst crossing the bridge and thanks for assaulting 2 of them in the process”

    Anyone can watch the video. Compared to dealing with drunks in the centre of Edinburgh the police are in no danger at all.

    If they had been injured the Evening News would have been all over it with screaming headlines. The police have a record of claiming they were injured by climate campers and when examined the claims proved to be false, for example at Kingsnorth.

    FAIL

    “thanks RBS for supplying water”

    I imagine the campers were grateful to them, though they might also have asked why Scottish water refused to do its job of supplying drinking water. I’m sure the RBS propaganda departement saw this as a great wheeze.

  18. milgram says:

    Unfortunately what should have been a peaceful protest on a serious subject was hijacked by the idiots who come solely to try to fight the police, under the banner of climate concern.
    Thumbs up to the legitimate people who tried to keep it family friendly and educational.
    Thumbs down the prats in the boiler suits and masks, using a catapult to bombard balloons filled with excrement at the police and bank building.
    Thumbs up to the police, who handled it correctly and did not rise to the abuse, intimidation and violence thrown at them by the so called “eco warriors”

    Concern trolls for the win! We salute your protest but not the people that came to protest! “If only you would not annoy us, then we would agree with you. You’re just so vulgar though.”

    The only thing L&B polis deserve credit for is not being as rude, violent and ignorant as the Met. But that might just be sheer luck at their not being many newspaper vendors at Gogarburn.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Well done to the 80 protesters who tackled 7 cops on the wooden bridge (and took 2 minutes to get through despite your overwhelming majority). You made a total mockery of your so called peaceful protest and were quite accurately portrayed as trouble makers looking for any excuse to cause trouble.

  20. No comment says:

    Sorry if I made it unclear in my previous post :

    I think the cause is very worthwhile. I think some of the members in the camp were spot on in how they conducted matters. I also think the mindless few involved in trouble were bang out of order and will therefore prevent many from attending again in an effort to avoid being tarnished with, what is in my view, a reputation for being “thugs” that was well deserved and accurate. Damage to property should not form part of a peaceful protest, spilling of oil on a roadway (if it was protest linked) likewise, dressing as spice girls on a galaday float didn’t seem appropriate and neither did the cutting of branches from a tree or the removal of two posts from a walkway. I accept there will be many views however the main reason for a protest should never be lost, hence I would urge anyone to distance themselves from clowns hell bent on causing trouble rather than getting a message accross….!

  21. Pingback: FIT at Climate Camp know your enemy.. « http://underclassrising.net

  22. Zeldom Zeen says:

    “sharpened plastic knives”…Julia J….total bollocks….Anyone stupid enough to pull that kind of crap would now be doing prison time for aggravated assault….”Julia J”….who the fuck Are yaa???

  23. Miss Appropriation says:

    The Police were not harmed if they had been it would have been all over the news, y’know the news that woulodn’t and didn’t report on Climate Camp would certainly have reported on THAT..so Julia J I think you expose yourself and your agenda, and whoever runs this page DELETE HER I’m all for polemic and opposite opinions debating a subject intelligently, this however is just shit stirring. Climate Camp was excellent,pro active and abovre all intelligent. Climate Camp ROCKED :-D

  24. Ame says:

    Oh dear! I think you have a concentration of jammy dodgers commenting. Shouldn’t you all be playing z cars!

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