Favourite cop/media smears

Submitted by R Totale on July 2, 2019

In honour of Portland antifa's concrete milkshakes, I thought it might be worth doing a thread of the best bizarre obvious lies from the cops and media against social movements over the years.
To start off with, there was that 2008 story about Climate Camp having a stockpile of ninja throwing stars: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/7542592.stm

Any more?

Ed

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The WSM Twitter mentioned Dublin cops accusing activists of being armed with "sharpened CDs" in 2004, apparently!

Entdinglichung

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In spring 2001 during the protests against nuclear waste transport around Gorleben in Germany, the cops concluded from the fact that a wholesale business in the area had sold a large quantity of formic acid and a lot of brushes that protesters were planning to apply the acid with the brushes to the eyes of cops. Most media outlets published that police press release without doubts, the next day it was revealed that not protesters but the local sewage plant had purchased that stuff.

Entdinglichung

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

another nice one was the "supermolli" (super petrol bomb) which the cops found and destroyed during the eviction of the Mainzer Strasse squat in Berlin in November 1990: a fermentation tank holding around 50 litres of home-made cider

Fozzie

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There was something from the Met about anarchists armed with samuri swords or machetes prior to one of the London Maydays.

EDIT:

"Specialist firearms teams are being drafted in to police this year's May Day demonstrations in the City of London over fears that rioters armed with samurai swords and machetes will infiltrate the protests.
The teams will be ready to isolate anyone carrying these weapons from the thousands of other demonstrators expected. A senior officer involved in the operation said: 'If somebody used a samurai sword or a firearm we would want to put some space between them and the crowd.'"

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2001/apr/22/globalisation.mayday

rat

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks Fozzie for remembering and posting a link for that article.

The BBC reports that reversed footage to show miners attacking cops at Orgreave.

Also Battle of the Beanfield, when dodgey media reports of hippies tooling up with lumps of timber to attack the cops based on footage showing hippies cutting through fences so they could escape out of a police trap.

Fozzie

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Class War was suspended from AFA in October 1985, following two articles by David Rose in The Guardian,alleging that Class War was more or less a front organization for the National Front. Most of the information for these articles came from the anti-fascist journal Searchlight.

From Freedom (includes rebuttal of all of the charges that lead to the suspension):

http://www.thesparrowsnest.org.uk/collections/misc/MISC0122.pdf

Fozzie

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"Favourite" is probably not appropriate for that one, but clearly ludicrous to most.

Entdinglichung

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

cops, CDU politicians and some media outlets reported in 1992 during the racist pogroms in Rostock that the refugee accomodations there was attacked by "rightwing and leftwing/autonomous extremists"

R Totale

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, if we're including stuff that really isn't funny at all then the "brave police officers who were pelted with bricks as they tried to save Ian Tomlinson" deserve a mention: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Evening_Standard_headline_about_Ian_Tomlinson,_April_2_2009.JPG

Was mostly just thinking of odd funny ones like throwing stars, cement milkshakes, samurai swords etc - could be worth a listicle in its own right?

Fozzie

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah I think that would be good.

There were various claims in the media that anarchists would disrupt the royal weddings of 2011 (from the cops, who were still smarting from violence at an anti-austerity demo) and 2018 (from Ian Bone - who rightly objected to the idea that homeless people be taken off the streets of Windsor on the day)

Noah Fence

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

rat

Thanks Fozzie for remembering and posting a link for that article.

The BBC reports that reversed footage to show miners attacking cops at Orgreave.

Also Battle of the Beanfield, when dodgey media reports of hippies tooling up with lumps of timber to attack the cops based on footage showing hippies cutting through fences so they could escape out of a police trap.

After this post I’m gonna smear you Rat - ANARCHO PUNK!

R Totale

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fozzie

There were various claims in the media that anarchists would disrupt the royal weddings of 2011 (from the cops, who were still smarting from violence at an anti-austerity demo) and 2018 (from Ian Bone - who rightly objected to the idea that homeless people be taken off the streets of Windsor on the day)

Ah, "Top 10 times Ian Bone hyped things up and said they were going to kick off when there was obviously no chance they were actually going to kick off" would be a whole other article. Pretty sure Chris Knight was involved in hyping up the 2011 round as well.

rat

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noah Fence

I’m gonna smear you Rat - ANARCHO PUNK!

Damn you sir! You have indeed unmasked me!

Noah Fence

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In 1982(I think), when me and my anarcho punk comrades organised an anti war rally at our local Remembrance Sunday service, the local press ran a front page piece about us and described us as a ‘rag tag and bobtail bunch’, with ‘dubious dress sense’. I took no issue with this, but I must say their assertion that we were ‘unexpectedly quiet and respectful’ resulted in my self esteem taking a nosedive!

