Why this article has been removed?

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Oct 7 2011 07:48
Why this article has been removed?

Hi,

quick question: Why did you remove the TPTG open letter? This doesn't look good: a decent answer is better than take it down.

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Oct 7 2011 08:28

Did someone get carried away?

I've a lot of respect for TPTG and I quite fancied reading that.

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Oct 7 2011 08:44

Basically, it contains extremely serious allegations, and a lot of it is factually inaccurate. Libcom's content guidelines do not allow untrue smears about individuals associated with movement. It also reveals confidential personal information, which is also forbidden by the guidelines.

When there is a response prepared by the relevant individuals we will publish it.

gypsy
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Oct 7 2011 08:56
Steven. wrote:
Basically, it contains extremely serious allegations, and a lot of it is factually inaccurate. Libcom's content guidelines do not allow untrue smears about individuals associated with movement. .

Is it all factually inaccurate?

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Oct 7 2011 09:05
gypsy wrote:
Steven. wrote:
Basically, it contains extremely serious allegations, and a lot of it is factually inaccurate. Libcom's content guidelines do not allow untrue smears about individuals associated with movement. .

Is it all factually inaccurate?

it's best if you wait and see the response from Aufheben then make up your own mind

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Oct 7 2011 09:07
gypsy wrote:
Is it all factually inaccurate?

That's the question, isn't it? TPTG are not known for being mard arsed shit stirrers, in fact they're generally known for being one of the more rational and measured groups in our little movement... but this allegation is still a bit of a shocker.

But yes, we'd need the other chap's side of the story.

By the way mod, why did you delete my message? I wasn't being sarky y'know.

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Oct 7 2011 09:20

What message do you mean? Your second post on this thread with the picture is still here.

Most of the stuff in that article is based on a misunderstanding. I'm not going to say more till the response is done.

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Oct 7 2011 10:33

Since the article has been already read by many, because it is available on the indy uk, I think there's not much point in hiding it. But I imagine, to answer to it takes time, so perhaps with that proper warning at the head of the article, should stay here for discussion. It is not just about the person himself, but it is also the academic involvement in policing that I think should be concern for everyone, personal stories set aside.

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Oct 7 2011 11:25

Yeah, apart form this personal story, there is something to be discussed in terms of academia and policing.

Off the top of my head, in the netherlands there's politie en wetenschap
http://www.politieenwetenschap.nl/english/index_1280.html
(maybe I should break that link wink )
who have done stuff on squatting and also the extreme left, with different universities. I know the squatting one used undergrads to get involved (some covertly, but mostly innocuously due to the relatively open and social nature, and others lying about the study they were undertaking and for who) and then report back to professors. The extreme left one was more research based I think, most groups avoided interaction.

There was also warnings by the rote hilfe in Germany against working with an academic study on violence on the 1st of May 2009 in Berlin that was being done by the Free University and the Verfassungsschutz.

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Oct 7 2011 11:25

We will have it back when we can publish it alongside the response. We think it's only fair that a comrade under attack has the right to reply, and have the reply given equal footing to the allegations

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Oct 7 2011 11:30
Steven. wrote:
We will have it back when we can publish it alongside the response. We think it's only fair that a comrade under attack has the right to reply, and have the reply given equal footing to the allegations

Totally agree. There's probably going to be two separate discussions there anyway.

Or one discussion and another "discussion".

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Oct 7 2011 12:32

The article has now been restored with personal details removed in line with posting guidelines. The response is here. You may now stow your tinfoil hats back under your seats.

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Oct 7 2011 12:50

Well, good to see that. I hope that the TPTG re-consider its allegations and respond with dignity. Without the personal details, the article well worth to look in to.

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Oct 7 2011 13:22

Tbh, if TPTG were made aware of the factual inaccuracies and published anyway, then this is just snitchjacketing plain and simple. That's totally unacceptable conduct. If it's an honest mistake, they still should have contacted Aufheben first before making such serious charges, knowing full well that if you start flinging shit some of it might stick. If some Indymedia mental takes this at face value it could have real world consequences, especially following on from the exposure of undercover cops in the eco-direct action scene Aufheben has its roots in. On IMC-UK one Indymedia admin compares him to Mark Kennedy for example.

I don't think the article itself is actually that interesting. There's always reformists urging the state to be nicer and backing their appeals up with science (Mauss' classic work on the gift tried to evidentially ground social democracy for example). But contrary to liberals' conception, the state isn't based on reason but class power. All the academia in the world urging cops not to crack so many heads doesn't change that one bit. I think the Aufheben response does a good job of addressing this.

