Monday, 28 July 2014

Defend the right to defend Palestine!

The Glasgow Defence Campaign condemns Police Scotland for its ongoing interference with democratic rights to protest and organise in solidarity with Palestine. This week’s intimidation and harassment of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) and Palestine supporters is described below.

On Thursday 24 June, 14.20hrs, “Keith McLennan - Police Scotland liaison officer for Palestine protests”, using the contact number publicised on Facebook, phoned FRFI.

In very diplomatic and fluffy language he asked if FRFI supporters could help the police “facilitate protest” by giving them notice beforehand of “how many people and plans for we are able to facilitate Palestine protest within the bounds of what’s allowed”. This would “save yellow uniformed police turning up and not knowing what’s planned...really appreciate you taking the there scope to give us a call next Monday or Tuesday?”

‘McLennan’ left a number for supporters to contact him on “whenever” news of Palestine protests came through. Worryingly he stated that this system for contacting the police “had been working relatively well in recent months for other groups” giving the example of a recent Palestine protest in Glasgow. He also asked for information about ‘Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!’ and the meeting they were holding that night ‘How to organise solidarity with Palestine?’

This meeting was visited by two uniformed Police Scotland officers – male A695 (stationed in Govanhill) and woman G19 (Drumchapel) to “see how the meeting was going” and if any future plans for Palestine protest had been agreed.

Police Scotland, posing as 'Liaison' officers soon
returned to their aggressive selves.
The GDC suggests a return to Tulliallan
for some more role play training. 
Finally FRFI’s protest stall, on 26 July on Argyle Street, in defence of Palestine and socialist Cuba was harassed by two police liaison officers; male G16 Inspector Forbes (stationed at Cathcart) and female B 1371. They joked that the protest was not where it had been publicised and unsuccessfully tried to intimidate supporters who calmly informed them they would not be intimidated. As one supporter stated over the megaphone

“Why are the police so scared about people in this country supporting Palestine? Because the Palestinian people, poor and oppressed, are fighting back. The British ruling class fear that resistance could spread!”

Friends of Palestine within Britain should expect to be harassed by the police as they defend the British imperialist state (Tory and Labour alike) which is a political, financial and military partner of Apartheid Israel. However this does not mean we should accept the harassment. We must organise and remain vigilant; do not talk to or cooperate with police liaison officers before, during or after meetings and protests. These softly spoken blue uniformed officers are agents deployed to gain intelligence which their distrusted yellow uniforms will not get them. We have every right to ignore them and withhold our personal details unless they can tell you an offence they suspect you of committing or witnessing.

Miriam Kelly,

Glasgow Defence Campaign.

Glasgow, Scotland, 28 July 2014