Fozzie

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I can’t find a ref for this one but I remember one of the frothing UK tabloids saying that anti-capitalist protestors were all given £20 and a packed lunch. I think this must have been 1990s.

Fozzie

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Found it: J18

http://af-north.org/afed-archive/org/issue52/j18.html

EDIT:

The Sunday Times claimed that students from Nottingham University told traders at the Liffe building (it's not clear if this was meant to have happened before or after the place was trashed...) that they had been given £30, free transport and a packed lunch (!?!) to attend the Carnival. Of course, the desire was to discredit the event. The report ended with an attempt to disgust the 'middle England' readership, noting that the City would have to be disinfected as 'protesters urinated and defecated in doorways' (Sunday Times, 20/6/99)

£30!

R Totale

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

With inflation, I wonder what that works out at in today's money? (Incidentally, on J18, if people haven't seen it, Crimethinc managed to track down and archive a copy of a four-page Schnews comic version of the day, complete with various choice quotes from media coverage: https://crimethinc.com/2017/06/18/flashback-to-june-18-1999-the-carnival-against-capital-a-retrospective-video-and-comic )

AnythingForProximity

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There was also the "Dixan Commando", a supposed terrorist cell made up of Algerian immigrants who were detained on trumped-up charges in Barcelona and Banyoles back in 2003 when the Spanish government needed an excuse to join the Iraq War. The "chemicals" which were seized during a house search and which the group was allegedly planning to use for making explosives turned out to be… laundry detergent. (Hence the nickname for the case; Dixan is a popular Spanish detergent brand.)

Unfortunately, the conclusion of the story was not so funny – five of the people involved were sentenced to 6 to 9 years in prison, and deported to Algeria once they had served out their sentences.

jef costello

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Broadwater Farm uprising (and seen several times since) "materials that could be used to construct petrol bombs. ie bottles. At Broadwater farm the 'haul of materials was a dozen or less iirc and included milk bottles which probably came off people's steps.

bastarx

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the aftermath of nearly any even slightly rowdy demonstration Australian cops routinely say that they were pelted with piss filled condoms/balloons.

jef costello

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The media continued to say "organised using mobile phones" as if it was a sign of some terrifying technological advantage until well after not having a phone became unusual.

Entdinglichung

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fozzie

I can’t find a ref for this one but I remember one of the frothing UK tabloids saying that anti-capitalist protestors were all given £20 and a packed lunch. I think this must have been 1990s.

and anti-fascist protesters are getting a financial gratification from the German government for attending demonstrations, according to some rightwing politicians and trolls ;-)

R Totale

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Wait, how could we forget the November 4th civil war? A classic of the genre: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/November_4th_Antifa_Civil_War

R Totale

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oh, the grandmother who lived on a proposed pipeline route and was arrested for allegedly trying to sabotage pipeline construction by tempting wild mountain lions onto her property even though no lions had been seen in the region for 100 years: https://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2018/07/30/pa-ellen-gerhart-arrested-because-of-etps-lies/

R Totale

3 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, I finally got around to putting a listicle together, although my intention to write a light-hearted funny article was kind of undermined by the amount of very unfunny smears/fake news that are around at the moment: http://libcom.org/history/shaky-claims-shaggy-lion-stories-look-back-few-great-smears

R Totale

3 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Reading EP Thomson's article on Peterloo, found this:

William Hulton had some sort of stiffening about him which some of his fellow magistrates lacked – an absence of humanitarian cant and a contempt for general opinion. He offered no maudlin apologies for Peterloo; indeed, he later recalled it as the “proudest day” of his life, and many years afterwards he kept a Cap of Liberty, captured upon the field, in his study. A gentleman of Hulton’s breed and station does not lie; he merely has so great a hauteur, so great a distance between himself and the seditious plebs, that it is a matter of utter indifference to him whether this or that is true of them or not.

Twelve years after Peterloo, and after fact upon fact had been disputed for as long, Hulton could throw off a public letter containing a manifest farrago of mis-statements about the day – “two people were killed in St Peter’s Field – one, a woman, who having personated the Goddess of Reason, was trampled to death in the crowd … On the succeeding day, an old pensioner was beaten to death with portions of his own loom, because he had expressed a loyal attachment to the King.”

You can find the full text of Hulton's claim here. On one hand it's amazing, on the other it's really not surprising at all - at the risk of sounding like a history teacher trying to engage with bored teenagers, you can really imagine if twitter had existed in 1819, this prick being all over the place retweeting Andy Ngo videos claiming to show "the moment chartist antifa terrorists attack the yeomanry".