Still spying: Anti-terror cops back at picket line
Click to enlarge
Top: No Foie Gras Picket
Below: Uniformed Police wait around corner
Media release: Still lying, Still
spying - Anti-terror police back at the picket
From: Justice NOW! Collective
Date: 16 August 2009
'The anti-terror police are still spying on legitimate political protest, and they are still lying to the public about what they are doing despite Howard Broad's assurances that they do not target political groups' said Sally Darity, spokesperson for the Justice NOW! Collective.
'In central Wellington, a member of the Special Investigation Group (SIG), Detective Richard Grover, was caught photographing a small animal rights protest against a restaurant serving foie gras (force-fed goose/duck liver) on 5th August 2009. When questioned by local cameraman Daryl Hunt about what he was doing, Grover initially denied any knowledge of the situation before admitting to taking photographs and hiding his camera in a grocery bag. Later that day when he was contacted at the Wellington Central Police Station and the realisation that his cover had been blown set in, he changed tact once again, this time denying even being at the protest.'
'At the same time, the private sector spies were out to exploit the picket. Provision Security's Wellington boss John Campbell was also hiding behind cars across the road and photographing the group of protestors.' When approached by Mr Hunt, Campbell reacted by assaulting him.
Click to enlarge
Left: Detective Richard Grover, SIG.
Right: John Campbell, Provision. In car park opposite the picket.
'Provision is a subsidiary of Thompson and Clark Private Investigators, best known for their role in spying on a whole host of campaign groups including the Save Happy Valley Coalition, the Wellington Animal Rights Network and Peace Action Wellington. Provision Security holds the security contract for the Wellington City Council's venues, and it is extremely disturbing that a person given to assaulting people is in charge of public security' said Sally Darity.
'The assault took place in full view of Detective Richard Grover, but he did nothing. This behaviour reinforces the view that private security guards are out of control and the police are only too happy to turn a blind eye to anything that they do even in situations that compromise public safety and assaults on members of the public.'
'When a four person picket garners the attention of the anti-terror police, four uniformed officers, and private spies, there can be no other conclusion that Howard Broad was lying outright when he said that the police do not spy on legitimate political protests. Detective Richard Grover was also involved in raiding houses on October 15th in Wellington in 2007. On the eve of yet another week of court hearings in relation to "Operation 8" in the High Court in Auckland, it is clear that political dissent of any sort remains under attack from the violent forces of both the State and private interests' commented Sally Darity.