If you're interested in state strategies you need to understand how the state operates. The cops aren't a rational-scientific machine cunningly conspiring to leave baitvans or provoke riots, they largely blunder from one cock-up to the next, criticised for being too tough one week and too soft the next, or both at the same time. The role of academic knowledge is in legitimising practices they're already committed to, not setting out a blueprint the cops dutifully follow. E.g. a cop commander who had his eye on a promotion in the wake of say, the cops killing someone might draw on the reformists to legitimate his ambitions, whereas his incumbent rival might be drawing on studies which show the efficacy of zero tolerance policing. Actually, watching the Wire would give you a better understanding of the functioning of the police than the TPTG piece, which assumes that everything some liberal academics write is immediately deployed across Europe, rather than most likely discussed at a few conferences, used to legitimate the odd career advancement and otherwise ignored.

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Oct 7 2011 13:45
Joseph Kay wrote:
If you're interested in state strategies you need to understand how the state operates. The cops aren't a rational-scientific machine cunningly conspiring to leave baitvans or provoke riots, they largely blunder from one cock-up to the next, criticised for being too tough one week and too soft the next, or both at the same time. The role of academic knowledge is in legitimising practices they're already committed to, not setting out a blueprint the cops dutifully follow. E.g. a cop commander who had his eye on a promotion in the wake of say, the cops killing someone might draw on the reformists to legitimate his ambitions, whereas his incumbent rival might be drawing on studies which show the efficacy of zero tolerance policing. Actually, watching the Wire would give you a better understanding of the functioning of the police than the TPTG piece, which assumes that everything some liberal academics write is immediately deployed across Europe, rather than most likely discussed at a few conferences, used to legitimate the odd career advancement and otherwise ignored.

This is almost the complete opposite of the truth. Public order policing in the UK has evolved a lot since the days of the miners strike, through the poll tax, criminal justice bill, etc to the recent student protests. And not just in terms of kit. Part of that process did come from the top cops, but a lot of it came from academic specialists. During the Poll tax struggles, the main police academic advisor was a Prof. P.A.J. Waddington. One of Waddington's Phd students, a certain Clifford Stott (the author of that 2009 paper cited in the TPTG piece) inflitrated the Trafalgar Square Defendants Campaign. He did say that he was doing a vaguely related Phd, but we never realised quite how much until after the fact. At the Brixton prison Oct 20 1990 riot, we have video of Waddington behind the police lines, directing the police CO before he initiated the "slice and dice" tactic of dividing up the crowd into sections with lines of police (a kind of early segmented kettling) and then driving each section down the road with baton charges in turn. At each subsequent poll tax public order event, Waddington was also there playing the same role.

It's crap to say that public order specialist academics like Waddington and Stott are not part of the evolution of public order policing.

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Oct 7 2011 13:58
ocelot wrote:
It's crap to say that public order specialist academics like Waddington and Stott are not part of the evolution of public order policing.

I didn't say they weren't part of it. I said their work plays a legitimating role, rather than TPTG's speculation that it's "highly probable" this stuff is simply rolled out to pacify class struggles across Europe - which it isn't even designed to do. The reformists are saying if you don't beat up innocent people you don't radicalise them against you (i.e. they provide evidence for an already existing intuition). But the state can't just give demonstrators free reign either. The cops can't facilitate angry proletarian crowds because the cops have to defend the state, so when it comes down to actual class conflicts they ignore the reformists and send in the TSG. at most, the reformists are urging the cops not to create violence where there was none (football crowds, liberal marches etc). Of course they are, they're reformists.

In any case and most importantly this is guilt-by-association shit slinging. None of this relates to the work of the Aufheben guy, which mainly concerns psychosocial care in mass emergencies and rejects the reformist project of softening policing through expert counsel. But there's no gossip to be had in that. Labelling someone a "cop collaborator" based on known misrepresentations is fucking bullshit, especially when Aufheben has its roots in the eco-direct action movement where a load of deep cover cops have recently been exposed. It's dishonest, dangerous behaviour that has fuck all to do with understanding policing strategies.

