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Search words: mark thomas

BAE Infiltration of Peace Groups

category international | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Tuesday December 04, 2007 09:53author by tomeile Report this post to the editors

In 2003, BAE Systems - Europe's largest arms company - was accused of spying on a small group of peace campaigners. mark thomas refused to believe that his trusted friend and fellow activist Martin Hogbin could possibly have any involvement in the story. But then the doubts began to set in ...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/armstrade/story/0,,2221504,00....html

author by Ciaron O'Reilly - Catholic Worker/Ploughsharespublication date Wed Dec 05, 2007 06:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Mark Thomas article in The Guardian (4/12/07) brings back a rush of memories and emotions. It also does much to heal the divisiveness and bad feeling sown by the infiltration of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade.

I remember Mark making jokes about Martin Hogbin at his excellent performance in Dublin in 2003. I thought "ouch, I'd better let that ride!" as I was now facing trial with the "Pitstop Ploughshares", probability of years in jail in Ireland and I couldn't really afford to alienate the few friends we had. I'm pretty good at alienating people and Mark had kindly invited us to set up a Ploughshares info stall at his gig and pushed our case from the stage, wearing a Pitstop t-shirt during the performance. Mark at that stage was very loyal to his friend and pretty pissed off by the accusations against him.

The memories begin for me in mid- '96, when I arrived in England for the first time in 17 years. I came primarily from East Timor solidarity activism in Australia to support a friend, who I had met at the Washington DC Catholic Worker and who had been active in solidarity with me while I spent 13 months in prison for disarming a B52 on the eve of the first Gulf War. She and 3 other women (using one of the hammers we had used on the B52 and New York and would later use at Shannon in 03) were in Risley Prison (England) following a £1.5 million disarmament action on a BAe Hawk fighter at BAe, Warton, Lancashire. The Hawk fighter was already painted in Indonesian Air Force markings and was due for immediate export to the genocidal Suharto regime to be used on the people of East Timor. "Seeds of Hope Ploughshares".... http://www.plowsharesactions.org/webpages/weba.htm

Following the unprecedented acquittal of the "Seeds of Hope" plowshares women at Liverpool Crown courts July '96, the BAe empire stuck back. Instead of following up the conclusion implicit in the jury's decision that BAe may be involved in war crimes in East Timor, the Lancashire Special Branch did not turn their attention to BAe but approached a former policewoman to infiltrate the fledging Liverpool Catholic Worker community. The Catholic Worker community had emerged out of the organising and solidarity work around the "Seeds of Hope" trial. Instead of coming to infiltrate us, Janet Lovelace, mother of three, had the integrity to go to "The Guardian".

"Ms Lovelace previously a constable in Hampshire for 5 years said: "The detectives told me 'Once a copper always a copper', but I'd left the force because of that type of attitude"

When they met me for the second time, at a public house near the BAe site in Warton, the two men tried to persuade that if BAe's exports were disrupted local people would lose their jobs. "I replied that if BAe continued, lives would be lost in East Timor".

"They offered me £200 a month plus any expenses and a bonus, if I came up with good information. They wanted names and anyone who is doing the organising." The list of inducements grew longer and longer. "They said any domestic worries you have, any bills you have, don't worry we will sort them out for you. If I got arrested they would sort that out for me."
"The £200 was for the first 3 months, then it might be upgraded. They also offered a mobile telephone, petrol and child-minding fees. All of it was to be paid in cash and the taxman need never know about it. They said noone need ever know about it."
(The Guardian Sept 1996)

When BAe couldn't get infiltration from the state they turned to the private sector for back up. The covert events of 1996-99 would be revealed by a 2003 front page expose in The Sunday Times. Check link for story Sunday Times story http://www.evel.nl/spinwatch/sourcessundaytimes1.htm

Although I had only been in England briefly I was included amongst 13 activists injuncted by BAe in the high court in August '96. By the end of the year these injunctions were made lifelong. For the 4 of us who defended ourselves in the High Court we were left with a £100,000 legal bill each. 2 of us then went on to break the injunctions on the "Feast of Innocents" (28/12/07). Chris Cole had already been sentenced to 6 months for merely writing a leaflet encouraging nonviolent direct action against BAe's arms sales to Indonesia. By the time of the July acquittal, BAe had moved a major agent to Liverpool from Hull to infiltrate the community that was forming around the trial and responding to BAe's role in the genocide in East Timor. The Sunday Times refers to him as "Brough", we knew him as "Alan Fossey". He was most likely used to target people for high court injunction at this early stage.

