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Domestic extremists or domestic goddesses?


Putting the domestic back into extremism

Aldermaston needs a bit of clean-up - all those nuclear weapons and that radioactive waste, asbestos, and various other unpleasant things. Bring your pinnies and dusters, mops and buckets. Join us for a celebration of domestic extremism at AWE Aldermaston main gate at 12 noon on Saturday 12 February.

Why join us?

During 2010 AWPC was under more overt surveillance than usual. From February, the women's camp was targeted with intrusive police photography. Camp made a formal complaint about this harassment against the Ministry of Defence police in June on the basis that it breached our rights, in particular Article 8 of the human rights act, the right to privacy.

The complaint is still "under investigation".

Then in November 2010 FITWatch reported that police officer Ian Caswell had been on surveillance duty at the Trident Ploughshares blockade at Devonport dockyard in Plymouth (refit site for the UK's Trident nuclear submarines). We've seen Caswell at Aldermaston too - he works for the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), one of three 'domestic extremism' units making up the National Coordinator Domestic Extremism (NCDE).

The private company known as the Association of Chief Police Officers (APCO) defines domestic extremism as "... the activity of individuals or groups carrying out criminal acts of direct action to further their protest campaign. These people and activities usually seek to prevent something from happening or to change legislation or domestic policy, but attempt to do so outside the normal democratic process." Who defines "normal democratic process"? And since when is people attempting to change law or policy a bad thing?

Then in January 2011, we found out we'd had our very own police spy, run by the National Public Order and Intelligence Unit. Following the outing of Mark Stone/Kennedy, it was reported that police infiltrator Lynn Watson had visited Aldermaston Women's Camp in 2004 and was involved in both Trident Ploughshares and Block the Builders. Another example of the police targeting non-violent protest instead of arresting the real criminals inside Aldermaston

Finally on 25 January 2011, as part of our ongoing complaint an MDP Chief Inspector wrote to an AWPC woman Juliet McBride, saying "as the [her] action [sitting on the fence in 2007- for which she was not convicted] was politically motivated to draw attention to Trident etc., then an inference could be drawn that you were a ‘domestic extremist' at that time. Whether you remain one is a matter for you to decide."

If you decide that you too would like to be a domestic extremist, come and join us on 12 February.


Intrusive photography at AWPC:

FitWatch spotter card featuring Ministry of Defence Police Ian Caswell:

Police infiltrators general:

Guardian on Lynn Watson:

ACPO on domestic extremism