FITwatch: The Open Public Meeting

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We at FITwatch have been a bit quiet recently – but we are leaping back
into life with an open meeting on Sunday 25th March, 1pm at the London Action Resource Centre.

With the Met trying to criminalise face masks, implementing new data
gathering systems, and making an issue of ‘robust’ policing, there is now
more need than ever to counter FIT practices.

FITwatch has made life hard for the FIT over the last four years and
continues to do it still. But it needs your help. If you are fed up to
the back teeth of the police shoving cameras in your face, of being
hassled, kettled and even arrested so that police can get your details,
come and help us turn the tables on them.

It’s time we stopped the FIT.

LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES, 1pm, Sunday 25th March

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9 Responses to FITwatch: The Open Public Meeting

  1. Human Rights Watch Film Festival is showing a film of police brutality at the Genoa G8. Incredible documentary.

    Q&A with filmmaker and activists. Sat 24 Mar, Curzon Soho + Sun 25 Mar at Ritzy. See http://ff.hrw.org/film/black-block?city=4

  2. Robin Gitte says:

    The police frighten people off protesting. I am one of them.

    One of the things that concerns me with mass surveillance is that it creates the threat of retrospective policing. Long after the event, some people have found themselves facing arrest, prosecution and draconian sentencing for some trivial arbitrary offence such as carrying leaflets.

    If enough people wear masks that it is considered reasonable behaviour by other protestors, then I might well take part in more protests.

    You are right to promote this issue.

  3. What do you mean trying to criminalize face masks? Sect 60AA makes it a crime. Poor old “V” would be arrested and killed 5 mins after the start of the film!

  4. FITness First says:

    s60AA makes it a crime to refuse to remove your face mask when asked to by a cop, in a designated area, at a designated time, designated by an officer of specific rank, yes. Whilst this is certainly an unwelcome piece of legislation, it is a far cry away from criminalising the wearing of face masks at all times, full stop.

    Either way – if they dont respect our right to anonymity, we have to assert it. Mask up!

  5. FITness First says:

    Thanks for the support Robin.

    However, you may be waiting a long time for attitudes of other demonstrators to simply change without any intervention. Find the people already masking up on demos and take part alongside them – we need to increase the critical mass of us wearing masks and shape the discourse and hopefully a cultural shift in the protest community.

    Solidarity,

    FW crew.

  6. Anna-Rose Phipps says:

    At last October’s Save the Nhs demo i got kettled for 1st time ever, and felt unprepared as well as dying to go for a wee. When the police allowed people out of the kettle on condition we gave our name, address and allowed a photo to be taken i complied only too readily. Later i was told by friends that this photo and details would go on a so called ‘spotters card’.
    The following Saturday i joined the OccupyLSX movement and camped there a few nights. I have avoided all the protest marches and actions, however, due to a deep seated fear of being arrested by police after negative experiences in my past (i also remember as a child of 10 living in Brazil during Brazil’s military dictatorship)
    I am very concerned by what seems to be slowly taking place, the global crackdowns on the Occupy movement are quite frightening. Even police themselves are not happy and considering striking, though i’m not sure how this might or might not impact on protests. An activist was even putting forward the idea that the privatisation of the police would be a good thing.
    I am puzzled, confused and rather anxious! Please could you tell me if i can safely go on protests and actions in the future?

  7. FITness First says:

    Whilst it is never a good idea to give your name and address to the police (unless you have been arrested for something which requires you to get bailed), doing so does not put you on a spotters card automatically.

    The police take lots of data throughout the course of the demonstration, and whilst this appears to all get put on a police database, simply having your information and photograph taken is not enough to end up on a spotters card. Generally speaking, it is more prominent activists who end up on spotters cards.

    Whilst we appreciate police tactics are alarming and intimidating, particularly if you have a history of trauma, we would like you to remember that they are doing it precisely because they know it will put people off.

    We recommend you read up on your legal rights. Legal Defence and Monitoring Group produce an excellent pamphlet called “No Comment” – its available online at the link below, or you can go to Freedom Press Bookshop in Aldgate to pick up a copy for FREE, yourself.

    http://ldmg.org.uk/files/No_Comment_4th_Edition.pdf
    http://www.freedompress.org.uk/news/about/

    Knowledge is power – Savvy is strong!

    FW Crew x

  8. Kettling is an easy one, find the weakest link, charge in with the more robust guys near you and job done.

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