Archive for the ‘Animal Liberation’ Category
Kim Jong-un has joined the growing movement to defend Comrade Andy Newman.
“Full attack. March Forward. Let’s Absolutely Finish Building Masik Pass Ski Resort Within This Year By Launching A Full Aggressive War and Full Battle.”
As part of the celebrations for the opening of this historic step forward for the Korean working class Comrade Any Newman has been invited to an, all expenses-paid, fortnight at the latest example of the victory of the Juche philosophy.
Colonel Harold Adrian Russell “Kim” Philby (Retired) writes,
“Comrade Newman has shown sterling work over the years.
Shoot the mad dogs“.
In a surprise move the son of “Che” Guevara has emerged from the Wiltshire jungle where he has been waging a thirty year long guerilla war, to give his backing to the campaign.
“¡Hasta la Victoria Siempre Andy!”
Marxists back Newman in Chippenham!
Andy Newman is the Labour Party prospective candidate for the Chippenham constituency.
We should be very proud of what was achieved by the Labour government between 1997 and 2010.
The Labour government with Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, and Alistair Darling as Chancellor, had introduced a number of specific and targeted measures that boosted the economy.
Comrade Newman spent much of this time backing the Labour Party by supporting candidates of Respect and Socialist Unity.
He was Swindon spokesman for the Respect Party and, amongst other activities, invited George Galloway to speak at the town.
Newman ran the Socialist Unity site.
We say, phooey! and whatabout? to this past.
In a gesture of solidarity we announce our intention to campaign for Comrade Newman.
Chippenham Map for Socialist Canvassers.
Update: a bit tardy but worth waiting for, Andy Newman announces his candidacy on his own site.
The Wiltshire Daily Small Pig Breeder and the North Wiltshire Digital DJ, Alan Patridge Jnr, have given this extensive coverage.
The contest looks a close run with Labour scoring 6.9% in Chippenham at the last election.
Undercover. The True Story of Britain’s Political Police. Rob Evans and Paul Lewis. Faber & Faber 2013.
Many of the reported 8,931 political campaigners on the “national data base of political extremists” took a keen interest in the publication of Undercover. Some police infiltrators had already been publicly unmasked. Mark Kennedy – “Stone” – has been fingered by Indymedia in 2010. ‘Progressive academic’ and advocate of a dialogue with Islamists, Bob Lambert, was confronted with his spy chief past at a conference to “celebrate diversity, defend multiculturalism, oppose Islamophobia and racism” in October 2011. Suddenly people on the left, and other campaigners, were reminded of the existence of intense police surveillance on our political activity.
Undercover has marked a new stage. The extracts in the Guardian, which contains fuller revelations about Kennedy and Lambert, and others’ including long-term relationships with activists, and the use of dead children’s birth certificates to procure undercover identities, did not just whet the appetite of a broader public. They raised serious issues about the involvement of what Evans and Lewis rightly call the “political police” in Britain.
One case continues to cause an uproar. On spy, Pete Black, began his work in the 1990s in anti-fascist groups, then the (what has become) Socialist Party’s Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE). He moved on to spy on community-organised fights against legal injustices affecting the black community. Black finally began to recoil when asked to “smear” those involved in the Stephan Lawrence campaign and discover anything he could to discredit the key figure of Duwayne Brooks. (Page 156)
Questions about their role have extended to allegations about their use as agents provocateurs. It has been claimed that Lambert helped write the anti-MacDonald leaflet by London Greenpeace (an autonomous body) – the origin of the notorious libel action. It’s also said that Lambert “encouraged and even participated in an arson campaign that caused millions of pounds of damage. Lambert has firmly denied that he planted the incendiary device at the Harrow store, of Debenehams.”(Page 43) He strongly denies this, though claims credit for putting the animal rights activists involved in prison.
Nor is this a purely domestic matter. Kennedy has been cited in the French case, the Tarnac Affair, in which he allegedly witnessed bomb making. Briefly alluded to in Undercover (Page 265) this – dismissed – claim made headlines in Le Monde. They raised questions (details here) about Kennedy’s role in the prosecution of a group of libertarian leftists.
They Steal Identities, They Break the Law, They Sleep with the Enemy. Under these words on the book cover there is a lot more detail to ponder over in this excellent book. The causal deception the spies used to maintain their ‘cover’ deceived more than their comrades and friends. “There was no specific rule against having sexual partners. It was so commonplace they, he says, it was barely remarked on.”(Page 142) The heartbreaking stories of Charlotte, and Helen Steel, abandoned by their lying long-term partners, Lambert, the mother of Charlotte’s child, and John Dimes, whom Helen was “madly in love with”, are gut-wrenching. There are plenty of others; nine of the operatives identified in the book had “meaningful relationships” with the opposite sex. (Page 322) When the time came the agents simply slunk away
History of the Political Police.
These human tragedies had their origins in government and security decisions. Undercover traces the history of the British political police. The Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), founded in wake of 1968, put in place its agents throughout the left. Ideally they would be the “trusted confidant, a deputy who lingered in the background”(Page 23) It was disbanded in 2008. Another body, which with the increasing focus on civil resistance, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) – was founded in 1999, under Tony Blair, with 70 staff. What were (are) their targets? “Domestic extremists, police decided, were those who wanted to ‘prevent something from happening or to change legislation or domestic policy’, often doing so ‘outside of the normal democratic process.”(Page 202)
Initially they went for animal rights activists, including the less than appealing Animal Liberation Front, and “environmental extremists”.Then broadened their scope, “Domestic extremists now included campaigners against war, nuclear weapons, racism, genetically modified crops, globalisation, tax evasion, airport expansion and asylum laws, as well as those calling for reform of prisons and peace in the Middle East.”(Pages 203) Today we also have the National Domestic Extremism Team, all which are brought under the control and merged of the Association of Chief Police Officers.
There is little doubt that those who offer a violent threat, not just to “the demcoratic process” but the people at large – have to followed. But this is hardly the case for those of the above list.
Why these official bodies go to the lengths they do remains something of a mystery to many on the left. Why do they need infiltrators? Is it because we are all plotting something subversive – a wide term the previous paragraph suggests covers most of the activist left’s campaigning including large sections of the Labour Party – in secret?
It is true that some groups cultivate an aura of mystery. Ian Bone once wrote that if anarchists ran the train carrying Lenin to the Finland Station they would have no identity on the side except a Post Office Box Number. The Socialist Workers Party has fought a losing battle to keep its internal discussions secret.
But most of what we do is easy to follow. Blogs, Facebook and the rest, are full of details about we do. Some people – specifically the tradition the Tendance comes from – believe in being as open as possible about how we reach decisions – by democratic vote – and what we do. To the great interest, no doubt of all coppers well up on Leftist Trainspotting and the finer points of the history of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Internationals.
Others have a way of reaching conclusions, and a distinct political culture, which may be harder for the political police to follow. That is the ‘consensus method’ of some of the groups covered in the course of Undercover; “activists used a strange-looking ritual known as ‘jazz hands’, in which they wriggled their fingers in the air to express support for speakers.” (Page 245) But if they want to do this, why not? Wiggle away, we say, far far away from, say any industrial action where we suspect consensus would never permit a strike in the first place.
In reality, the Web, as they say, shows just about everything these days. Which may or may not be a good guide. Indeed it well may not as we found with our own visit from the local rozzers after a malicious complaint by a local Islamic cult.
It will be interesting to follow the Net news on Bob Lambert if he does, as Evans and Lewis suggest, convert to Islam. (Page 331) Perhaps he will find peace – in a religion of order. Some would say that the version he is most familiar with, from his days in the Muslim Contact Unit, Political Islam, offers many possibilities for police surveillance and repression. Or, it might be that, following Kennedy, his personality is unravelling – as indeed Bob’s last television interview seemed to suggest.
Wounds Remain Unhealed.
An open wound remains. The legal action taken by 11 of the deceived women is proceeding at a snail’s pace. The latest news suggests that the women are profoundly dissatisfied with the procedure. Public knowledge of the activities of the political police has not changed things. Post-Kennedy recommendations to clean up the system have not been implemented. Further official inquiries, are, as the authors predicted early on, less than forthcoming. Operation Herne has trawled wide, but “has not yet made a single disclosure about any undercover operation.”(Pages 327 –80)
The last word should go to Steel and Morris, to Lambert – “Shame on you!”
The renegade Jacques Vergès died yesterday at 88 years old.
“The cause of death was a heart attack at around 8 p.m. as he was preparing to dine with friends, according to his publisher, Éditions Pierre-Guillaume de Roux. He died in the Parisian house where the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire once lived, the publisher said in a statement.” (NYT)
He defended the Nazi Klaus Barbie, the “revolutionary” Carlos, Khieu Samphan of the Khmer Rouge but also members of the European left-wing movements (Red Army Faction, Action Directe), Lebanese activists Georges Ibrahim Abdallah and Anis Naccache the Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic etc.. He was also willing to defend Libyian leader Muammar Gaddafi.
