The Guardian newspaper has published a story this morning claiming to contain recordings between Plane Stupid activist Tilly Gifford and two police officers.
The recordings where taken from three different occasions (in a police station, outside a supermarket and the third a phone conversation) on which the two officers attempt to enlist Gifford into working as a police snitch, providing them with insider information from the climate change movement.
Tilly Gillford is quoted saying “Recording them seemed like the obvious thing to do. I was keen to find out what they had to offer, what they wanted to find out, and feed that back to the group in case other members of Plane Stupid were approached.”
The Guardian also quoted Gillford saying she recorded the meetings in an attempt to expose how police seek to disrupt the legitimate activities of climate change activists.
You can hear the recordings via the Guardian website here.
The use of informants and snitches against protesters and individuals from anarchist and anti-authoritarian movement has a chilling history including most recently claims published on Indymedia of police offering money for insider information on the Smash EDO campaign in Brighton and Adrian Radford the police infiltrator used against the SHAC campaign (link to Times article). The Guardian also recently commented on the possibility of a tip off from an informer leading to the arrests of 114 environment activists in Nottingham (Guardian article | Last Hours article)
Mean while in the United States during the RNC protests many snitches and informants where used including in the high profile case of David McKay where it was revealed Brandon Darby was accepting money from police to betray fellow protesters whilst simultaneously encouraging them to take more radical action. This is coupled with the conviction of Eric McDavid, an environmental activist who, in 2006 became the victim of an FBI informant leading to a 19 year prison sentence (see the campaign to support Eric McDavid). The case was later documented in a song by Tom Gabel of Against Me! titled ‘Anna Is A Stool Pigeon’
It is also not unheard of for misinformation relating to informants to be planted to cause paranoia aiming to divide groups and dismantle their ability to act as a unit.
Remember if the cops come knocking tell them where to go! If the situation arises and you feal under pressure respond with ‘I am going to remain silent. I would like to speak to a lawyer’
For more information of security culture check out this informative yet fun article – http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2009/04/25/security-culture-the-puppet-show/