back to article G20 police demand ID as train staff ordered to spy on passengers

Hysteria over protests connected to the G20 conference continues to grow, with ID checks for East-end residents and train staff told to tip off police about suspicious passengers. The Metropolitan Police is telling residents and workers near the ExCeL conference centre, where G20 leaders will meet, that they will need two …


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  1. Dave
    Black Helicopters

    Cross-pond Spelling

    I think you'll find that 'traveling' is the US form of 'travelling', which might give some insight into where the letter originated.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Note to Brazilian plumbers

    Stay home.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    More likely they are too inept to change dictionaries between US and UK English

  4. kevin biswas
    Black Helicopters

    no legal basis for the request.......

    "A spokesman for Scotland Yard said there was no legal basis for the request, but that people would get through barriers more quickly if they had the two forms of identification".

    Erm...........pardon ?

  5. Stephane Mabille


    Ah, finally... it was about time to do something... a group of coloured shirts, an arrestable offence under the Bad Taste Terror Act.

    What about the ugly hi-viz Blue-Yellow jackets carried by the FIT team (no they aren't gym instructors)?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    spell checker

    .. perhaps the creator of the communication doesn't know how to change the spell checker to UK English. What the hell is US English anyway?! At least the Canadians have the good grace to speak and spell properly.

  7. rhydian


    Or someone's copy of Word hasn't been set to UK English?

  8. Warren

    If I were going

    to protest, I wouldn't take the train - might arrive too late to join in.

    Seriously, though, have they forgotten our freedom of speech? And is it any concern of the train companies where their passengers are going? They don't care when I've got an important meeting that contributes to the UK economy....

    Mine's the one with the logo on.

  9. Ash
    Thumb Down

    Why inform BTP?

    What will the British Transport Police do to a group of people travelling to London?

    "I'm sorry Sirs, you'll have to come with me. We don't want no civil disobedience in our town!"

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I hope we all have jack boots ready, the next march threw london will probably be for our Glourious New Police Backed Rulers. The Puritain Alliance of New Britannia. You point your daily mail at the Master General Jackie and Grand Ruler Gordon. Or whoever is in charge of the Puritain alliance by then, there are plenty of people who want the Job on all sides of the house.

  11. Sean Groarke
    Black Helicopters

    This is really not good

    So in Britain today you can be reported to the police if you are: "Groups of travellers wearing noticeable themed clothing, for example same large logo or coloured shirts etc"

    I know the "If you've nothing to hide you've nothing to fear"-brigade will say that folks like me are over-reacting, but I find this so deeply troubling. The British people (and many others, I freely admit) are sleepwalking in to something very dangerous. Exactly what "it" is is hard to predict. But I do predict that it's not good.

    Wake up and do something.

  12. Anthony

    no legal basis

    Surely if the requirement to provide ID isn't legal then the checkpoints that demand that ID aren't legal either.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Papieren, bitte

    The demonstrations will be the perfect excuse for New Labour to use the Civil Contingencies Act to declare marshall law.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Great codename

    Glencoe was the scene of the largest massacre of civilians in British history when the English government, using soldiers and local quislings (Campbell's) tried to exterminate a local clan they they perceived as not loyal enough, killed 38 men, and had a further 40 women and children die of exposure.

    Are they planning to crack some heads together?

  15. Tom
    Thumb Down

    No legal basis?

    Id like to see someone challenge this in a court of law. Is it really legal to say we will make it hard for you to get to your house if you don't produce two forms of ID which we have no right to ask for and are even willing to admit that?

    If they have no legal right to stop you walking to your house and walking to your house is not suspicious activity so they have no right to conduct a search or stop you in any way, in which case people should just walk straight past the police and ignore their requests for ID, as they have already admitted they have no legal right to ask for it! It surely isnt legal for the police to harass you because you are not carrying ID they know you don't have to carry or show to them.

    Crazy, everyone should walk around without ID and keep leaving and coming back. Who do these people think they are.

  16. censored

    Know your rights...

    I'm fairly sure the Human Rights Act allows you peaceful enjoyment of your own home. You do not have to show ID to get to it, and any attempt to enforce it sounds to me like it's not just "lacking a legal basis" but downright illegal.

  17. John Macintyre
    Thumb Up


    It just reads like a bag o' shite, someone needs to shot or taught proper grammar.

    On the plus side, having been told to dress down to work for the next few days I suspect based on this list that I fit the description they're looking for, should blend right in :)

  18. Anonymous Coward


    "Groups of travellers wearing noticeable themed clothing, for example same large logo or coloured shirts etc

    Any noticeable groups who are believed to be traveling [sic] to London

    Any groups carrying banners or posters

    Any group bookings to London that day/s"

    So if you're on a works outing, a rugby tour, off to a football match, a stag party, a hen night or God knows what're fucked.

    Of course any protestors wouldn't be smart enough to do something 'crazy' like, say, wear a coat or maybe have a change of shirt.

    Mine's the one with no large logos or bright colours on it that's travelling alone.

  19. Martin

    Protestor Travel Advisory

    We ask that all protesters are extra vigilant in their journeys to and from work on these days.

    G20 Summit in London - Disruptions expected 28 March - 02 April 2009

    Protesters face chaos next week with areas of London in security lockdown for the G20 summit and warnings that bankers will be doing their usual utmost to justify ridiculously overpaid jobs whilst gleefully buggering the economy, and anybody else who they can.

