Socialist Worker

Police target 'domestic extremists'

Issue No. 2175

Revelations that police have been building up a database of so-called “domestic extremists” have caused widespread outrage.

Anti-war campaigners, climate change activists and animal rights protesters have been lumped together with far-right thugs such as members of the English Defence League in a shady surveillance operation that has cost at least £9 million.

Police have been recording descriptions of clothing and comments by those attending public meetings and protests.

As well as threatening the right to protest, the revelations highlight the wider role of the police in society.

Police are used to protect the bosses and maintain “order”. They prop up a vastly unequal society and help the state to monitor any dissent.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has recently announced that every police force is preparing to deal with public disorder resulting from industrial action in the post.

And it seems that working class people have more to worry about than just whether the police are following the right procedures. The Met police in London has just announced it is setting up squads of police armed with machine guns who will go on patrols around Haringey, Tottenham and Brixton with local police.

This means that more people—mostly young and black—will be harassed and searched by police, with potentially dangerous consequences.

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Tue 27 Oct 2009, 18:37 GMT
Issue No. 2175
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