Monday, August 01, 2011

Anarchism: Should I report myself to the police?

This morning's Guardian revealed  that a remarkable official counter-terrorism notice was circulated in London last week:
There was no warning about other political groups, but next to an image of the anarchist emblem, the City of Westminster police's "counter terrorist focus desk" called for anti-anarchist whistleblowers stating: "Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. Any information relating to anarchists should be reported to your local police."
That is a bit worrying, because I have an interest in anarchism myself. Having heard Ruth Kinna talk about her book A Beginner's Guide to Anarchism at a small publishers' event in Leicester, I asked her to write a guest post for this blog. Instead, it seems, I should have shopped her to the Old Bill.

This evening comes the welcome news that the police notice has been withdrawn. Another Guardian report says:
After 24 hours trying to discover why the counter-terrorism desk at Belgravia police station had issued the injunction under the banner of Project Griffin, an initiative raising awareness of counter-terrorism and security issues among business, public sector and security personnel, Scotland Yard said: "The Metropolitan police service does not seek to stigmatise those people with legitimate political views."
It seems the rozzers were worried about self-styled anarchists who go around smashing things up during demonstrations. But those are the sort of anarchists who go on the marches to demand a bigger state, so I don't think they have quite got the hang of anarchism.

No comments: