This is a statement from a comrade we have been supporting through the courts and persistent police harassment. We admire their determination to carry on resisting despite being targetted and their willingness to speak up and expose the cops for what they are. Their words are a good example of the courage and integrity necessary for fighting to win:
It was only a “No”. The sentence resonates inside of me. It was only a “No” and they tried to make me pay for telling them where to get off. For fighting them in court. For having the “wrong politics”. For not being white. It was only a “No”, yet for over a year and a half since that day and since my fight to clear my name began, it has felt like forever.At the time, on that cold December evening in 2017 I made it clear that I don’t talk to police. In fact I made it so crystal clear the christmas shoppers bustling past stopped to stare at the two CID officers. One stopped mid sentence and both went red in the face; utterly humiliated in front of the public. You would’ve thought they would’ve taken the hint. You would of thought they would of understood what “Fuck off” meant.
At the time, I was on bail for something I hadn’t done; an alleged “assault” on a cop when I was on an anti fascist counter demonstration against the far right in Bristol. A charge which is a clear case of malicious prosecution by the state.
You see, right now they’re waging a war on us. I’ve always hated to think in terms of “us” and “them” but right now it’s never been so clear. The thin blue line is a burning fuse and that fuse for many of us is getting shorter by the day. Being a political activist of any kind these days makes you a threat to both the state and the status quo. And the status quo is what the police in particular are there to uphold.
Their organization is founded on white supremacy, institutional racism and protection of the rich and ruling classes. If you look back far enough you’ll find that these “civil servants” stem from slave patrols. Back then they were used to suppress the working class and they continue this work today.
I can cast my mind back over the past year and a half plus of harassment and intimidation tactics. I can cast my mind back to that cold night in December and realize that no matter what tactics they use, no matter which cop loving lackeys they enlist to help them with their fascism, the police have always been responsible for everything.
Intent on protecting themselves, holding a grudge and getting revenge, they have targetted me in an unaccountable “operation” with the tacit support and involvement of middle class racists, cheerleaders for the cops and background fascists. They’d call it “surveillance”. I call it bullying and cowardice.
Last year I wrote about what can be best described as police stalking tactics. At the time, Netpol told me that concerningly they had seen instances over the years of activists being targeted by cops with a grudge to bear. In 2019 we hear almost daily of so many instances of police corruption, brutality and targetting of activists, trade unionists, people of colour and disabled protesters to name a few.
I’ve learnt what the true nature of the beast is over the last year and a half of my life. I’ve put up with the area car tails, the harassment from plain clothes officers, the email hacking, the attempted computer cracking and complete invasion of my privacy and personal spaces. I’ve never stood alone but they’ve done their best to isolate me and convince me I’m out of time and options. They’ve targeted me for fighting them but now they know that I won’t give up until they’re beaten. It’s a long road but with comrades beside me I will win.
Reflecting on events of the past year and a half plus of my life is at points difficult. I feel my eyes fill with tears and a lump rise in my throat, but I swallow what hurts so it can’t hurt me anymore. You see they’ve done their best to position me as a trouble maker through antagonistic tactics occasionally led by “concerned citizens” in my community designed to create paranoia and anxiety and to bring out the very worst in me.
They have tried to wear me down through endless police tails, deliberate use of flashing lights and siren bursts as they cruise past me. Plain clothes officers regularly play head games, more so when they think no one is watching.
I know that my enemies aren’t everywhere and aren’t everyone but they have always tried to create that impression. The all seeing eye of authority and the outcast. They want me to think it’s 1984. All of this has been done because of my politics and what appears to be a very deep level of racism the likes of which I would only normally associate with fascism.
Recently, I’ve witnessed and heard accounts locally of how aggressive the police have been towards left wing activists, be they antifascists or Kurdish solidarity protestors. It’s not just here but seemingly everywhere and what’s most troubling is the cosy relationship the police seem to be developing with the far-right.
Fascists have always loved the police and military as infiltrating these professions gives the chance to abuse their authority and target their enemies. Having read how police in the US have assisted fascists in targeting us it comes as no surprise that the far right seem so keen to show support for our local authoritarians. “We’ll give your details to the police”, “Don’t think we won’t find out who you are!” have been threats thrown at us by fascists of late and it seems that the police have been only too happy to help.
Repression and harassment affects us in different ways. My experience of police abuse may not be yours but it doesn’t make it any less real. It doesn’t make my anger and my frustration go away and it doesn’t take away the points where I’ve drunk too much to cope with my feelings wishing I’d say more to my friends when I only ever say too little.
It’s important that we build a culture of support and understanding for those on the sharp end of state abuse. It’s crucial now more than ever because it seems that all of our struggles are intensified under a nationalist government that wages a never ending and vicious class war against us. no one is coming to save us so we have to show the state that our solidarity, strength and determination is unbreakable.
When it comes to myself, I don’t know what the rest of the year holds for me but what I do know is that despite police harassment I continue to keep fighting all my fights and remain as unshakeable now as I was two years ago. I feel quietly confident I’ll put things right and I want to be able to help others who may have been targeted for their political views. I always feel stronger remembering that I’ll never be alone.
My comrades have been there for me throughout. I never betray my friends. There may be more to me than just the next action I’m on but it’s a big part of who I am and it’s where my heart lives. No cowardly bully will ever stop me from doing the right thing. You know it’s funny that after all this time I can still see the cracks in them, but there are no cracks in me.