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Oct 7 2011 14:04
ocelot wrote:

This is almost the complete opposite of the truth. Public order policing in the UK has evolved a lot since the days of the miners strike, through the poll tax, criminal justice bill, etc to the recent student protests. And not just in terms of kit. Part of that process did come from the top cops, but a lot of it came from academic specialists. During the Poll tax struggles, the main police academic advisor was a Prof. P.A.J. Waddington. One of Waddington's Phd students, a certain Clifford Stott (the author of that 2009 paper cited in the TPTG piece) inflitrated the Trafalgar Square Defendants Campaign. He did say that he was doing a vaguely related Phd, but we never realised quite how much until after the fact. At the Brixton prison Oct 20 1990 riot, we have video of Waddington behind the police lines, directing the police CO before he initiated the "slice and dice" tactic of dividing up the crowd into sections with lines of police (a kind of early segmented kettling) and then driving each section down the road with baton charges in turn. At each subsequent poll tax public order event, Waddington was also there playing the same role.

It's crap to say that public order specialist academics like Waddington and Stott are not part of the evolution of public order policing.

This is the complete opposite of the truth. Tank Waddington is the cops' tame criminologist; he's always and ambiguously been their ideologue. Clifford Stott was not supervised by him or worked with him, and made no secret of the fact that he was a research student during the time of his involvement in TSDC.

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Oct 7 2011 14:45
Joseph Kay wrote:
ocelot wrote:
It's crap to say that public order specialist academics like Waddington and Stott are not part of the evolution of public order policing.

I didn't say they weren't part of it. I said their work plays a legitimating role,

It plays a direct role in the advice on tactics, quite apart from any legitimating role. Waddington was not "legitimating" anything that day, he was directing operations, at least at the start, until DAC Metcalfe made his somewhat absurd theatrical appearance out of a black cab in full riot gear (at a time when he would have had to set off from Scotland Yard at least 10 minutes before anything kicked off, but that's another story...).

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Oct 7 2011 15:08

Just for info re Stott:

Quote:
I am currently a Director of the Football Match Commander Training Course at the Scottish National Police Training College.

from http://www.liv.ac.uk/Psychology/staff/cstott.html

more "legitimation"?

Just for clarification, I have no knowledge at all about the relationship between JD and Stott, so I couldn't comment on the validity of the TPTG allegations. But I do have an opinion of the work that Stott does in relation to improving the effectiveness of UK public order policing, and, imo, it goes far beyond the role of ideological cover.

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Oct 7 2011 15:37
ocelot wrote:
Waddington was not "legitimating" anything that day, he was directing operations

And what, pray tell, has this got to do with Aufheben? Fuck all. Waddington is an academic who works with the police. Some other academics who work with the police are Stott and Reicher. They have cited J's work in a paper he disagrees with, and done joint work on topics unrelated to policing tactics. Ergo Aufheben are cop collaborators. This is tinfoil hat shit. It's dangerous and pathetic to throw such accusations around based on fuck-all.

Christ, i've co-written things that talk about how police violence radicalises people (e.g. this). Cops could well read it and decide they're not going to beat up liberals any more. Am I a cop collaborator? Of course not. This is scenester gossip with revolutionary pretensions. It's embarrassing. Fwiw i'm well aware of Stott's work. I've sat in lectures where he's used flyers i've helped make as an example of the kind of 'violent' protesters the TSG should repress. I imagine he'd kill for the kind of influence you're attributing to him.

Edit: ocelot - I see you're not commenting on the validity of TPTG's allegations. Disregard any inference you were. Sorry.

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Oct 8 2011 13:14

Some really interesting views from J.D.'s (and Aufheben"s (?)) colleague, Dr. Stott himself!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBx_pg8r05M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf76wQXF_fw

Check also his book "Football 'hooliganism. Policing and the war on the 'English Disease'",

http://www.amazon.com/Football-hooliganism-Clifford-Stott/dp/1906015678/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318079488&sr=1-2

no1
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Oct 8 2011 13:43
avantiultras wrote:
Some really interesting views from J.D.'s (and Aufheben"s (?)) colleague, Dr. Stott himself!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBx_pg8r05M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf76wQXF_fw

What's interesting about it? And what on earth has it got to do with Aufheben?? I just watched both videos, I didn't notice anything noteworthy, and nothing in there is linked in any way to Aufheben.

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Oct 8 2011 13:45

I hope I never get crucified for some of the shite my professors churned out in school....

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Oct 8 2011 16:38

The interesting thing is that this guy is actually working for the cops and that what he's doing and saying aims at making police more effective. What this has to do with J.D.? That they have been close colleagues for so many years that there is hardly a scientific paper of theirs that has not been authored by both of them. One should check the references cited in the Knowledge-based public order policing article that TPTG refer to. The principles and practice of Knowledge-based public order policing are based on the Elaborated Social Identity Model of crowd behaviour that has been collaboratively formulated by Drury, Stott and Reicher.

