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Surveillance of Activists – Amateur and Dangerous


Today Auckland animal rights activists held a protest against the fur trade. The protest outside the Norwegian consulate was in response to a recent expose of Norwegian fur farms. The protest had been widely advertised and was completely public. Around ten of us were holding placards and leafleting passers by. During the protest a photographer for the listener approached us and told us that a photographer was in a car across the road with a long lens taking photos of the demo.

Immediately I headed across the road with a camera. As I neared the car the driver took off at high speed. At the next intersection the driver got stuck in a red light. As pedestrians crossed the road I took a couple of photos of the car and driver. To avoid having his photo taken the driver pulled his shirt completely over his head. While people were still crossing in front of his car he accelerated suddenly and then had to break heavily, coming dangerously close to running the pedestrians over. When he accelerated there were three people directly in front of his car. He was obviously driving blind. After this rather than stopping he sped through a red light.

All of this took place in front of a police car on the opposite side of the intersection which immediately did a u turn and turned on its lights and siren. The driver continued driving for a block and went around the corner. By the time I had caught up the driver of the car was being talked to by a police officer. The driver still had his shirt pulled partially over his head. I explained to the second officer who I was and why I had been trying to take photos of this guy. The first officer came over and told the second officer “This guy was taking photos of this protest and didn’t want his photo taken”. The police did not arrest the driver and allowed him to leave. I do not know if he received a fine.

Walking back to the protest I came across two men with radios, tinted shades and an expensive camera. The men were standing near to where the driver had been parked whilst photographing the protest. I overheard them trying to find out where the driver had gone. After taking a few quick photos of these two I rejoined the protest which went on as planned.

The surveillance was either being carried out by the New Zealand police or by a private security company. The most obvious example of a private company is Thompson and Clark.  This company specialises in infiltrating and monitoring protest organisations. Famously employed by SOE Solid Energy this company uses infiltrators to help big business quash protest campaigns.

 Whoever the nutcases behind this surveillance are the implications are worrying. This surveillance is obviously aimed at building a detailed database of active political activists in New Zealand. Whether police or private this information will no doubt be used to target political activists and hinder campaigns where possible. Auckland activists have seen a constant stream of arrests almost none of which are ever taken to trial. Thompson and Clark are still trying to infiltrate activist groups around New Zealand and are paid by companies to sabotage campaigns by whatever means they can.

An example of how the kind of photographs taken today may be used is illustrated by a poster we came across a few years ago. The poster contained about 50 photos of animal rights activists and was being delivered to fashion shops across Auckland. Many of the photos on the poster had been taken covertly at protests. At the bottom of the poster is a caption reading “If you have any information on any of the mentioned Activists/Protesters, then forward all details through to Detective Mike Cartwright, Harlech House, 482 Great South Road …”. Michael Cartwright was at the time a member of the “Threat Assesment Unit” Set up post 9/11 to monitor domestic threats to security.  Despite being 16 at the time and having no convictions then or since I was included on the poster. Many of the other people on the poster had never been to an animal rights demo and were shocked to see themselves on it. Obviously this poster and similar activity is not aimed at solving any criminal activity but rather at long term profiling of Activists.

Neither is this surveillance limited to Auckland. In Wellington last month counter terrorist unit officer Richard Grover was caught hiding in a carpark photographing Foie Gras protesters. At the same time John Campbell of Provision security was also attempting to photograph the half dozen protesters. The full story at:

I don’t think surveillance should stop or even slow down the protest movement. We need to keep doing what we are doing openly and proudly, we have nothing to hide. However I think it is important to expose state and corporate surveillance where we can.

I don’t think Activists or the public should put up with this kind of activity. Attending a picket or holding a placard should not result in you being added to a data base.


wether or not i f i have

wether or not i f i have nothing to hide ,i will not let scum like this get my photos to use against me at their will and cover my identity at any protests i attend

can the people that take

can the people that take cameras to demos and then post on the web ,please ask others if they wish to have their photo taken and then posted on the net.Not everyone wants their identity on the web even though they might not be doing stuff illegal or whatever.

Photography at demos

Hey I take your point and do ask people at demos sometimes before taking photos. However often it is impractical to ask every person. If anyone makes it clear they dont want their picture taken or even lifts a placard to cover their face etc I wont attempt to take any more photos during the demo.

However a protest is a public action aimed at drawing attention and often media. I feel that unless DA is happening protesters have an obligation to communicate with photographers such as myself if they dont want their picture taken. A please could you not take my picture would be great.

