The London Metropolitan Police is encouraging businesses and the general public to immediately report anyone who holds anti-government political beliefs to the authorities as terrorists, calling on people to become volunteer informants as the state prepares for widespread social unrest.
“This was the surprising injunction from the Metropolitan Police issued to businesses and members of the public in Westminster last week,” reports the London Guardian. “There was no warning about other political groups, but next to an image of the anarchist emblem, the City of Westminster police’s “counter terrorist focus desk” called for anti-anarchist whistleblowers stating: “Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. Any information relating to anarchists should be reported to your local police.”
In also calling on people to report Al-Qaeda paraphernalia to police, the briefing conflates “anarchists” with terrorists.
“It unfairly implies that anyone involved in anarchism should be known to the police and is involved in an dangerous activity,” said Jason Sands, an anarchist from South London. “There is nothing inherently criminal about political philosophy whatever it is. The police work under the convention on human rights which disallows discrimination against people because of their political beliefs and even the request for information would seem to be in breach of that.”
Of course, the “anarchist” label could apply to a whole range of political beliefs, but the fact that the state is now openly criminalizing anti-government sentiment and encouraging people to report on their neighbors for expressing dissent or displaying any sign of their political philosophy is a clear indication of how paranoid the British government has become of its own citizens.
As anarchist Sean Smith told the Guardian, “It’s pretty absurd, but not surprising, when the state seeks to criminalise ideas it deems to be dangerous to its own survival.”
Indeed, if you want an insight into where the British government thinks this is all heading, look no further than a 2007 Ministry of Defence report which foresaw “the middle classes becoming revolutionary” and “taking on the role of Marx’s proletariat” within three decades.
“The world’s middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest,” warns the report, predicting mass unrest and social dislocation.
This is why the authorities are already putting the squeeze on any kind of political beliefs that could be construed as anti-government. They are aware of the fact that the increasingly dangerous, unjust and economically deprived post-industrial revolution now being used to eviscerate the middle class in the west will provoke a hostile and radical reaction.
Encouraging people to report on each other for political beliefs deemed undesirable by the state is precisely what happened in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.
One common misconception about Nazi Germany was that the police state was solely a creation of the authorities and that the citizens were merely victims. On the contrary, Gestapo files show that 80% of all Gestapo investigations were started in response to information provided by denunciations by “ordinary” Germans.
“There were relatively few secret police, and most were just processing the information coming in. I had found a shocking fact. It wasn’t the secret police who were doing this wide-scale surveillance and hiding on every street corner. It was the ordinary German people who were informing on their neighbors,” wrote Robert Gellately of Florida State University.
Gellately discovered that the people who informed on their neighbors were motivated primarily by banal factors – “greed, jealousy, and petty differences,” and not by a genuine concern about crime or insecurity.
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