Check Dr. Stott's Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=235334006505017&id=179023995454028

Dr. Clifford Stott

"The truth is a victim of these riots too. Throughout the week I have been involved in approximately 50 interviews with journalist all over the world. They are, of course seeking out stories about why the ‘riots’ happened.

No surprise then that they come to me one of the worlds leading ‘experts’ on the psychology of ‘riot’. As many of you may know I have established my career around the question of ‘what makes riots happen’. Along with one of the worlds leading social psychologists Prof. Stephen Reicher (St Andrews University) and my fellow PhD graduate Dr. John Drury (University of Sussex) we have established the Elaborated Social Identity Model of crowd behaviour. This model in turn grew from an analysis of the 1980’s ‘inner city riots’ - the last major urban ‘disorder’ of this scale witnessed in the U.K. – and is based upon one of the leading theoretical models of the psychology of the group.

Through many years of arduous and painstaking research we have studied a whole series of major confrontations. These have been published in leading international peer reviewed journals and stand as the scientific position on the psychology of ‘riot’. Yet over the past few days others who, in the context of this major disturbance, have suddenly become leading experts on this issue. These people have have confronted me endlessly as if opinion is an equal basis for overwriting science. They seem to have done so because they are already convinced of their explanation and seem to feel it necessary to force me to defend my position but not their own.

This attack on our science is even more surprising because we haven’t just been thinking and researching. We have been utilising our theoretical knowledge to advise on the policing of crowds to help alleviate the likelihood of ‘riots’. Back in 2000 it was football fans that were understood – and perhaps still are – as the ‘enemy within’. The focus was upon excluding these so called ‘hooligans’ from football as if this was going to be the solution. But we have been using our crowd theory to help construct policing methods that have achieved great success in terms of reducing ‘disorder’. So successful has this work been that we have seen our science underpinning policy at an international and national level. For example, our work informs some of the core recommendations of the HMICs response to G20."

As far as Aufheben are concerned it seems, according to comment #17, that they know him well enough to know who his Ph.D. supervisor was and what his involvement was in TSDC...

no1
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Oct 8 2011 14:17
avantiultras wrote:
So, what's the big hurry to "rehabilitate" a "liberal academic", who, after all, is working for the cops now?

can you reply to my question please? What exactly is interesting about those youtube clips and what has it got to do with Aufheben?

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Oct 8 2011 16:04

Hi,
check post #24#

Blasto
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Oct 13 2011 08:09

I rarely post on Libcom, and while I have met both Aufheben and TPTG people, I have no involvement with either group. I am posting now because the response, in particular by Libcom itself, is not only infantile in its attempts to belittle the seriousness of TPTG's concerns, but contrary to Aufheben's and Libcoms dennouncments, this issue is critically important, an especially now. While thousands upon thousands of people are directly facing the effectiveness or otherwise of the police's ability to control and repress crowds, here on (and from) Libcom we have the playground – sneering, bitching, ridiculing and name-calling. Shooting the messenger does little but create serious misgivings about Libcom as well as Aufheben.

It goes without saying that we are not only in the midst of a major offensive by capital, as Aufheben put it, but also of a major counter-offensive. And this counter-offensive, beginning in the Mediterranean but now increasingly global, is characterised by one thing more than any other: the crowd. Whether in Tunisia, Israel, Spain,Greece or now it seems, the US, and no matter how many coats of paint Aufheben want to apply, the work of this academic and his fellow travellers is directly relevant in terms of the State's response to – the State's repression of – the antagonist movement growing in streets and squares across the world.

I don't think anyone particularly wants the Aufheben project trashed – no one comes across as a mindless wrecker, or inhumane or insensitive. And doing what TPTG have done isn't going to win any popularity contests, but all the more credit to them for doing it. It's a little sad, though not perhaps unsurprising given some of the comments here and particularly the response of libcom, that it falls to a group from Greece to ask Aufheben to get their house in order, rather than those who know them well here in the UK. It's clear from Aufheben's response that the challenge was never going to come from within the project itself.

More often that not, as in this case, a group brings about its own destruction by losing its ability to be self-critical and failing to understand its own contradictions. Aufheben's response was to dig themselves a deeper hole. Rather than deal with what has been said, they are playing with semantics. They have have constructed a convoluted and altogether irrational and confused defence of one person's collusion with the State. Even a couple of minutes of looking on google, or even more obviously on google.scholar or google.books makes as plain as the light of day what J does for a living.

