Infoshop — in addition to a range of other sources — has published an interesting exposure of a number of police agents and informants who infiltrated the RNC Welcoming Committee, beginning in 2007. As a result of their testimony, eight anarchists belonging to the RNC-WC are facing terrorism charges in Minnesota. The four infiltrators are identified as being:
Marilyn Hedstrom, pseudonym “Norma Jean Johnson” – Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Officer
Chris Dugger (real name) – Ramsey County Confidential Reliable Informant (now allegedly a jail guard)
Andrew Darst (real name, aka Andy/Panda/Pandy, online names Warchyld, Killswitch) – Federal Confidential Reliable Informant
— and —
Rachel Nieting, pseudonyms “Amanda Clara” and “Amanda Amey” – Ramsey County Corrections Officer (now allegedly a Sheriff’s Deputy)
Until December 1, Rachel had a neat-o myspace page. It’s since been closed, but her profile reveals a few fun ‘facts’ about
“i’ll pick up your hand and slowly blow your little mind”
Name: Amanda “i’ll pick up your hand and slowly blow your little mind”
Age: 24 years old
Location: St Paul, Minnesota, United States
Last Login: 12/1/2008
About me: sass, class, ass.
Who I’d like to meet: Anyone who is funny, laidback, passionate about what they believe in…and anyone who loves drinking rock paper scissors as much as I do!!!
General: having fun. dancing. adult sleepovers. friends (new and old). new experiences. exploring. walking places. biking. traveling. foreign languages. sarcasm. pottery. summer. the ocean. funny inside jokes with friends. nubs (hahahaha another inside joke) and chickens peckin corn 🙂
Music: atmosphere. brother ali. d4. alkaline trio. sublime. dropkick murphys.
Movies: fight club, 28 days later, boondock saints, donnie darko…so many more!
Television: not so much really.
Books : too many to list 🙂
Heroes: anyone who believes in something enough to take action and stand up for what they believe in. my family and friends. and alphabet (you know who you are!) for trying to lie and always confessing.
Well… I dunno about you, but anyone who lists The Boondock Saints as one of their favourite films immediately raises suspicions in my mind.
Closer to home, Socialist Alternative, in response to the recent exposure of an infiltrator of their very own, has published a brief article on the history of political surveillance and police infiltration: Nothing new about cops spying on the left, Jerome Small, Socialist Alternative, No.135, November 2008. Curiously, the infiltrator is not named, nor any details given regarding his activities as a member of SAlt. On the other hand, it’s worth recalling, especially in this context, the remarks of Mick Armstrong, SAlt’s leader, immediately following the G20 protest in Melbourne in November 2006:
Australia, fortunately, has not previously been blighted by the sort of black bloc anarchist activities which have had such a disastrous impact on demonstrations in Europe. These people are simply provocateurs that open up protests to police repression. In Europe their ranks have been riddled by police agents and fascists.
What gave them a certain critical mass at the G20 was the presence of considerable numbers of anarchists from overseas. One of our members from New Zealand said he recognised at least 40 NZ anarchists. He knew at least 20 of them by name. There were also a considerable number of black bloc anarchists from Europe. We know of people from Sweden, Germany and England. These people are like football hooligans who travel the world looking for violence.
On top of that there were also a considerable number of anarchists from interstate.
Because of the behaviour of these provocateurs the media and the law and order brigade are having a field day.
The left should offer no comfort to these crazies. We should do whatever we can to isolate them. They are wreckers. If they grow in Australia it will simply make it harder to build future protests and movements.
To summarise: in Europe, anarchist ranks have been riddled by police agents and fascists (for which assertion Mick offers no evidence). What Mick does offer, on the other hand, are the names of 20 anarchists from New Zealand (Aotearoa) who took part in the ‘riot’ at G20, information provided to him by a comrade from that country. Further, Mick claims to know the identities of anarchists from England, Germany and Sweden who also took part in the “ultra-violence” (Mick’s term), and whose travels are motivated, as in the case of football hooligans, by a desire for violence. As wreckers, the 40 anarchists from New Zealand — and the unknown number of anarchists from England, Germany and Sweden — must be isolated by SAlt members, who must do whatever they can to prevent these 40+ individuals from attracting support from others, and thereby jeopardising future protests and movements.
Awesome stuff from one of Lenin’s lesser-known disciples.
Of course, in reality, and to the best of my knowledge, nobody from England, Germany or Sweden has been charged with offences arising from the G20 protest, and only one or perhaps two of the at least 40 ‘crazy’, ‘ultra-violent’, ‘hostile’, ‘abusive’, ‘threatening’, ‘ultra-sectarian’ Kiwi football hooligans have so far seen the inside of a court room.
In the meantime, SAlt enjoyed having a cop as a member.
