Watching the activists.

| | Comments (3)
boghall.jpgAs you may know, I've a bit of history with direct action.

Most notably, Mark Ballard and I got lifted at a GM protest in 1999, along with four others. We were convicted in 2001 (the group pic there is amusing, as is the Ballard/Castro quote), and acquitted on appeal in 2003.

We always knew our colleagues really well, and never saw any of the paranoia that some activist groups get into. Still, there have been a couple of examples recently where that kind of anxiety proved justified, and where corporate interests have infiltrated campaign groups. 

Last year Mark Thomas wrote about Martin Hogbin, who worked undercover at the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, on behalf of British Aerospace (Monbiot on the same story). And just yesterday MotherJones uncovered an NRA mole in the American gun control movement. Both had been in place for ten years or so, passing everything from legal advice to campaign strategy out to their handlers.

The media do something similar too: the BBC sent someone into the Climate Camp last year so they could do a tabloid style "OMG DIRECT ACTION!!1!" scare job. It's a shame they don't feel it would be as worthwhile to get undercover with BAA to see what they're planning. Perhaps it's just too much work to get near the board-room, especially when compared to wandering into a public camp.

Still, there's no point getting anxious about it. We ourselves have environmentalists undercover in corporations across the country and embedded in countless government agencies, passing information on and ready for action. You'll see. 

That's a tough gig, though. As Leonard Cohen said, "they sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the system from within". (youtube)


Ballard misquotes Castro, it should be 'history will absolve me'...

Or, in the original, "La historia me absolverá". But who's quibbling?

As I think Lenin once said, what point is there in (mis)quoting famous lefties, if not to allow quibbling?

Leave a comment

Your Links At Last


Other Politics



Friends and Stuff I Like

If I've forgotten to link to you, let me know. If I don't want to link to your blog I'll pretend I never got your email.

The party's site of which I am rather proud

Along with Jeff (formerly SNP Tactical Voting) and Malc (formerly In The Burgh), I now co-edit Better Nation, a group blog. Stuff will still appear here, but more will be there. Better Nation

Post History

This page was published on July 31, 2008 10:52 AM.

Subtitles for the politically illiterate. was the previous entry in this blog.

Smog gets in your eyes. is the next entry in this blog.