Around 20 local anarchists, friends & badgers visited the HQ of the Bristol CID & Special Investigations at Sir Kenneth Steele House on Feeder Road in Bristol last Saturday 15th November. Officers operating from there have recently been visiting people’s homes and workplaces, harassing and putting pressure on local activists, musicians and their friends to become informants for the police. As a response, it was decided to turn the tables and start asking some questions of our own.
Armed with police style spotter cards displaying some of the ugly faces of Big Brother, our investigations began in the car park as decidedly nervous looking CID operatives arrived for their dirty work. Our unannounced presence seemed to produce a sort of mild panic for the first officer on the scene. All requests for “A friendly chat” and information on “shadowy figures stalking people and harassing communities” were met with a stony and awkward silence. Interestingly, they didn’t have anything to say on the matter and most stared straight ahead, avoiding eye contact and going No Comment all the way. We could only conclude that they were feeling the pressure and had something to hide. The CID photographers were visibly nervous and especially camera shy but found themselves in a few photo opportunities anyway.
Deciding that our investigations could go no further today we left the premises. Soon afterwards armed police, dog units and a lot of agitated cops arrived, playing catch up and blocking the street. After a brief show of the sort of over reaction they’re well known for and what we pay our taxes for there was a stand off around the theme of “Give me your details”, “No!” “Well then we’ll arrest you”, “No you can’t!”. Once they realised we knew the law and were standing our ground the disgruntled police backed down and skulked off. Satisfied that our investigations had rattled a few cages we adjourned for refreshments and to plan further lines of enquiry… and solidarity!