I don’t have anything massively interesting or original to say at the moment, but I thought this story was worth passing on:
A female disability activist had her home raided yesterday [October 26th] by South Wales Police who attempted to intimidate her into stopping posting comments on Facebook critical of government cuts and specifically the Department of Work and Pensions and their attacks on the rights of disability claimants.
In her own words:
I’ve just had the police forcing their way into my flat near midnight and harrassing me about my “criminal” posts on Facebook about the DWP, accusing me of being “obstructive”. I didn’t know what in f**k’s name they were on about. They kept going on and on at me, it was horrifically stressful, and they only left after I started crying uncontrollably.
The police officers did not charge her. They clearly were just attempting to scare her into stopping her political activities.
The woman was alone in her own home. She was left feeling frightened and vulnerable – by the very people who should be protecting her.
If the police wanted to talk to her, why did the officers choose to enter her home at midnight on a Friday? Why didn’t they inform her in writing or interview her at a police station so she could arrange for a lawyer to be present?
At best this is unprofessional behaviour on the part of South Wales Police, at worst it is political harassment of an individual worthy of a dictatorial state such as China or North Korea.
Well done South Wales Police. You must be very proud of yourselves.
I’ve kept the identity of the woman secret for obvious reasons but if anyone would like more information about what happened to her, leave your email address in the comments below [that is to say, on the original post, I don't have anything to do with her] and I’ll ask her to contact you. Thanks.
The Vox Political blog claims that similar incidents have also occurred recently involving South Wales, Dyfed Powys and North Yorkshire Police. See here for another update on the case. In the current climate, anyone who posts about their political opinions on the internet is a potential target for police harrassment; considering that I’ve recently posted about why I hate cops, I imagine that there’ll be some awkward moments if they ever get around to visiting me.
In other news, the Sparks network of rank-and-file electricians seem to be continuing regular pickets at Crossrail sites in London after the mass sacking last month, but I can’t find anything recent about it other than very brief write-ups on Trot sites. It’s a really important dispute, so I’d hope anarchists in London are out supporting them, and if they could find the time to write something letting the rest of us know what’s happening that’d be good as well. The Pret a Manger worker sacked for organising is another story worth keeping an eye on, as is the formation of the Civil Service Rank & File Network and their call for action on November 14th to coincide with co-ordinated strikes in a number of different European countries that day.