Furthermore I am often taking photos for other groups, putting them online is the easiest way of getting them out there for use.

The National Party and its

The National Party and its predecessor, Labour have quietly sanctioned this type of surveillance activist groups by police intelligence groups and the SIS for years even though it is probably illegal under their own rules and guidelines. It is a part of the overall paranoia of the society of secrets in this country, that the anti-globalisation movement and what they view as its subsidiary activist groups are linked to....and funded by....the movements of Islamic jihad.

This type of political psychosis is reflected in the speech of right wing NBR editor Neville Gibson commenting on direct action groups in this country.

Those spies look like

Those spies look like gormless numbnutses - especially the one with a blanket on his head.

Thanks for continuing to expose this sort of crap Squirrel!

nice work!got any number

nice work!

got any number plates?

License plates

Yup the car which drove off was CDU800

Did you get any Police QIDs

Did you get any Police QIDs from the cops who stopped the driver?


No seems like a pretty silly thing to overlook but they were threatening me with disorderly and I just wanted to get a picture of the spy before he took off. I do have a crappy photo with the male officer who was talking to the driver. is less than is less than forthcoming about that vehicle.

dont know why they are

dont know why they are interested in you lot ,its not as if your effective in your activism for animals 

espec ,mark eden -full of rhetoric ,but didnt take him long to walk away from the beagles


looks like a very militant and dangerous protest was kept in check by the quick wits of some of NZ's finest. good on the cops for keeping an eye on these trouble makers. i can see that these guys learnt most of the tricks of being secret police from popular tv series. both backup guy number 1 and backup guy number 2 are wearing/carrying aviators. how predicatable.

nice work

Nice work, secret squirrel ;) In fact, you've done so well at getting the base info, that I would urge you to pursue this one. The car spy should have been done for running a red light and careless driving at the least. You have a photo of cops questioning car spy, and they should have had time to report the chase to police comms, so there should be records indicating the offenses. Enough to query cops about why they aren't prosecuting, and lay an IPCA complaint about being threatened by cops when trying to ask about an offense.

One of the difficulties with demos today is the vast number of people toting cameras - makes it safer sometimes, when cops get scared of being caught on film, but also makes it easier for them to gather intel. Except the cop wearing leathers to an animal rights demo - bwahhahahaha.

Keep up the good work.

Wow too much weed induced

Wow too much weed induced paranoia.

Go take a shower, looks like you all could do with one.

Oh dear - I tried checking

Oh dear - I tried checking the registration plate above (CDU800) on - gave this result: "Please apply to the Transport Registry Centre, in writing, for details about this vehicle"



good work

Well, that's good info for a start. Rego plate's that are hidden by the Transport Registry would indicate it is a police or SIS vehicle (or witness & victim protection), surely? (they may do this for private security firms, but unlikely; if they did, that should be changed). Perhaps now call Transport Registry and ask how you can get the owner's details if they gave you a fender bender... (not saying they did crash into your car, just asking).


Better still, ask Transport Registry,as you want to lay charges against the driver for running a red light, dangerous driving, etc. Private prosecutions are allowed, so TRC would have to give some reason for not disclosing ownership, which should indicate if its a cop/spy car or not.

Tips for the interested

It costs $2.50 at teh post office to request the details of a vehicle registration - this is handy if you're ever buying a second-hand car, too.


Gives ownership, and registered address of owner.


That should come up with a better fix than the website, which I don't think is run by Land Transport? Not sure on that one...

Christchurch High Court judge

Christchurch High Court judge Justice Young gave this as part of the judges decision on the search of Dr David Smalls house in 1996.

"It is, I suppose, human nature for some police officers to view an activist such as Dr Small with suspicion - as someone who is on the other side.  Of course, some police officers are more prone to this mindset than others. Given police responsibilities for security, police officers are perfectly entitled to maintain intelligence files on those who are, or conceivably could be, security threats.  Such people may well include political activists. But there is a difference between the police maintaining an interest in political activists (which I accept is legitimate) and the police equating political activism with either the commission of criminal offences or with a sufficient propensity to commit criminal offences to justify the obtaining of search warrants when an offence has been committed.  In his closing submission Dr Small took the view that his freedoms of thought, expression and association and not merely his freedom from unreasonable search had been infringed. Although there was an element of hyperbole in all of this, there is also a sense in which his claims as to this are right.  To say that Dr Small's property was searched because he is an activist in what he regards as social justice causes involves some telescoping of the thought processes of the police.  But it is nonetheless true.  From the point of view of the police, I think that this is the worst aspect of this case."

