Konstantin wrote:Wasn't he meant to be infiltrating animal rights and enviromental groups? Strange behaviour for someone in that position.
Like I've said before in a different thread, the radical environmental movement is dominated by ex-vegans (most are now freegan, cos it's cooler than being vegan) who are still mostly or completely vegetarian and who actively campaign to promote veganism, but who want to eat cheese and milk chocolate themselves. The catering at places like Climate Camp is totally vegan, partly cos that includes everybody, partly for hygiene reasons (you don't need fridges to store dried pulses, rice and veg) and partly because the majority of activists want to set a good vegan example "to the masses" even if they aren't totally vegan themselves.
Every now and then, there's a really outspoken activist who eats meat and goes on and on about "supporting local farmers" etc. They get argued with a lot, but any movement needs active members and has to be inclusive, so they are tolerated in the same way that people-haters like the ones banned from here a while back are tolerated in animal rights groups, even though their views are in the minority.
I lived with Mark for 18 months (though he was only around 1-2 days a week; he said he was working in London and we believed him cos he had plenty of money and I know for a fact that there's loads of rope access work going in London that's well-paid) and during that time I didn't get on with the guy a lot of the time. I had him down as a hanger-on who didn't really care about environmental issues, but wanted to be cool and edgy and have an instant circle of friends. people like that are not unusual in movements, though they don't usually stick around that long.
However, despite this, Mark was a good house mate; he paid his bills, he was tidy and considerate and he was always offering people lifts, salvaging furniture and things like that. basically, he was easy-going, and in a movement full of intense people, easy-going people who can drive are sought after, believe me.
I say "movement"; that implies one green movement with a fixed identity, which is misleading. There are loads of people with diverging views who come under the broad umbrella of "social justice movement" and they come together for events like the G8 camp in Gleneagles (5 years ago), anti-war protests, the Anarchist Bookfair etc. Social Centres like the Sumac Centre in Nottingham host a wide range of events by groups as diverse as home-educating parents and animal rights groups. All a police infiltrator has to do is hang out in a place like that, get to know the regulars and find out what is going on. People's tendency to splash everything over the internet makes it even easier. Lots of lessons needed to be learned, so plenty of good will come out of this in the long term.
Mark Stone never showed the slightest interest in animal rights during the time I knew him, which was why I was startled to see him giving climbing lessons at the Animal Rights Summer gathering last August. I wondered whether at long last, all his hob-nobbing with euro anarchists had caused him to make the connection between human and animal rights and that he was there to learn. I was pleased to see him and we sat and watched a film that he really enjoyed (or pretended to).
Lots of men disliked Mark because they thought he was macho, but that's hardly a reason to blank someone and try to throw them out of a movement. protest movements will always have this issue; how inclusive do you be with people who don't fit "the stereotype"?