POLICE PROTEST SIGN
Spies in blue bibs
'Blue bib' police liaison officers are the friendly face of the police at protests in the UK, but their purpose goes beyond simple amiable chats with protesters.
Their job is to gather information about you and other protesters which they will use to prosecute organisers and activists, and use it as part of a broader effort to undermine, obstruct and sabotage the protest movement you are there to support.
Video from Netpol, the network for police monitoring
After seeing well-meaning protesters engage in these chats without knowing their purpose I decided to make this sign to warn people at protests.
The sign is available here to download, print and make yourself to bring to protests and follow the blue bibs around.
For those without access to large format printers I'm also making prints available at cost price.
Photo by: Richard lewis
Click to download printable PDF. This is roughly A0 size, but feel free to change or split into two A1 prints.
If you bring one of these signs to a protest it's important to bear in mind a few things.
1. Be careful not to give the police any reason to arrest you, keep a safe distance and full control of the sign with both hands, especially in wind when you should hold higher on the pole. If the sign accidentally hits an officer they may use that as an excuse to arrest you. Speak to a legal observer when you arrive and write the number of one of their solicitors on your arm just in case.
2. Do not engage with the police but don't be hostile either. It seems obvious considering the message of the sign, but spending several hours following the same officers around they will try to crack jokes, and ask questions to try and get you to respond, some will get annoyed and try to provoke you. The best (and funniest) response is to tap the sign.
3. If you are the only person at the protest with this sign you will need to switch between groups of officers. Some will hold back to draw you away from the protest, some will be walking so far ahead no one will see you. Switch between groups of officers as you see fit. Consider yourself and the officers as a walking billboard, and try to find the most visible locations.
4. First time I did this I considered filming with a GoPro or similar for my own safety and tbh some of the statements from police would have been interesting to get on camera, however if you do this please be careful about uploading unblurred images/video (or conversations) of protesters.
Photo by: Joe Kibria