Dr Small goes on to say that the, "court hearing also revealed disturbing facts that had not previously come to light, notably the inability or refusal of the intelligence-gathering section of the police (the Criminal Intelligence Service or CIS) to distinguish between political dissent and criminal activity."

Previous to the hoax bomb threat that was used to manufacture the grounds for the warrants to search Dr Smalls house, Dr Small caught two SIS agents in an illegal break-in to the home of Aziz Choudry.

10 years later surveillence has increased, paranoia is at peak levels, the number of spy groups has doubled, budgets are huge, assumptions of criminality and terror plots from activist groups are a given with the SIS and police intelligence teams seething at the length of time it is taking for these animal rights activists to step up to jihad.

The society of secrets will go to all ends to create the necessary grounds to justify their very existance, as with Dr Smalls case, even to the point of faking bomb threats to gain access to his house in hopes of finding what?

Just a warning, not to become over paranoid and buy into their level of unwellness, but to be careful, and don't let them get away with their surveillance tyranny. Paranoia was rampant amongst these security groups, and contagious, what we need are level heads and education to get the message out there as to where this is all heading.

The police believe they can break any laws they want in order to achieve their surveillance aims, the Police State bill before parliament is in its current form and any future incarnation of itself, is a revolution in police powers that will extend to police a version of the powers they assume is theirs already.

What we need is an almost mainstream information campaign that is designed to expose the copaganda, that apparently we need this bill to give police the necessary powers to fight crime and terrorism. The Police State bill is the most dangerous bill to appear before Parliament since its inception in this country.

Surveillance of the Spieholes

Yeah doing your own op  is the only way to prove that you are not paranoid (plus it can be very funny when your friends  film a clumsy illegal surveillance).

"You've just got to spy on those peaceful fur activists and untreated disabled brain damaged patients "

sure you do... if you're an insane  control freak.





Just to raise a point: How is

Just to raise a point: How is it okay for all the 'protesters' to take photo's of other people, yet when someone does it to them it's arms-linked-around-New Zealand for the 'poor' little protester?

Doesn't that seem to reek of double standards? If you're willing to take photo's of Cops, Guards, and people who disagree with what you're standing for, then expect to be photographed in turn. To expect any less would make you a coward.

So grow up, already.

Get lost

I think you will be very hard pressed to find a case of activists heading out to someone elses event to covertly spy on them. That said the real difference is power. The cops can and do regularly arrest protesters assault us regularly and do whatever the hell they like. Likewise if it were private security these are companies that get millions of dollars a year to try and stop people that are organising openly and in public.

An attempt to equate me taking photos of cops using a cheap camera every once in a while with very well resourced organisations bent on disrupting public political groups is pretty silly.

Why dont you grow up and realise life has some level of complexity.

Actually, I've seen photo's

Actually, I've seen photo's that you people've taken of people just doing their job plastered all over the internets. Bet you didn't ask them if you could take 'em as well.

And cops often 'assault' you because you break the law. Take that skinhead rally. You think the cops would've been on your side. But when you lot started throwing shit at the skins, guess what? You broke the law. It's quite simple really. You can hold a protest without law breaking.

'well resourced organisations' <-- You mean they take photo's of you. Nice.

Actually, I've seen photo's

Actually, I've seen photo's that you people've taken of people just doing their job plastered all over the internets. Bet you didn't ask them if you could take 'em as well.

I think you are mistaking the right of individuals and the right of the state as being the same rights. They are not. There is a right that exists in a thing called the NZ Bill of Rights that gives anyone the right to protest without being assumed to be members of Al Qaeda. Somewhere in the twisted minds of the SIS and police intelligence they believe that the opposite to be true.

When you see these under cover cops photographing animal rights and other types of protestors, they are not cops that go handing out speeding tickets to boy racers, their employers expressed purpose is to find terrorists.

You think the cops would've been on your side.

Why would anyone assume that completely braindead assumption?

You can hold a protest without law breaking.

Do you think the people in the photos above were breaking the law? If not, then answer me this, why are they being photographed by undercover agents of the SIG, SIS whose expressed purpose is to find terrorists abroad and domestically?

As we all know, the only non state sponsored groups in this country that meet the criteria of groups planning to commit acts of terrorism, are Kyle Chapmans Survival Club white supremacists.