By the end of 1996, the Liverpool Catholic Worker were joined by courageous young men from Los Palos, East Timor. they had all occupied embassies in Djakarta, Indonesia, and received sanctuary in the Portugal. They came to England to join us in nonviolent resistance to the arms trade that was targeting their families back in East Timor. Some had survived prison and torture, some had had their parents killed by the Indonesian military.

Fossey played a significant role to bringing an end to the Catholic Worker in Liverpool. These are some reflections I wrote soon after the expose in 2003
http://www.evel.nl/spinwatch/sourcesciaron.htm

Perusing some of the leaked documents that were the basis of the expose is instructive. By 1997, the fledging Liverpool Catholic Worker had become the major problem for BAe in terms of sustained nonviolent resistance. The Liverpool Catholic Worker was a wonderful combination of local working class scousers, imported Catholic Worker veterans, young East Timorese straight out of a war zone and unfortunately Alan Fossey the intelligence agent. A rhtym of reflection, community building and nonviolent direct action was built on a 3 monthly weekend retreats that would conclude with NVDA at the BAe, Warton site. This was quite a new approach for the church and general movement in England, borrowing heavily from the U.S. Catholic Worker and Plowshare movements. At one "nonviolence resistance retreat" of 35 participants, there were three other agents present as well as Fossey. BAe ran 6 agents in Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT). Fossey was run in the extended (not live-in) Liverpool Catholic Worker for over three years.

The aftermath of emotions expressed by Mark Thomas in his recent Guardian article mirrors the confusion and discord that saw the eviction and closure of the Liverpool Catholic Worker. Confusion and discord in the movement, I guess that's one of the major ambitions of intelligence agents.

The organisation that ran Fossey and the other agents predates the East Timor/ Anti-Arms Trade campaigns. The Threat Response Files website has been set up that analysis their operation. See link for Threat Response Files website.....

http://www.evel.nl/spinwatch/TRReport.htm

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
author by Garypublication date Wed Dec 05, 2007 09:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If peace protestors really wanted to disrupt BAE operations they could infiltrate the company and conduct espionage and sabotage from the inside to expose their corruption couldn't they?
No suprises that enemies of the peace movement would fight back now is it?
Don't be so naive. This is the world we live in.
By fair means or foul.
What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

author by Ciaron O'Reilly - Catholic Worker/Ploughsharespublication date Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Gary dear,

This site is not here primarily for your "surprise" or titillation or the NEW in news. Some activist use it for reflection after action and analysis before acting again.

We don't have your cynicism or naievity, we have a developing clarity.
If you're looking for a "Big Deal", try the £1billion slush fund run by the British government on behalf of BAe for just one Saudi prince and the undermining of the separation of powers in stopping the Serious Fraud Office investigating it on the link below.....

Related Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/baefiles/story/0,,2097149,00
author by Garypublication date Wed Dec 05, 2007 13:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The investigation was shut down because the Saudis threatened to refuse to co-operate with British intelligence in the war on terror.

author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Ploughsharespublication date Wed Dec 05, 2007 13:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Sauds never uttered such a threat. This was Blair's invention.

The Serious Fraud Office investigation was shut down because BAe calls the shots on the Blair/Brown government. Much to the disdain of the SFO bobbies, who had spent two years investigating it.

The U.S. has just spirited a witness out of Britain to testify
at its own investigations into the role of bribes in international arms contracts.

There is an ongoing judicial review of the shutting down of this investigation.

author by Updatepublication date Thu Dec 06, 2007 16:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This link is from "Undercurrents", it is photo of Paul Mercer outed as BAe spy and mentioned in the Mark Thomas "Guardian" article. The thread that follows displays the discord sewn in the movement.