Another Trotskyist groupuscule, the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) / Socialist Equality Party, has publiushed an article on ‘State provocations, security and Socialist Alternative’ (Patrick O’Connor, December 3, 2008), and partly in response to Jerome’s article:
The failure of the protest organisation Socialist Alternative (SA) to issue any serious response to revelations that a police agent provocateur spent a considerable period of time working within their ranks provides a revealing insight into the class character of the organisation and the opportunist nature of its politics…
And so on and so forth. After excoriating SAlt for its failures — and Jerome’s article for its lapses — Patrick writes:
SA is yet to provide even a basic outline of its knowledge of the provocateur’s activities. The WSWS has previously raised the following questions, which remain unanswered:
* What is the agent’s name? Are photographs of him available?
* When and how did he first approach Socialist Alternative? How did he become a member? Did he hold any elected or leading positions within the organisation?
* Did he engage in any provocative behaviour? How did he conduct himself at the APEC demonstrations?
* Are there any grounds for believing that the agent’s activities assisted the series of raids by anti-terror police on students’ homes in the lead up to APEC? Or that his activities during the demonstration contributed to the police targeting and arresting of protestors that day?
* When and why did the agent cease his membership with Socialist Alternative? Did anyone have any suspicions about him? If so, were these raised with any of the other organisations subsequently infiltrated?
Obviously, these questions are for SAlt to answer; or not, as is more likely. But the answer to the first question has already been given on my blog (and nowhere else to the best of my knowledge). Again:
As documented by The Age‘s Investigative Unit, Victoria Police (Security Intelligence Group) recently employed an infiltrator to… ah… infiltrate… a number of local activist groups. The person employed went by the name of ‘Setha Sann’, and his targets included Socialist Alternative, Animal Liberation Victoria, the organising committee for the Palm Sunday peace rally (March 16, 2008), and a group organising to protest ‘The Asia Pacific Defence and Security Exhibition’ (since CANCELLED).
In other news, Mehmet Ersoy/Osman, after infiltrating a number of local campaigning groups in the late ’90s and early ’00s on behalf of various US-based corporations, has re-emerged in Iraq as a police trainer:
Specialized Training Sets National Police Apart from the Rest
Spc. Alexis Harrison (2nd BCT,1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)
First Team News
NUMANIYAH, Iraq – While violence has taken a downward slide recently, the Iraqi National Police are beginning to move on to learn tactics and procedures that will push them into the next several stages of law enforcement.
Policemen with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi National Police Division, came to the National Police Academy in Numaniyah to learn not only the basics that help them clear rooms, run traffic-control points and become better tacticians, but to receive specialized training on time-tested law-enforcement principals aimed at making them one of the most agile forces in the country.
Mehmet Ersoy was in law enforcement for more than 20 years in Australia. He now trains the Iraqi policemen at the academy on what he calls a “Multi-faceted” approach to law enforcement.
“Not only do they have to know how to clear a building and collect evidence,” he said. “They have to learn how to converse with the public and give information about certain things without giving away information that needs to be protected. [The national police] have to go back and stand up on their own two feet.”
Getting the peoples’ trust in their police is one of the reasons they came to the academy, he said.
Mehmet first infiltrated the Jabiluka Action Group and Friends of the Earth in 1998 as part of an undercover police operation. He then proceeded to spy on Nuclear Free Australia, radio station 3CR, Barricade Books, and other (Aboriginal, environmental, Kurdish) groups.
Deputy Police Commissioner Simon Overland told The Age it was a breach of the Police Regulations Act for an officer to use a covert identity after leaving the force or to use information gathered in the course of official duties for private gain.
“It’s a criminal offence and we would take that very seriously. We have prosecuted people in the past and we will continue to do so when they do that,” he said.
Mr Overland also acknowledged some covert operations by Victoria Police in the late 1990s were not as accountable as they should have been.
“It is pretty much a matter of public record that there were issues with the way activities in this area operated in the past,” Mr Overland said. “But I do make the point that it is eight years ago … I want to make it very clear that that is not the way we do business now.”
See also : Tom Gabel : ‘Anna Is A Stool Pigeon’ (November 29, 2008) | The Age of Spies (October 16, 2008) | “Welease Wodewick!”, Or; The Continuing Adventures of Hakluyt & Co. (October 15, 2008) | The Downer Age : Hakluyt & Co (October 14, 2008) | Hakluyt dons fishnet stockings! (October 13, 2008) | “Questions emerge”: RNC 2008 & The Spectre of Anarchism/Terrorism (September 17, 2008) | “revolutionaries into secret agents and secret agents into revolutionaries” (August 12, 2008) | In Love With Terror, Or: The Danger of Working with Rank Amateurs (August 7, 2008) | Hakluyt (Spies Like Us) (August 5, 2008) | Drink-Soaked Ex-Trotskyite Popinjay For War Undergoes Waterboarding For Vanity (July 7, 2008)