Cop informant exposed after 10 years in anarchist circles

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Anarchia
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Dec 17 2008 12:36
Cop informant exposed after 10 years in anarchist circles

Long story short - this guy first got involved in activist circles in 1998, and has been a pretty constant figure in and around most campaigns/groups since then.

I first met him in late 04 or early 05, and not too long after became close friends with him - only cutting all ties back in April or so this year after I became convinced that he was dodgy and either had been or still was an informant/cop. Up until that point, I'd meet up with him socially at least once a week, some weeks 3 or even 4 times, for coffee/lunch etc. I considered him a fairly good friend.

What a fuckwit...

From Aotearoa Indymedia:

Quote:
Rob Gilchrist - police informant for 'anti-terror' unit

Rob Gilchrist, a Christchurch-based man has spied on activist groups for more than 10 years. He worked for the NZ Police and was sending information to Detective Peter Gilroy and Detective Sergeant John Sjoberg. They are both members of the Special Investigation Group (SIG). The SIG has groups in Auckland (headed by Aaron Lee Pascoe), Wellington (headed by Brian Woodcock) and Christchurch (where Gilroy and Sjoberg are based). Gilchrist, also know as balaclava, was spying on various groups including the Save Happy Vally Coalition, Peace Action Wellington, Auckland Animal Action and many other groups and individuals.

“This man has not only participated in illegal activity, including breaking and entering buildings, but has incited others to do the same, all the while, being paid by Police to report on them. The Police then use this information to make a case to a court of law in order to obtain search warrants and interception warrants and to make arrests” said Sally Darity from the Justice NOW! Collective. “Gilchrist provided Police with information on at least three of the defendants in Operation 8 – the name for the State Terror raids of October 15th 2007. The police affidavit which was used as evidence to gain interception warrants against these people and many others is filled with ‘informant information’.”

“The ‘informant information’ is not available to the defendants. The identity of the informant is secret. This leaves the defendants in a legal black hole – defending themselves against information they do not have access to, from a person whose credibility cannot be questioned.”

“The exposing of Gilchrist as a police informant is clear evidence of the manufacture of the police case in Operation 8. The Police are desperate to justify their massive ‘anti-terrorism’ budget, so they have branded activists as terrorists. Political protests, including prayer circles outside the US Embassy, are routinely subject to heavy police surveillance. The targeting of political groups should be a wake-up call to everyone who is concerned about the exponential growth of state surveillance and police power at the expense of freedom and justice.”

Articles: How Gilchrist was found out | Police anti-terror squad spies on protest groups | Police using spies and lies to make case | Special Intelligence Group targetting political dissidents | Unsubstantiated accusations

the Indy post doesn't really make it clear, but the SIG (set up in 2004) is specifically a terrorism intelligence unit (at least in theory) and is meant to focus on only 3 things - terrorism, international people smuggling and international money laundering. It is assumed that prior to 2004, Gilchrist was handled by the Threat Assessment Unit (who these days work under SIG) who are the standard police intelligence cops that tend to monitor protest activity.

.casey.
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Jan 17 2009 05:34

wow that is really bad, I don't understand why they would even get involved so closely, it is not like anarchism/activism is illegal... to me it would seem time would be better spent by an anti-terrorist group focusing on actual terrorists?

sorry to hear about that he was once a friend of yours Asher, that would be pretty hard to take initially I would imagine, but if the article is right and he did break the law and incite other people, should he not be charged?

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Mar 2 2009 06:16

I think the aim was to probably try and legitimise the states new hobby of throwing around the word terrorist to scare everyone into humble obedience to their repressive laws. Just like they used to do with communist..... still do with communist.

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bens
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Mar 2 2009 14:11

Good these cases sometimes come out. Sadly, no matter what evidence of surveillance and spying most people on the left (and elsewhere for that matter) are shown they still think it's far off and we needn't really worry about it. Not to be overly paranoid, but simply, we're spied on a heck of a lot.

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bens
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Mar 2 2009 17:34

Yes, exactly that...!

No, for fucks sake, but we shouldn't be blind to it. There will be those who read an article like this and a week later be saying stuff like, "Why would they bother spying on us?" When records are released years after any political events one sees just how infiltrated all groups are.

It's a nothing point anyway...

