Who to blame for the decline in the AR movement

When the scandal of police spies broke in 2011 the Met was obliged to be seen doing something and set up Operation Herne. Three years and well over £1.5m later all we have are two reports. The first investigated the theft of dead children’s identities. The second is more general and looks at the allegations made by the whistleblower, Peter Francis.
At over 80 pages, the second report is very long and detailed but there is one section I would like to share with you on page 18, under the heading “History of the Special Demonstrations Squad”.
“Today the prevalence of large scale public demonstrations and protest is no longer as common place as it has been in the recent past. There are a number of possible explanations predominantly the introduction of social media and the development of the internet. However, it is also possible that intelligence led policing of such events contributed to the reduction.
There is no doubt that the ability of the Police and public order commanders to deal with large scale disorder and protest was enhanced by the use of intelligence from undercover officers.”
So there you have it, the decline in animal rights and other protest movements is down to Facebook, Twitter and undercover policing. Simple really.


  1. And yet hundreds of people from across the country came to the badger culls whilst they were on, many of them new to activism. Many of them cited facebook as how they had heard about the cull and how they could get active.
    This article certainly doesn’t make it clear how undercover police have stopped large demonstrations

    • You’re correct about that. I’m only repeating what the police said on their website. Most of it is bollocks as you would expect. They have to justify using undercover police so they claim they prevented disorder. I won’t say it’s never happened but in many cases it isn’t true. And it’s too easy to point the blame at Facebook and the like for inactivity. As you point out, social media played a big part in the anti-cull campaign, not to mention the 2011 riots.

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