'The cops can and do

'The cops can and do regularly arrest protesters assault us regularly'

I think the word you're after is restrain perhaps?
I've seen alot of these protesters kicking up a good fight, and the police officers restrain them, only to have them cry "The police assaulted me, they twisted my poor arm and near broke it!!" I've heard that way too many times, even though the real story is they kicked and screamed while being restrained and ended up hurting themselves more like.

So if a guy is working

So if a guy is working security on a site and you bunch turn up and take photo's of him and plaster him around the place, this is 'okay' ?

How the hell does that work? Please, explain it to me. And keeping in mind that people are different from the state. The People who work the the state aren't just mindless drones. They have familes, they have lives. What right do you, as protesters, have in taking their photo's and then bitching when people take yours?

Haha isn't this what you guys

Haha isn't this what you guys do when people are just doing their job and going about thier business when you turn up at peoples place of work, take photos of stuff you people don't agree with then put everything up on display online along with peoples private information, names, birthdates, where they live etc?

You think that the actions of

You think that the actions of this countries top spy agencies whose focus is anti-terrorism, are acceptable surveilling animal rights activists? Is that what 'you guys' think? For goodness sakes pull your heads out of your arses and join the real world!

Yes, that's exactly what they do. They literally have nothing el

Yes, that's exactly what they do. They literally have nothing else to do...

And if thats not good enough for you, why don't you pull your head out of the sand and pick up the telephone! Call Mr Grover from the Special Investigation Group at the Wellington Central Police Station and ask him why he was taking photo's at this recent picket.

It's okay, we understand. You

It's okay, we understand. You activists are hypocrital to the end, which is why most of NZ doesn't give a shit about you.

Well, why can't they? I don't

Well, why can't they? I don't know about you, but last I checked NZ was a dairy run country. Having a bunch of 'Eco-fucktards' running into where animals are kept, smearing themselves in shit and shouting 'FREE THE BEASTS!' While releasing animals would kind of damage alot of peoples' livihoods. But that's okay, right? That doesn't count as terrorism at all.


Yes it does.

Animal activists = fail.

So you admit to be just

So you admit to be just another fucking brain-dead drone that has been programmed to compute the belief that activism = terrorism. For fucks sakes do yourself a favour and pull your lip over your pin head sized brain washed head, and swallow.

Everything I've seen has made

Everything I've seen has made me believe that most of the people who protest usually turn violent when challenged on their bullshit.

In fact, pretty much every Demo I've seen, the 'protesters' have lost their heads due to someone trolling them iRL.

So grow up. Maybe you're the one that should be commiting suicide. You and all your Hippy-friends who can't see anything from behind their lice-infested hair, or through the clouds of dope smoke.

So hey, grow up, leave the fucking fad behind and get a real job. If you don't try to seek employment and are happy to bludge off the system, then bitch about everything, then please cut your hands off now and die in a gutter.



If your talking about a sector of society that sponges off the state, waste resources, endanger and interfere with peoples lives, then you must be talking about the State and private security sector. These Douchebags whip up fear and paranoia in order to expand their budgets and operations. All in order for them to run around and play The Men in Black. All be it, there operations look more like the work of a team of The Greatest American Heros...

Or the massivly large amount

Or the massivly large amount of people who leech of the sickness benefit. But you can choose to believe what you want to, really.

To Douche> (who must be a

To Douche> (who must be a life member of the Ministry of Love)

So protesting = terrorism? I am assuming you agree with this illogical statement since you seem to be supporting the actions of agents of the state whose MO is supposed to be to chase down terrorists, and are spending a large amount of their time spying on peacful environmental groups.

Protesting doesn't equal

Protesting doesn't equal Terrorism.

As I have said, the protesters I have seen are the ones that end up assulting people or breaking property. It's simple. Don't break the law.

Also, how is it that a majority of protesters can climb a fence, yet can't work a single job and choose instead to leech off the benifit system in NZ?

Think about it.

Think about what, your ivory

Think about what, your ivory towered view of protests? No thanks. Going back to your first statement, i.e the first reasonable statement you have made so far, then answer me this, if you believe that protesting does not equal terrorism then why are peaceful animal rights protesters being investigated by this countries two top anti-terrorist spy groups (SIS and SIG)? They are being followed around, photographed, their phones tapped, their cellphones intercepted? Answer me that?

I like the way the comment

I like the way the comment asking me to answer questions isn't hidden, but the comment that started it is. Isn't that hypocritial?