Of course there are many other things at play here. Personal loyalty and friendship, which is never insignificant. Or perhaps groupthink? Maybe even just a belief that because someone is an "academic" it somehow legitimises this particular relationship with the State? And perhaps even worse, legitimises moving within social movements as a comrade in order to actively undertake the research (which personally galls me even more).

Aufheben's response is a weak cocktail of chest-puffed-out denouncement, and an embarrassing defence of academic bullshit. Let's keep this as simple and as clear as we can. My couple of minutes searching this academic's name along the term "policing" produced plenty to choose from. But it doesn't get much simpler and clearer than this:

Psychologists advise ‘softly softly’ approach to protests (or was this another accidental bit of false association, this time by J's employer)

Each of us can make their own minds up about the rights or wrongs of J's actions and also whether or not we want to continue as unwitting participants of his (and his fellow travellers') bullshit research. So thanks TPTG. You've done us all a big favour, which it seems many people here unfortunately didn't/don't have the stomach for.

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Oct 8 2011 18:05

I read TPTG's accusation as big logical fallacy. J is guilty by association. Maybe TPTG should do an analysis of academic conditions of work; while the association from an ultra-left point of view is unfortunate, from the point of view of an academic worker it is simply about the concrete labour of academics and how knowledge production is organized. It is not about being an "academic", but about being a worker.

Quote:
Psychologists advise ‘softly softly’ approach to protests (or was this another accidental bit of false association, this time by J's employer)

Again, fallacious argumentation. Take issue with J, not the ones that J works for and with.

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Oct 8 2011 19:00
blasto wrote:
It's a little sad, though not perhaps unsurprising given some of the comments here and particularly the response of libcom, that it falls to a group from Greece to ask Aufheben to get their house in order, rather than those who know them well here in the UK.

No, it's ridiculous that people 1,500 miles away are hunting for witches when people who have known and worked with J for years know full well he's not a "cop collaborator" "pacifying the class struggle" or any other such delusional nonsense.

blasto wrote:
the work of this academic and his fellow travellers is directly relevant in terms of the State's response to – the State's repression of – the antagonist movement growing in streets and squares across the world.

Neither Stott or Reicher are, or have ever been, involved with Aufheben. This is guilt-by-association nonsense. People can't choose to only work with other communists, and J's work is nothing to do with policing tactics (formerly (dis)empowerment in collective action, now focussed on mass emergencies iirc).

blasto wrote:
And perhaps even worse, legitimises moving within social movements as a comrade in order to actively undertake the research (which personally galls me even more).

If you'd bothered to read any of J's papers, you'd know participants give informed consent and are anonymised. This is basic research ethics stuff. And he doesn't do work for the police, and afaik doesn't research protest events at all any more and hasn't done for several years.

blasto wrote:
it doesn't get much simpler and clearer than this:
Psychologists advise ‘softly softly’ approach to protests (or was this another accidental bit of false association, this time by J's employer)

No, this is a press release, written by his employers (well, their press team), which refers to the fact a HMIC report references work with Stott and Reicher - which is almost certainly the same paper TPTG base their article on and which J didn't write. Nowhere in the press release, contrary to the title, does J "advise ‘softly softly’ approach to protests". The University press department is clearly trying to milk a tenuous link to make the department look relevant to public policy, which in turn attracts funding etc. J has no control over the university press team, he's employed as a researcher and lecturer.

Snitchjacketing people you've never met based on poorly understood or simply misrepresented 'evidence' and guilt-by-association smears is absolutely unacceptable. Even the gutter press attempt to verify basic facts before publishing (even if they then twist them). These are the methods the state and media use to discredit revolutionaries, and the reason they work is because there's always a queue of useful idiots more interested in drooling over a scandal than their comrades reputations. This shit normally comes from the Telegraph. At least they get paid fat sums to attack revolutionaries. I hope you're fucking proud of yourselves.

Blasto
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Oct 8 2011 19:20

Joseph, your response confirms almost everything I wrote. Unfortunately, real life is a lot more serious and carries much more concrete consequences than your attempts to just shout down criticism.

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Oct 8 2011 19:23
Blasto wrote:
Joseph, your response confirms almost everything I wrote.

that it's ignorant, dangerous snitchjacketing with no regard for truth? yeah i guess. if you're so concerned with real life, perhaps you should refrain from labelling people guilty as collaborators until proven otherwise, based on bullshit. you're damn right this has real world consequences.