Monday, July 16, 2012

A police state

From the Guardian, another example of political policing in the UK:

Police carried out surveillance on political campaigners while they were at the Glastonbury festival, newly released documents show.

Details of their activities were recorded in a clandestine database run by the secretive police operation which has infiltrated a network of spies into political groups for 40 years.

Police logged how the campaigners had set up a stall at the festival and were selling what police termed "political publications and merchandise of an XLW anti-capitalist nature". The letters XLW are understood to mean "extreme left-wing".

They were mainly selling T-shirts and badges, along with DVDs and books. The police officers also recorded the home address and mobile phone number of the campaigner who had booked the stall.

There is a name for countries who monitor the political opinions of their citizens, and subject them to surveillance and harassment for expressing or communicating opinions deemed "undesirable" by those in power: "police state". And the UK is very rapidly becoming one, if it isn't there already.