And why not? They've got to be kept an eye on, because they're not a nice group of people.

By anti-terror police??? You

By anti-terror police??? You are kidding right??? or are you that far indoctrinated that you think that these peaceful protestors's protests equate to participating in a terrorist group or committing terrorist acts? That is their job is it not, to investigate and root out people that are participating in planning terrorist acts against civilian populations. Come on now, tell my you are just taking the piss?

Also: I think you'll find

Also: I think you'll find alot of people who commit terrorists acts have anti-establisment mentalities. Ergo, watching over people at protests is fine, when you think about it. Who cares, really? You take photo's of everyone near you when you protest, so they take photo's of you back.

This is what I've come to expect from the hardcore lefties. 'WE WANT FREEDOM! NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE IT!'

At least you are now being

At least you are now being honest about your support for police state surveillance. We have become used to the evasive arguments of ultra right extremists who try to cover their extremist views through avoidance of stating their real beliefs. Thanks for your honesty its good to know there are some supporters of draconian state fear that are willing to stand up and be counted.

"Ergo, watching over people

"Ergo, watching over people at protests is fine, when you think about it. Who cares, really? You take photo's of everyone near you when you protest, so they take photo's of you back."

If that is all that is happening then it would most certainly be an overreaction by protestors against government surveillance teams. However you seem naive as to what these groups of spooks are trying to achieve. These spooks are the foot soldiers of an elitist group of autocratic regents who see the universe through the blinders of their own ideologies. I am of course referring to the heads of these unaccountable spy agencies who have decided somewhere in their paranoia fuelled craniums that leftist protestors are the targets of their part in the so called war on terror.

The agents you see in the photos are not officers that were yesterday handing out speeding tickets and today profiling left wing protests, they do this for a job 24/7, they are spies whose dosiers are to root out terrorist organisations in this country.

They believe that since there are, say in the case of animal rights groups, overseas groups with similar portfolios who have committed acts of terrorism to achieve their aims, such as is claimed about ALF, then that means in their thinking that these groups in NZ are also 'conspiring to prepare to plan' similar acts here by default of their animal rights stance.

In the eyes of these groups such as the SIS and SIG, conspiring to prepare to plan in itself, which would technically amount to a thought crime....then qualifies these groups as being a terrorist group, and any member who supports animal rights are then participating in a terrorist group, and so they have set themselves about not to prove that acts of terror are about to be planned, but that in fact this or that person has commited crimes under the anti-terror laws by participating in these groups (it gets very circular if you go to far into that type of logic).

This is not restricted to merely profiling activists at protests, thats just the bit you get to see. These spooks have surveillance teams working around the clock following these protestors around, monitoring their travels, who is going to and fro from their houses, monitoring cellphones, internet etc on the same scale as would be expected to chase down terrorism.

These spy agencies single out only left leaning protest groups for their surveillance and in doing so breech a number of sections under the NZ Bill of Rights Act.


Under the heading of Civil and political rights in the NZBORA:

Section 13: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and to hold opinions without interference
Section 14: Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.
Section 16: Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
Section 18: Everyone lawfully in New Zealand has the right to freedom of movement and residence in New Zealand.

What that all equates to, or should equate to is that unless a group is breaking the law in their protests, they have the right to protest without being discriminated against, in this case, subjected to terror profiling in the name of the war on terror.

Does anyone know where the

Does anyone know where the SIS offices are?

'Everything I've seen has

'Everything I've seen has made me believe that most of the people who protest usually turn violent when challenged on their bullshit.'

Lol thats because most activists are either vegetarian, or vegan and they're the angriest mob of people I have ever come across in my life and you know why? Cos the lack of meat in thier diets is making them angry and its causing long term damage to their neurological system and most will end up with alzheimers or dementia anyhow.

^I guess we will just have to

^I guess we will just have to wait for you to come through pubity because pointing out your mind-numbing logic is not helping you.

Hey, they had a good point

Hey, they had a good point though. Maybe  you should research it.

Ok so lets check the

Ok so lets check the ballistics here.

Protesting = Terrorism
Belief in the right to protest = supporting terror
Spying on protestors = Antiterrorism
Living in ignorance = peaceful members of society

Sounding Orwellian enough yet?

*Yawn* Next time you get

*Yawn* Next time you get arrested, maybe you should do a better job of it, hopefully they'll keep you locked away a bit longer.

*Yawn*s back at you boring

*Yawn*s back at you boring old right-wing police state activist.