Friday, April 23, 2010


The following item is from the Ontario platformist site Linchpin/Common Cause. It seems that in the run-up to the upcoming G20 meeting in Toronto that the police in Ontario are doing what police always do ie gather intelligence and try to intimidate protesters. that is hardly "news", though the fact that they have been caught in at least one visit is. One more item about the violation of civil liberties in Canada to add to the tremendous list. I may think that what follows is both very true in some aspects and the result of unsupported speculation in other parts as to how the secret police proceed. The general advise, however, is quite sound. Nobody should answer questions from the usual fishing expedition on the part of the police unless 1)they have at least 40 years experience in radical politics, 2)they are at least 25 or 30 years older than the cop(intimidation factor), 3)they've been visited at least once before, 4)they have immediate access to a hidden recording devise, 5)the cops will agree to come by at a reasonable time of day and agree to the presence of witnesses and, perhaps most importantly, you have a plan in place to say nothing while continually questioning the agent.

To say the least all these items rarely (ever ?) come together at once. Therefore the advise to "say nothing" is the best that can be given. Here's the Linchpin item, corrected for English punctuation ( Don't get me started on this item-Molly ).
Heads up: Cops visiting Ottawa activists

On Thursday morning, an Ottawa-area activist was visited at their home by two plainclothes police who said they were RCMP from out-of-town.

The previous night, after a public event on diversity of tactics, some activists present suspected the event was under surveillance when men in a white van were seeing watching from outside the venue.

So perhaps more people will be visited in the future? We've seen these kinds of strategies before, most recently in the lead up to the olympics in Vancouver, where activists involved in anti-Olympics organizing were visited, followed, and surveilled.

The visits are surely intended to gather intelligence and to intimidate.

Ottawa activists should be aware that this is going on. learn how to protect yourself, don't let yourself be tricked. guidelines on how to deal with police visits are posted on the anti-G8/G20 mobilization website,
During such a visit, they may say that they are there to help you and your group/cause, trying to secure real information which they can distribute to others (cops and non) who may be less appreciative or understanding of what you are doing than they, the visitors, are.

They may say they are supportive of your cause, they know you're not out to do anything bad, they believe that the progressive victories in our society are in large part due to the kind of work you and others are doing and have done.

They tell you they're dressed in plainclothes, no official car, so that people won't see you speaking with the police and think that you're stabbing the movement in the back.

They may ask you to go for coffee or meet in some other way.

They may assure you that they do talk with other activists and that there is no unofficial 'activist policy' to not speak to the police.

They may mention pieces of your personal information, just so you know they know more about you than they should.

They may speak to your interests - the importance of unions, the problems of corporate media, whatever moves you/them.

They say they want to help you in what you're trying to do and that good communication and communication channels will benefit all involved.

They may tell you about their personal convictions, their background, how they agree with your values and about instances of their work where they are modeling these values.

They may be gathering intelligence through observation of you, your behaviour, anything you might say - even if you try and keep quiet.

They may be intimidating (but probably not explicity, they're probably trying to come across as friendly and an ally).

They may not even directly mention the upcoming G8/G20 summit/protests.

Again, see the info/advice posted on

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