Friday, October 17, 2008

Victoria Police Spying on Activists!

VICTORIA Police's secret intelligence unit has infiltrated Melbourne's activist and community groups for two years to gather information on protests against the Iraq War, Japanese whaling and a weapons exhibition. Reigniting civil liberties concerns about police spying, an officer from the police Security Intelligence Group has infiltrated groups such as Animal Liberation Victoria, Stop the War Coalition, Unity for Peace and Socialist Alternative. The officer, who posed as a vegan, left-wing activist, has also had close contact with representatives of church and student groups involved in anti-war demonstrations. So successful was his operation that the organising committee for this year's Palm Sunday peace march in Melbourne appointed him its minute-taker at meetings.

The Palm Sunday event, held each March since 2003, has been attended by tens of thousands of Victorians opposed to the Iraq War. It is organised and endorsed by a variety of groups across the community, including churches, students, unions and doctors. The officer, whose identity The Age has chosen not to publish, also took part in an illegal raid on a battery hen farm in June and travelled with a socialist group to the APEC summit in Sydney last year to attend the "Stop Bush" protest against the US President. The officer's most recent work was with activists planning to disrupt a major arms fair in Adelaide next month. The Asia Pacific Defence and Security Exhibition was cancelled last month after police briefings warned of violent protests. Continued...

The State will go to any lengths to maintain its power and control over its citizens.

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