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Rats
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Mar 9 2009 17:44

I've a friend who's house has been raided by AFP who came with folders full of all the things they'd been looking up on the internet, their web conversations, emails, da.. da.. da.. and raided the house with a warrant of the suspicion that they had a passport lab which they were using to make identities for refugees. A fine idea, but they didn't have a passport lab. Maybe a scare tactic to flex their state muscle?

akai
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Mar 9 2009 19:11

The trick is to know how to spot them. Some people have good instincts about this, but others not really. I know one activist who was suspected of being an agent because of taking notes at a meeting, another who was suspected because he was taking photos at a camp. Some people with no sense just couldn't distinguish between the behaviour of newcomers not familiar with paranoia and police actions. Then, on the other hand, it came out yesterday that somebody had signed a confirmed police informant up to the Anarchist Federation list and a few weeks ago another known agent appeared at one group's internal meeting .... and nobody figured it out until somebody literally by accident saw him walk into the Police HQ afterwards. (We had run across the guy before.)

Apparently some informants are really good actors and people are clueless, as we have seen recently. sad What to do?

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Rats
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Mar 10 2009 07:35
akai wrote:
Apparently some informants are really good actors and people are clueless, as we have seen recently. sad What to do?

Wear balaclava's and talk through a kazoo everywhere we go - school, work, shops, aswell as our own meetings.

Once, a friend told me people were thinking i was a cop because i was the only non-feral drinking around a campfire. Boy was i not impressed.

Spassmaschine
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Mar 10 2009 11:07
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Once, a friend told me people were thinking i was a cop because i was the only non-feral drinking around a campfire. Boy was i not impressed.

To be fair I can't see why one would drink around a campfire with ferals unless one were being paid for it.

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Apr 8 2009 07:19
captain soap wrote:
To be fair I can't see why one would drink around a campfire with ferals unless one were being paid for it.

To get drunk and listen to the pogues, of course!

Spassmaschine
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Apr 9 2009 12:15

Hippies hardly have a monopoly on booze or music. The logical conclusion is that you are a state asset, Gabs wink

jeremytrewindixon
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Apr 20 2009 02:17
akai wrote:
The trick is to know how to spot them. ............

Apparently some informants are really good actors and people are clueless, as we have seen recently. sad What to do?

Well......we could make a list of confirmed cases and build up a profile. At least two profiles actually because we need to distinguish the "informer" who is an amateur or quasi-amateur from the professional infiltrator.

The professional infiltrator is of the same nature as a cop and probably has the very distinctive hard stare of a cop when he thinks he is unobserved, ( or "
she" to be sure). I remember a bloke who used to turn up to the old Melbourne Anarchist Centre in Victoria Rd who always kept talking in a naive way about how he was learning so much at MAC to help him "fight the bosses". Well, if only. He had a perpetual excessively friendly smile. I didn't know him outside the Centre, I don't think anyone did, although he dropped round with a teenage boy who he said was his son once. Then he disappeared.

A couple of years later I was at the Anarchist Centenary celebrations in Melbourne and I saw him in a foyer standing on his own watching the other participants wandering around and chatting.....and he was wearing that hard stare on his face or so it seemed to me. I hailed him and at once there was that rubbery smile on his face again Where had he been these last few years? Oh, using what he'd learnt at MAC to "fight the bosses" of course.....I can't prove it, but I'm pretty clear in my own mind that this guy was an infiltrator,(although not necessarily for the police) and I'd recommend people to familiarise themselves with the cop's hard stare.

People who seem a bit unusual in a given setting are always going to come under suspicion. Its a problem because of course we need to broaden our social base...I remember one community occupation I was at where I was charged to find if a given suspicious person was in fact a cop. I chatted with him for about an hour (he was looking pretty strangely at me by the end, probably suspecting that I was a cop!) but came back with the verdict that he was clean. No-one believed me and some inconvenience ensued, eventually it turned out that he was a lay preacher, Baptist or Methodist I forget. This was why he seemed "different". (There was as it turned out at least one cop at the occupation but he was only discovered when he had an epileptic fit and his wallet with police ID fell out of his pocket....couldn't make it up).

One the other hand some reading this will remember Mehmet from Melbourne who I don't think was suspected by anybody. A bluff straight-spoken muscular guy, a bit of a stereotype perhaps, I have to admit that all I thought was "hey isn't it cool that regular people are starting to join the Anarchists, maybe we are getting somewhere!". But, lest we forget, he was a private detective.....

petey
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Apr 20 2009 13:03
Gabs wrote:
talk through a kazoo everywhere we go

circle A grin

Skips
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Apr 20 2009 14:16
jeremytrewindixon wrote:
akai wrote:
A bluff straight-spoken muscular guy, a bit of a stereotype perhaps, I have to admit that all I thought was "hey isn't it cool that regular people are starting to join the Anarchists, maybe we are getting somewhere!". But, lest we forget, he was a private detective.....

I also think jeff Monson is a cop =)