Bristol Squatters targeted as 'Domestic Extremists'
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Tue Sep 17 13:09:09 BST 2013
Police cracking down on Bristol rioters and extremists
Friday, September 13, 2013 - The Bristol Post - By Daniel Evans
POLICE are set to crackdown on rioters and
extremists in Bristol and are monitoring several potentially dangerous groups.
They are understood to have launched a series of
operations to gather intelligence about subversive organisations.
Police say they are determined to thwart people
who are intent on causing disruption and damage to property.
The campaign is outlined in a report by Chief
Constable Nick Gargan and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens.
The report states: "Within the last two years
there have been a variety of incidents ranging
from large scale public disorder to high-value
criminal damage and arson attacks on associated
businesses and the wider communications network.
"A number of active squat premises are currently
being managed by the Bristol districts and there
have been recent successes in working with
landlords and local partners to force evictions
and identify the associated levels of anti-social
behaviour, and the impact of such locations on local communities.
"There are currently 'live' operations being
managed to develop the intelligence picture and
identify opportunities for further disruption
against identified DE criminals operating within Avon and Somerset."
Details of the report, called Our Five Year
Ambition, come just a week after the partly
finished £16 million police firearms training
centre at Portishead was severely damaged by fire.
A Bristol-based anarchist group has claimed it
started the fire at the centre in Black Rock Quarry, Portishead.
The police have labelled incidents like this and
the riots in Stokes Croft and Cheltenham Road two
years ago as "domestic extremism".
The term is generally used to describe the
activity of individuals or groups carrying out
criminal acts of direct action to further their protest campaign.
These usually seek to prevent something from
happening or to change legislation or domestic
police "outside the normal democratic process".
They include non-peaceful animal rights and
environmental protestors or extreme right or
left-wing groups that cause trouble.
In the past two years, there have been numerous
examples of what could be described as domestic extremism in Bristol.
First, there were the riots on Stokes Croft and
Cheltenham Road, triggered when police raided a
squat known as telepathic heights because one of
the squatters was preparing to petrol bomb the
new Tesco Express that had opened opposite.
A total of 138 people were arrested after two
separate nights of disorder, 17 of whom were sent to jail.
Following the Bristol Post's publication of
pictures of suspects, the Post's building on
Temple Way was damaged by vandals, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
A few months later, in a bid to catch the culprit
of that damage, police raided a squat on Park Row
but the suspect was believed to have fled the city.
Last summer, arrests were made when the
anti-fascist We Are Bristol group clashed with
police as they protested against the English
Defence League (EDL), which was marching in the city.
Banks and businesses across the Bristol have also
been targeted, including Santander and NatWest on
Whiteladies Road, Clifton, in 2011; HSBC,
Natwest, Lloyds, Yorkshire Building Society/BNS
Management Services and Andrews and Besley Hill estate agents in May, 2012.
Only this month, a group of "anarchists" used a
website to claim responsibility for fire-bombing
a branch of Barclays in Brislington.
Police have also confirmed they are looking into
on-line claims from a different "anarchist" group
that it set the devastating fire at the £16
million fireams training unit being built in Black Rock Quarry, Portishead.
An anonymous poster claimed members climbed into
the quarry and used accelerant to burn major
electrical cables at five junction points throughout the complex.
Avon and Somerset police do not tend to discuss
the specific details and tactics of operations against domestic extremism.
They believe that may jeopardise a live
investigation or play into extremists' hands by publicising their cause.
More information about the Diggers350