A short treatise on my involvement in the protest against UK’s censorship-by-violence bill, as well as the odd rumors about me secretly being a cop.
I attended the #KillTheBill demo yesterday in central London, where I’ve been living since late last year, and upon arriving was asked by some other activists to help hold up a modular banner with the words “Cops Kill”, as may be seen in some of the footage that’s been floating around. As may be seen in other photos, we went on to switch the banners around so that it then read “Kill Cops”, which I considered to be sound advice even before the present UK government began its current attempt to give such cops the right to arrest peaceful protesters on the vague grounds that they can potentially upset people. Perhaps I’m still bitter about the time in 2018 when the Dallas police responded to my articles and advocacy vis a vis their Botham Jean murder by trying to cover-up a bomb threat made to the magazine I wrote for in retaliation and then repeatedly got caught lying about it to Dallas City Council and my editor. I also seem to recall doing a number of years in federal prison in a case that was widely denounced by groups like Reporters Without Borders and a range of media outlets as retaliation for my work exposing firms like Palantir and Endgame Systems in tandem with the same DOJ that later prosecuted me over these very same issues. So, you know, I’m not keen on cops.
Like pretty much everyone else including cops and their supporters, I advocate violence. Because I’m morally opposed to wholesale state violence against civilian populations in the Middle East and peaceful protesters at home, and would prefer to see it directed at those who initiate such violence, I am considered a wild eccentric by people like Andy Ngo, who first began circulating the photo of me with the banner yesterday while naming me as the person depicted after the Metropolitan Police Association published it, and who I suppose is still sore that my outfit published those pictures of his business partner doing Nazi porn a while back. Anywho, I’ve seen a few claims floating around that I might as well address for the benefit of those who seem to have fallen for them.
Claim #1: It is odd and perhaps suspicious that I’m in the UK, and this is something that I’ve sought to conceal.
Actually I announced back in 2017 that I’d be moving out of the US for good when my probation ended, in large part due my illegal re-arrest by federal marshals for giving an interview to Vice. I’ve also discussed living in the UK in half a dozen interviews since I arrived here in November, most recently for this Danish magazine profile that appeared on me a few days ago, wherein it is also noted that I’ve taken up gardening and am in the process of re-launching my old research group Project PM along with similar projects geared towards documenting press malfeasance and law enforcement collaborator networks (such as those participated in by Andy Ngo). I’ve also been pretty open about the fact that England kind of sucks and I don’t anticipate staying here in the long term, even in the increasingly unlikely case that this will be up to me.
Claim #2: I’m working with the London police, and this is clear from footage on Sky News and so forth that shows me standing next to a couple of cops at one point such that I appear to be “behind police lines” if you don’t actually watch the footage but instead merely view a still frame originally put out by advocates of the police.
I don’t think anyone who matters really believes this, since it’s being promoted chiefly by pro-police accounts that presumably aren’t in the usual habit of trying to identify undercover police who work left-wing anti-police rallies, but now that some well-meaning but perhaps less-than-meticulous leftists have picked it up (as have moderate anti-police folks who don’t really believe that anyone can honestly disagree with their moderation on the subject and that those who claim to are there to discredit everyone), I guess I have to release a statement to the effect that neither I nor the other protesters who can be seen with me are cops working for the Metropolitan Police. I do see that a couple of people who are upset with me for my criticisms of Assange in recent years have also run with this, but that’s not a new development. At any rate, there’s a reason that none of the actual protesters and legal monitors who were present have been making this claim, and that’s because I was never actually “behind” any “cop line”; we were surrounding the cops at several points, which is one reason why anyone can clearly see other protesters with me even in the still frame that people seem to find mot convincing. That should also be clear enough from the actual footage put out by Sky News and other sources, including footage put out by protesters, which is why none of those advancing this strange theory seem interested in posting any of these things. I suppose it will also be clearer when I post some of my own footage from the event.
[Update: Here’s the footage I was taking on my phone at the point when a still frame seems to depict me “behind police lines” along with several other activists. As one can see here, the cops were in the middle of everyone, in a circle, beating up on people.]
Additional footage from a bit earlier:
Claim #3: It is suspicious that I was even allowed to come into the UK to begin with since the nation’s immigration policy generally forbids anyone who’s been sentenced to more than four years in prison elsewhere, as I was.
This one is actually true, sort of. I was indeed allowed to walk right into the UK from Antigua, where I’d moved last year upon leaving the US for good, after a brief and seemingly routine interview by a customs agent at the airport, which means there does exist some possibility that they knowingly let me in despite my history of fucking with monarchies and kleptocrats and incompetent institutional actors and other things treasured by British officialdom; if so, it’s probably because GCHQ and the Metropolitan Police are still as interested in me as they were in 2011. The fact that the Met has at least one video on its YouTube page in which an admitted FBI informant and US military veteran named Mike Jones discusses me and my past activities with Anonymous would seem to support that possibility.
Having said that, I’m guessing based on what else I’ve seen since getting here that the Home Office just fucked up because it’s run by dumb-fuck Tory grifters who’ve spent a decade running on anti-immigration themes but can’t even manage to keep notably unstable anarchist rabblerousers out of their precious little fairy kingdom. I literally had to pay an immigration lawyer 700 pounds to find out that I’m an accidental illegal immigrant. If it makes the Tories feel any better, I’m white, and that probably helped; on the other hand being white and living well outside the UK didn’t stop the British government from doing the various arguably illegal things it did to my activist colleagues and I back when GCHQ was bragging about all of this in documents that were later leaked by Snowden (to those unfamiliar with my background — including the majority of people discussing me on Twitter today — this may all sound rather crazy. Unfortunately, it is; it’s also quite well documented, in documentaries and books and articles, though sometimes in contradictory and inaccurate ways such that I really can’t blame the casual reader for not quite knowing what to make of me.
I suppose that covers the basics. I’ll conclude by noting that I’ve seen a bunch of right-wing types clamoring for me to be deported, and there’s reason to believe that the Home Office may consider doing so now that the Met and assorted police unions have been circulating the picture of me holding one end of a banner I didn’t write. Were this to actually occur — particularly in a manner that might interrupt my work and organizing activities in any considerable way — I will immediately retaliate by dis-inviting Prince Andrew to my friend’s little sister’s 17th birthday party next week.