Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Strathclyde police attempt to divide anti-ATOS campaign: all out for tomorrow's protest!

The use of divide and rule by those in power is as old as class exploitation itself. Over the last 30 years, the British police and political establishment has worked to perfect its ability to destroy effective political opposition to an unequal society. One of the key tools used to undermine opposition movements is to promote so-called 'moderate' elements while at the same time trying to 'discover and neutralise the genuine subversive element.' Strathclyde police officers are clearly studying their textbooks. Unfortunately for them, so are we.

In the wake of the police operation against the peaceful Glasgow Against ATOS protest on 22 February, which resulted in the targeted arrest of two members of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, Strathclyde police are attempting to sow divisions and disrupt the growing campaign against ATOS in Glasgow. Their aim is to isolate and criminalise those individuals and political organisations deemed to be a 'threat', while seeking to divert the campaign into harmless, ineffective channels. These attempts must be opposed and defeated.

Police move to arrest FRFI support on ATOS demo
Today, Wednesday 6 February, a peaceful occupation of the offices of ATOS took place in Glasgow city centre. The successful action resulted in no arrests or charges. Two Strathclyde police officers appeared on the scene after 20 minutes. They took it upon themselves to warn the activists off attending tomorrow's demonstration demanding the charges are dropped against the Glasgow ATOS 2. They pointed to 'confrontational elements' and rogue forces, which common-sense folk would be best avoiding association with. The officers suggested that outside forces were threatening to hijack the growing movement against ATOS in the city.

Luckily for us, as is often the case, the viciousness of the police is undermined by their incompetence.

Who were the threatening dark forces being warned against? Presumably supporters of FRFI Glasgow. And who were the common-sense folk they were trying to scare? Supporters of Citizens United Against Public Sector Cuts, the Black Triangle and others who have been working with FRFI for months to build the Glasgow Against ATOS campaign and have helped organise tomorrow's protest!

The occupiers of course gave short shrift to the police's attempts at manipulation and division. However, it is an example of how the police will attempt to disrupt any movement which is starting to be effective. Both Glasgow Against ATOS and Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and others are united in their commitment to peaceful, legitimate protest. This is a fundamental democratic right which we will fight for. The only 'confrontational' element is Strathclyde police, which has saw fit to violently harass and arrest a peaceful protest.

We call on all those committed to fighting the cuts and defending democratic rights to take to the streets tomorrow and send a clear signal that we will not be divided, diverted and intimidated.

All out for Thursday 7 March! Drop the charges against the Glasgow Against ATOS 2!

Join the protest!

Drop the charges against the Glasgow ATOS 2! Arrested for speaking the truth!
Thursday 7 February, 12.30 - 2pm
Outside Royal Bank of Scotland, Gordon Street
All welcome

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