by Genny Bove
War criminals coming to Celtic Manor
Yesterday, we headed into Newport armed with a statement for the police alerting them to evidence of crimes committed and about to be committed by NATO leaders. The bus driver pointed at my t-shirt as I got on the bus – “That’s Bradley Manning, isn’t it? What’s happening with him now?” After clearing up the Chelsea/Bradley confusion – he hadn’t heard – and giving him a selection of our flyers, we explained what we were going to do. “Good on you!” He shook our hands enthusiastically. Like everyone else we’ve met here in Newport he was disgusted with the NATO summit and all it stands for, not to mention the profligate waste of public money. Upstairs, a woman struck up a conversation with us about Cardiff, the fence which has been making her journey to work pure hell and the thousands of cops on the streets. She wasn’t impressed that they were strutting around with guns either.
In Newport police station, the woman on reception asked us to take a seat while they found someone to deal with us. After half an hour we were getting bored. A woman had come in to report a police officer who she said had been extremely rude to her. After a while we got chatting. She was another critic of NATO, the summit, Obama’s school visit… A man came up to the desk, rung the bell and attempted to report himself in on account of a warrant he’d received. The receptionist said there didn’t seem to be anything on the computer so he needn’t worry. She went into the back office and he went to leave. I shouted across to him that it might be an idea to get that in writing because if it turned out not to be true, he wouldn’t have any evidence to show that he’d tried to give himself up. We all offered to be witnesses for him too. So he rang the bell again and the receptionist shot out, listened impatiently to his request and then turned to me: “Can you keep your opinions to yourself please, Genevieve?” I wasn’t aware that the right to freedom of expression is suspended in police station reception areas. Anyway, if the police had any regard for privacy, the situation wouldn’t have arisen in the first place: I’d asked on arrival if I could discuss the matter I’d come to report in private and she’d refused; if they make people discuss their personal business with the police in public, what do they expect?
Just then, two police liaison officers in baby blue strolled in and invited us to follow them into an interview room. Constable C5376 Rees and Sergeant 3161 Williams declined to take a statement, saying that the matter was beyond their jurisdiction. We had a bit of a discussion about whether they should be doing this if we had information about a crime about to be committed (conspiring to go to war) within their area of jurisdiction which Celtic Manor certainly is, but they weren’t having it.
I outlined the basis of our complaint, reading out the prepared statement:
Statement to the Police
Policing the NATO summit is costing millions of pounds from the public purse and seems to be focused on protecting the NATO leaders from the people. I believe it should be the other way round: the policing should focus on protecting the people from NATO leaders. NATO is, after all, responsible for countless civilian deaths around the world and – as a heavily nuclear-armed power engaged in wars of aggression, and planning more – NATO poses a significant threat to all life on earth. NATO countries are in breach of their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968. At the NATO summit, NATO leaders perpetrators of numerous crimes, including war crimes, who have never been brought to justice, will come together to plan more criminal acts endangering and costing more innocent lives. It is imperative that this is stopped.
(1) Evidence of NATO war crimes in Afghanistan is contained in the Afghan War Diary released by Welsh-American whistleblower Chelsea Manning and published by WikiLeaks [wardiary.wikileaks.org].
(2) Evidence that, far from being an innocent party in the present Ukrainian crisis NATO has precipitated the situation in full knowledge of the likely disastrous outcome for Ukraine and possibly the world, is contained in a Cablegate cable from 2009 [error – should read 2008] also released by Manning and published by WikiLeaks. This previously secret cable reveals NATO’s plan to push its boundaries eastwards to the Russian border, a plan condemned by foreign policy experts as “recklessly provocative”. The Ukrainian people are now paying the price for this with their lives.
(3) Evidence of corruption in the appointment of Anders Rasmussen as Secretary General of NATO is contained in one of the Cablegate cables [cable 29/5/2009: DENMARK LOOKING TO STRENGTHEN CASE AGAINST PRO-PKK ROJ-TV].
For the next two days, the NATO leaders are gathered here in Newport, along with 10,000 police officers. In light of clear evidence of NATO’s illegal activities and intent, and the past and potential future cost to life, I call on Gwent police to arrest the leaders of this criminal gang and bring them to justice before any more lives are lost.
After reading out the statement to the police and after we’d elaborated on the criminal activity it points to in some detail, I handed it over along with copies of the Cablegate cables and a summary sheet explaining the Afghan war diary. I asked the PLOs what would happen next.
“All the information goes to the Information and Intelligence Cell. Someone will look at these documents. A decision will be made about the best person to deal with this. The Home Office will appoint someone and they will contact you.” Don’t be fooled by the pastel tint of the PLOs. Their work is all about evidence gathering, hence their intel. and info. cell.
I suggested that there should be some kind of record beyond the officer’s notebook of what had been handed over. The South Wales sarge went off to find an appropriate Gwent police form for the purpose and came back with something that appeared wholly inappropriate for the job. The constable filled it in and pushed it over for me to sign.
“The box you’re asking me to sign in is labelled “NEW CANISTER No:” They shrugged. I crossed it out, changed it to “signed” and asked for a copy.
In the pub afterwards, Newport warmth was back in action as people wished us well and a woman insisted on buying us a drink.
The Home Office hasn’t been in touch yet…