[ssf] [Fwd:article on police negotiation letters - comments please]
amparo2yo at telefonica.net
Thu Jun 2 02:44:17 BST 2005
As we were finishing our recent guidance on what to do if approached
by the police, it came to our attention that Sergeant Stephen French
of Lothian & Borders Police (the force covering Edinburgh) has
contacted various individuals to request that they negotiate with
them over the upcoming protests in Edinburgh forming part of the
mobilization against the G8 Summit. Though much of what we wrote
previously applies here, there are interesting implications to these
emails of Sergeant French, of which more later, and we offer the
following advice to anyone who receives such unwelcome contact.
It is important to remember that the Dissent network and associated
groups are structured non-hierarchically and autonomously. This means
that no one is in the position to negotiate or has the mandate, even
if that was so desired, to negotiate on behalf of the network and
1. Do not respond. This is for several reasons.
a. You are under no obligation to speak to the police.
b. By responding you are indicating to the police that you do have
some sort of authority - yes, they can think like that.
c. Even by responding negatively you are opening a dialogue; as with
no comment interviews, it is best to ignore them as much as possible.
Plus, it makes it harder for them to say you 'were uncooperative' in
d. Experience has shown that the police are totally untrustworthy in
these sort of negotiations and will easily go back on their word.
They are negotiating for their benefit, and those of there political
masters, and not ours. They are seeking to minimize the impact of the
protests, not facilitate it.
2. Contact your group/network and let them know so you can take
measure of the situation together and if necessary offer the
3. Contact the G8 Legal Support Group, who are monitoring such
incidents, at g8arrestsupport at riseup.net
Firstly, judging by the people who have been approached, it says more
about the level of the local police's
resources/intelligence/priorities than on the people who have the
misfortune to receive them. From what we can tell the people
approached are those who have put their head above the parapet for
various reasons and thus come to the attention of the state. The
police are clearly working on a hierarchical model and in the absence
of other materials this model means they pick on the more visible in
our movement. This is life and why neither the people singled out in
this way or those around them should draw much in conclusion. Rather
it better to read between the lines of these communications and see
just how the state is approaching us.
Secondly, it is a common police tactic to pick out and isolate
individuals. This is as much a divide and rule tactic as anything
else. It disempowers the individual by increasing the pressure and
creating artificial divides between them and those around them. The
best way to deal with this is to refuse to allow the state to set our
personal agendas and to put aside the paranoia they are attempting
foist on us. This is best achieved by simply ignoring them out right
as much as possible.
The G8 Legal Support Group
For more information on your rights please visit the following websites
G8arrestsupport mailing list
G8arrestsupport at lists.aktivix.org
More information about the ssf