Mercer was seen earlier in the year attending an anti-war benefit in Dublin.

http://undercurrentsvideo.blogspot.com/2007/04/photogra....html

Related Link: http://undercurrentsvideo.blogspot.com/2007/04/photograph-of-paul-mercer-spy.html
author by Shutterbugpublication date Fri Dec 28, 2007 21:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fossey in the grey t-shirt to the right of the central figure in the white shirt.

"Fossey" is pictured in the grey t-shirt to the righ of the white-t-shirted male in the foreground
"Fossey" is pictured in the grey t-shirt to the righ of the white-t-shirted male in the foreground

author by tomeilepublication date Sun Dec 30, 2007 15:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Evelyn le Chêne ran a private spying agency which kept a database on left wing and anti -war activists . Her company Threat Response International was hired by large corporations to spy on opponents; Group 4 and British Aerospace have admitted to using her services .Fossey was one of her informants . Le Chene advertised her services to corporations thus:

“If you wish to have a 48 week per year service, the rate would logically be £2.00 per name.
• If you wish total cover of 52 weeks, the rate would be slightly higher at £2.25 per name. This would be all inclusive and would cover all known names within CND, trade unions, activists, environmentalists etc”

According to a Spinwatch reports from as far back as 2004 , Threat Response's agents “ downloaded the entire contents of a CAAT headquarters computer including a membership list, personal folders and details of private donations. Bank account details were also passed on, according to a source, and Agent P's reports to BAE discuss sending computer discs and tapes obtained from CAAT.
Desks were rifled, diaries were read and address books photocopied so that the information could then be transferred to BAE. CAAT members were often followed”
http://www.evel.nl/spinwatch/TRReport.htm

author by more spiespublication date Thu Oct 16, 2008 15:51author address Melbourne, Victoria, Australiaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Recent revelations of Victorian Police (Melbourne, Australia) infiltration of community and campaigning groups....

Police Spying on Acvtivists Revealed (Melbourne, Australia)
http://www.theage.com.au/national/police-spying-on-acti....html

The Spying Game
http://www.theage.com.au/national/the-spying-game-20081...ge=-1

author by U.S. Armypublication date Sun Nov 15, 2009 18:08author address Washington state USAauthor phone Report this post to the editors

U.S. Army infiltration of Port anti-war movementin North West U.S.

http://www.socialism.com/drupal-6.8/?q=node/237

author by tomeilepublication date Mon Nov 16, 2009 14:39author email tomeile at hotmail dot co dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

US arny employee , John J. Towery, alias "John Jacob," “ became an email list-serve administrator for Port Militarization Resistance (PMR) of Olympia . Towery gained the trust of a few leading people in Washington State's anti-war movement .His own key position allowed him " to sow dissention among activists and sabotage blockades of war equipment at the Olympia port” . The state patsy passed information to local police, the state patrol, FBI, Homeland Security, Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE), and others.

The warning from the author of the above linked article - to “know the full background of anyone who has access to mailing lists or is trusted with information gathering and transmission.” – should apply to the Irish left . As former Black Panther Mark Cook told activists after Towery had been exposed ,the methods now being employed against the anti-war movement are similar to those used against the Panthers ; government spying is a “constant “ that must be expected and prepared for.

author by tomeilepublication date Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Since its founding ten years ago, the international Indymedia network with its democratic commitment to “the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth” has been a threat to the lies and distortions of the corporate press and to the emerging dictatorship of the New World Order.

This current Global Research article highlights a US Justice Department attempt in January to make Indymedia US hand over all data held on site users and exposes the Department’s sinister order to Indymedia to keep silent about the matter.

“Indymedia received a request (PDF) in January for the IP addresses of everyone who visited the Indymedia site on June 25, 2008. But the request went further than simply asking for the computer addresses of visitors -- the subpoena ordered Indymedia to turn over all identifying information it may have about visitors, including their addresses, email addresses, bank account numbers and social security numbers.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16100

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