Aberdeen trial

Police infiltration revelations proves we are a threat to governments and corporations

The Mark Stone case is shocking but police attempts at infiltrating the environmental movement are frequent. Plane Stupid Scotland had their own experience of this when they exposed the police's spy-recruiting tactics that attempted to infiltrate Plane Stupid.

They did this with the use of a spy-cam and recordings from a mobile phone. In 2009, Strathclyde Police confirmed on multiple occasions that the names of the two police officers did not feature on any of their databases. To get any answers as to who the 2 spooks were, they've been locked into a bureaucratic ping-pong ever since.

On the 3rd March, Plane Stupid Scotland shut down Aberdeen airport, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and drawing attention to the social and environmental impacts of their expansion plans. Afterwards, two men attempted to spy on Plane Stupid's activities, by offering one activist, Tilly Gifford, cash for information. The conversations were recorded and then exposed to the mainstream media. We still don't know who they are!

There is a range of unpleasant options as to who might have been harassing and monitoring Plane Stupid in 2009: The National Public Unit Intelligence Order, Confidential Intelligence Unit - both reporting back to the private company Association of Chief Police Officers. Or corporate espionage a la C2i?

Strathclyde Police have remained uncooperative, so it went all the way to the Scottish Information Commissioner. A request simply for the officer's date of commission within Strathclyde Police force was refused. Tilly was told to take her case to the Court of Session (the Scottish version of the Supreme Court), or drop it. She would have been liable for up to £20,000 in court costs - an epic financial risk for an apprentice farmer, researcher and a ceramicist.

The police need to start talking. We need answers. Silence is not acceptable.

Should we want to know what information Mark Kennedy was gathering and for whom, to know who appoints such considerable Police resources to monitor the always peaceful environmental movement, to know who decided to pull the plug on an entire prosecution case, to know who the men slinking around with brown envelopes and dark glasses claiming to be Strathclyde Police actually are, and we find all processes prohibitively expensive or opaque, where do we turn to?

Towards a demand for a full inquiry, not lead politically, nor carried out by the police, but in front of a judge. Towards the awareness of links between big financial interests and policing, the businesses we target have social and environmental consequences as massive only as the money they have behind them.

We can turn to the knowledge that, in the environmental justice movement, we're onto something - the reason we're being so heavily targeted is that our impact is real and effective.

Climate defence is not an offence: Climate9 go on trial

Last year 9 brave people broke into Aberdeen airport, closing the runway for several hours and preventing hundreds of tonnes of CO2 emissions. Unsurprisingly, the state decided to arrest them and take them to court. They have been hounded by undercover police, harrassed and needlessly stopped in the street, and are being called domestic terrorists. This summer, they'll be arguing in court that their duty to stop climate change is a valid defence... and they're looking for help.

The Climate9 will be launching their campaign on Thursday 20th May, between 6.30-8pm at WordPower Bookshop, 43-45 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh. The evening features speakers from the Climate9 Defence Committee, details of the case and a chance to meet other activists and play mystery games. If you plan to come, please drop the Committee a line on info@climate9.com or call 075351 47478. Don't forget to check out the shiny new website: www.climate9.com.

Plane Stupid believes that the Climate9 should be rewarded for their actions, not punished. If you agree that climate change is an urgent threat which is already costing lives and destroying ecosystems, and that those in power need a radical wake up call, please join us to stand up for those who are doing just that. We need as many statements of support as possible. Write one for yourself or your organisation now.

And don't stop there. Organise events and actions relevant to you and your community on climate change and in support of the Climate9. If you want a supporter of the Climate9 or one fo the defendants to come email us and use the attention of the trial to highlight the need for necessary action to stop irriversable climate change in your community.

"Civilisation has never progressed by squatting in its comfort zone. The great human breakthroughs have always been led by small clusters of brave individuals taking costly stands. History will be the ultimate court of opinion that will judge the climate protesters. In so doing, may its hand not be forced to judge our wider British society too harshly"

Professor Alastair McIntosh, Centre for Human Ecology

"Whatever the price we have to pay for speaking the truth, the Climate9 are publically prepared to do so, to try and bring justice for those detrimentally affected by climate change. This is supposed to be a democratic country, and we can participate in political activity. The Climate9 will not uphold increasing state and police repression and camouflage the war that is climate injustice. All over the world people demanding climate justice have complained to the magistrates about magistrates, complained to the judges about judges and complained to the politicians about politicians. It's time we did something for ourselves. Whatever happens to us, the Climate9 trial is an opportunity to spread the need for urgent action and to challenge the authorities with pride and confidence."

Dan Glass, Climate9 defendant