We may also mention the Boulin family, the daughter of Marlon Brando, Captain Barril, the Moroccan gardener Omar Raddad, serial killer Charles Sobrhraj, African leaders etc.. Huffington Post (France).
In 1942 Vergès joined the Free French Forces under Charles de Gaulle, and participated in the anti-Nazi resistance. In 1945 he joined the French Communist Party. After the war Jacques went to the University of Paris to study law (his brother Paul Vergès went on to become the leader of the Reunionese Communist Party and Member of the European Parliament). In 1949 Jacques became president of the AEC (Association for Colonial Students), where he met and befriended Pol Pot. In 1950 at the request of his Communist mentors he went toPrague to lead a youth organization for four years.
During the struggle in Algiers he defended many accused of terrorism by the French government. He was a supporter of the Algerian armed independence struggle against France, comparing it to French armed resistance to the Nazi German occupation in the 1940s.
There is no mention in the English language Wikipedia article of ‘ Vergès’ role in creating the first pro-Maoist review in France, in the early 1960s.
The French version notes that Jacques Vergès left the PCF in 1967, becoming intensely involved in the Algerian war of national liberation. After independence he took Algerian nationality, and had a high post in the Foreign Ministry, while editing the FLN’s journal Révolution africaine.
Vergès met Mao Tsé-Tsoung in March 1963 and quickly took the side of the Maoists. He lost his functions in Algeria. In France anew in the same year he launched the glossy magazine, Révolution (Chinese financed) which was the first Maoist publication in France.
From 1970 to ’78, Vergès disappeared from public view without explanation. Verges refused to comment about those years remarking in an interview with Der Spiegel that “It’s highly amusing that no one, in our modern police state, can figure out where I was for almost 10 years”. Vergès was last seen on 24 February 1970. He left his famous wife, Djamila, and cut off all his ties, leaving friends and family to wonder if he had been killed. His whereabouts during these years have remained a mystery. Many of his close associates of the time assume that he was in Cambodia with the Khmer Rouge, a rumour Pol Pot (Brother #1) and Ieng Sary (Brother #2)[ both denied this. There have also been claims that Vergès was spotted in Paris as well as in Arab countries in the company of Palestinian militant groups.
Upon his return to normal life he resumed his legal practice, defending Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, convicted of terrorism, and Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie. The thrust of his defence in the latter case was that Barbie was being singled out for prosecution while the French state conveniently ignored other cases that qualified as crimes against humanity.
In 1999 Vergès sued Amnesty International on behalf of the government of Togo. In 2001, on behalf of Idriss Déby, president of Chad, Omar Bongo, president of Gabon, andDenis Sassou-Nguesso, head of the Republic of the Congo, he sued François-Xavier Verschave for his book Noir silence denouncing the crimes of the Françafrique on the charges of “offence toward a foreign state leader”. The attorney general observed how this crime recalled the lese majesty crime; the court thus deemed it contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights, thus leading to Verschave’s acquittal.
After the US-led coalition forces invaded Iraq in March 2003 and deposed president Saddam Hussein, many former leaders in Saddam’s regime were arrested. In May 2008 Tariq Aziz assembled a team that included Vergès as well as four Italian and a French-Lebanese lawyers. In late 2003 when the United States arrested Saddam, Vergès also offered to defend Saddam if he was asked to. However, Saddam’s family opted not to use Vergès as part of his defense team instead first hiring a team of lawyers based out of Jordan then making Khalil al-Duleimi the sole legal counsel.
In April 2008 former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan made his first appearance at Cambodia’s genocide tribunal. Vergès is using the defense that while Samphan has never denied that many people in Cambodia were killed, as head of state, he was never directly responsible.
Le Monde today,
Vergès defended the associates of Carlos the ‘Jackal’, Bruno Breguet and Magdalena Kopp , charged with having transported explosives. He defended the Venezuelan terrorist himself, after having been approached by the Stasi, the east German Secret police in 1982. Carlos even told the judge he had chosen Vergès because he was “more dangerous” than him. The lawyer enjoyed the experience, “This is an extremely courteous man. These remarks are a homage. The battle of ideas is as dangerous as a battle using explosives.”
Le Monde cites his assessment of his career, “j’ai le culte de moi-même” – I have a cult of myself.