Person travelling from Anonymous London demo detained in Glasgow

Late yesterday evening an attendee of the London Anonymous Anti-Austerity demo was taken into custody upon their return journey via Glasgow airport. In their own words:

I landed back at the airport and i went to leave the arrivals hall but was stopped by 2 of Special Branch (Police) One of them asked me questions like, name, ID, where have I been, what was I doing? I answered them in a polite manner and was truthful. Then one of them said have you got a spare 2 seconds and again I answered yes.

I said to the officer “what if I would have refused” and he answered me with “We would have done it the hard way”

Next they took me off to a room where they searched me and then sat me down. They proceeded to ask me a lot about what I had been doing in London, who was there, like names. They went through my wallet and took pictures of some of my cards including my Anonymous ID.

Then the officer said can I unlock my phone and while i was talking to the other one I noticed he was going through my phone book and writing names and numbers on his pad. So after 20 minutes of this I was free to go.

I was absolutely shattered and was taken back by this so yes I should have been a little more wised up and stood my ground. I am seeking legal advice and will let you know what happens.

This comes less than a year after two anarchists were detained returning from the St. Imier International Anarchist Congress last August, and marks the continued use of  this type of intimidation by the state in response to ideologies it sees as harmful to itself and capital.


14 responses to “Person travelling from Anonymous London demo detained in Glasgow

  1. They are mining for intel: Names, numbers, any info on phone. Encrypt and encrypt again. Not using mathematical models.

  2. Now they got all your contacts so they will be under surveillance and more than likely have there conversation recorded

  3. Stuart McWilliam

    Any questioning,no matter how friendly they are to begin with,tell them your name address & d.o.b. nothing else. don`t even engage them in any way. i pick a spot,stare at it & refuse to speak or acknowledge their existance. u may be detained in a cell or holding cell for hours this way. but its well worth them getting nothing from u,& legally,pissing them right off. ive been doing this for years now & they hate it. & the more you do it,& they know you`ll do it. the quicker they release you to go pick on someone else. they`ll look thru your phone & property whilst your held whether you consent to it or not. then deny they did. i haven`t carried or used a mobile in any way,since they tried & failed to use it to incriminate me last

  4. You are not obliged to give them any information including name and d.o.b. You have the right to remain silent. If you decide to give up that right, then do so by answering their questions with another question. That way you are not refusing to answer their questions merely not giving them the answers they want.The maximum time they can hold you is 48 hours.

  5. This person has no concern re needing legal advice. He voluntarily gave over information they otherwise may not have obtained which has given them clues about how best to follow up on this. The police hit the gold mine. His friends are now being surveilled based on evidence given willingly.

    And please- a card carrying member of the anonymous club? This person is quite clearly the bottom of the chain. Volunteering information about accomplices, carrying cards tying himself to protests? Very noobish mistake. Ones personal and activist identities/activities, must be kept separate.

    Encryption is not done for the sake of it, to the commenter above. You need to make the stand and refuse to unlock it, refuse to cooperate. Youl only have to speak in court. Everything you say before then makes their job easier, and will be used against you. When arrested, you just answer ‘no comment’ until they legally have to let you go.

    • Regardless of this person’s actions or experiences, when confronted with an unexpected run-in with the police we may not always act as well as we could. The post is intended as a cautionary tale and another example of the continued criminalisation of normal activities by the state.

  6. In the UK, they can force you to unencrypt your stuff (or go to jail for two years) because of our bullshit key disclosure laws. It’s not a solution.

  7. At airports special branch can use all types of rediculous anti-terror laws if you refuse you to volunteer info.

    When detained by them you often do *not* have the right to remain silent, you do *not* have the right to have a solicitor present at your interview and they can detain you overnight if you only reply ‘no comment’, possibly even charge you with an offence.

    Labour brought in some massively scary laws, and whilst they may be untested in court in some cases not everyone in every situation will want to, or be able to, be a test case! Especially when you are isolated and confronted with folks who are trained in scaring and manipulating you.

    Solidarity with this person, and everyone interrogated by these thugs,


  8. Amias Channer

    Dont fly to demos , it’s not ethical and it puts you in a place where the police can mess you about. Have a local demo if London is that far or travel overland.

  9. Anon ID card?!?! Pardon.

  10. I’m not going to approve any more comments along the lines of “I’m so hard the cops would hacve had to do x to me” or “why did they speak” as they are pointless to the discourse. If you want to brag about how hard you are and how the cops would never get you to speak then there is a whole internet out there for that. I’ll trim out any the points and approve from there.

  11. I am the guy that this happened to. The anonymous card was just a silly joke thing, nothing important, nothing legal, just a joke card nothing more nothing less. I had no rights at all. See link to see just how much power they had over me.

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