Uploaded as part of the Anarchism in Australia project.
Author: Princess Mob
Originally Published: September 2008
Retrieved from: Mutiny, Issue 30, online at Jura Books
Police Intelligence Isn’t
Police documents relating to the APEC ‘Excluded Persons’ list were recently released thanks to a Freedom of Information Request from a journalist.
The ‘Excluded Persons list’ was one feature of the extravaganza of police-state laws put in place for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in September last year. It was a list of people who were banned for the summit period from entering certain areas of Sydney, including most of the centre of the city. There were no real guidelines about what it took to be placed on the list, & there were no requirements of the police to justify or explain their decisions.
Most of the 61 people on the list were there for one of three reasons: they had charges pending from the G20 protests in Melbourne in 2006; they were environmental activists associated with Greenpeace or the Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN), who had taken part in one of two direct actions about climate change; or they were associated with Mutiny.
For a dozen people, membership of Mutiny was all that was required to get them banned from the city. Mutiny is described in the files as ‘an anarchist group consisting of a number of layers of trust & information management. Currently it consist of a small group of individuals who form what appears to be an inner core group responsible for the clandestine planning & preparation for violence & malicious damage aimed at police & APEC corporate targets. This core group meets regularly at a covert location to discuss the details of these plans.’ This overblown description is clearly an attempt to make our ordinary political activity seem sinister. I’d assume the police know, as everyone else does, that the ‘covert’ location we meet at is Black Rose Books (& the occasional pub).
The police would be incredibly stupid not to know that, because the files reveal a high level of surveillance. People’s personal relationships are noted – one person is said to be ‘a known associate of the leader of the anarchist group Mutiny’, which shows that their observation hasn’t yet led them to understand anarchism.
In some cases monitoring of political activity has clearly gone on for some years: part of one file reads ‘For at least the past four years [name removed] has actively participated in protest activity targeted [sic] selected persons, organisations and events. Initially his activities were mainly focused on refugee rights and local issues such as Aboriginal youths and student rights. Over the past eighteen months however, his focus appears to have shifted towards anti-globalisation activity as demonstrated by his participation in the protests against the Forbes Conference and G20.’
Other information noted about people includes details of activities such as using their credit card to hire a bus to go to a student conference, opening a PO box, sending out emails, being involved in organising for the FLARE in the Void convergence, participating in previous protests, and supporting other people in court.
Other organisations mentioned include: University of Sydney student housing co-op Stucco (which is said to have housed ‘a number of associates of Mutiny members’, & many students who have ‘strong links to issue motivated groups’), Melbourne’s Alliance for Civil Disobedience Coordination (ACDC), Stop the War Coalition, Sydney University Environment Collective, University of Sydney Anarchists, Rising Tide, Resistance and Stop Bush Coalition.
Some assessments read like part of an activist resume. For example, one person ‘is known to police for his ability to motivate, coordinate & organise protest events & demonstrations’, & another has the evaluation that ‘his ideologies, intelligence & level of eduction make him a particularly high risk activist.’
by Princess Mob