    Protesters in the City are being advised to wear 3 piece suits and pink shirts amid fears that they will be forced to run the gauntlet of police denying them a legitimate right to protest.

    On 1 April a coalition of overpaid and unethical bankers will travel from commuter belts to four major London stations - Moorgate, Liverpool Street, London Bridge and Cannon Street - potentially obstructing thousands tourists and homeless people, before marching herd-like to their day jobs.

    A crack team will target the Stock Exchange attempting to completely devalue any pensions you may have managed to keep away from Gordon Brown’s half arsed ‘fiscal planning’. The ‘Guns not Food’ campaign will march on the US embassy in Grosvenor Square to provide them with a lifetime service award. Police are going to do their utmost to apply draconian anti-terrorist legislation to obstruct as many people as they can. Anyone with a beard or a swarthy complexion should be extra vigilant as random searches will randomly target them. At random.

  20. Edward Miles

    Sorry to the mods but I think it's justified...

    Papers, citizen!

  21. James Henstridge


    From someone who doesn't know how to change their spell checker language?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Groups of travellers wearing noticeable themed clothing, for example same large logo or coloured shirts etc ??

    I imagine that many of the 80000 or so heading to Wembley for the footy. I hope each and every one of them is reported to the BTP to investigate :)

  23. M7S


    "Groups of travellers wearing noticeable themed clothing, for example same large logo or coloured shirts etc"

    You'll notice lots of groups of people wearing the Stillitoe Tartan. They're very suspicious, usually of everyone else, and I think they might be some sort of gang, they all have "patches" on the backs of their jackets, showing their group affiliation, just like bikers.....

  24. Dan Breen
    Paris Hilton

    spel chequer?

    Yup - from the desk of someone who doesn't bother checking their spell checker, (like I don't normally).

    Paris - well, it could have been her?

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Freedom, Liberty...

    And this government has the gall to complain about China/Burma/Zimbabwe...

    At least in those countries, the laws, rules and regulations are clear... They make no pretense to Freedom and Liberty; whereas our beloved government do...

    Why all these G20 leaders can't just meet up on someone's private yacht somewhere instead of inconveniencing half of London, is beyond me.

  26. Michael Fremlins

    How can the police use a law which does not exist?

    Which law is being used to demand two forms of identification from members of the public? How are the police able to get away with this?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm confused...

    If they know some of the activists of old, why would they need to check people's ID? Surely they'll be able to recognise these 'known' activists. Similarly, if they've been monitoring chat-rooms, etc, how is an ID check going to help? Are the suspected crusties going to be carrying a passport in the name of swampy, ihatezbankers or other similar web-monickers?

    "A spokesman for Scotland Yard said there was no legal basis for the request, but that people would get through barriers more quickly if they had the two forms of identification"

    So they're basically saying, we don't care what the law says, carry ID, or we'll inconvenience you.

    If they can get away with this once, how much do you want to bet that this will be a ploy on far more occasions and when they've gotten away with it on a large scale, a number of times, how much easier for them to start expecting people to carry ID all the time? Once you are able to hassle people for ID, they'll start carrying it and you start to wedge in an acceptance amongst the sheeple.

    Expect similar occasions of 'We know it's not legal, but it's going to be easier if you carry ID" in cities across the UK in the coming months.

    Still no V for Vendetta icon?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Compare verus the land registry

    Hypocricy alert Ding/Dong/Ding/Dong:

    So when one wants to steal a 500K house no ID is required and the government supports it outright. At the same time when wants to get home or to work in a "special area" two proofs of ID. WTF?

  29. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward


    Was this organized by the Master of Stair?

  30. kain preacher Silver badge


    But he did use the word "traveller" I believe the author made a typo when he typed traveling and left out an "l". Rarely have I ever seen a letter by an American that had the heading good day. Letters are more commonly started with the greeting hello in America .

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rozzers making new laws again.

    Vote these idiots out and bring the rozzers back within the bounds of Parliamentary control.

    There is nothing wrong with protesting. Protest is healthy in a functioning democracy.

  32. Geoff Mackenzie


    "If they have no legal right to stop you walking to your house and walking to your house is not suspicious activity so they have no right to conduct a search or stop you in any way, in which case people should just walk straight past the police and ignore their requests for ID"

    Unfortunately, I can't second your suggestion. They'll shoot you repeatedly in the face at point blank range without warning in a crowded confined space and claim you ran.

  33. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward


    In a half-century of life in the US, I don't remember ever hearing an American use the word "whilst".

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    spell chequer

    Sorry I got confused there thought I was reading the story about the twatter degreee

    Other miss steaks not attributeaible to misunderestmateing the spell chucker:-

    No comma after the "Therefore"

    two 'to's --> passengers intending to to make their way

    Anyone know where I can report a large group of men and wimin weraing wearing noticeable themed clothing, I think I have just spotted a group all weaing the same blue uniform...

    Oh! Hang on, I think I see a problem....

    Paris, even she can't spell gooder that what I got

  35. this

    @anthony - no legal basis

    This is much better. Control by inconvenience.

  36. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Black Helicopters

    One for the lawyers...

    Can the police be prosecuted for a breach of the peace? If they are obstructing the Queen's Highway (or whatever the archaic form of words is) and refuse to disperse, perhaps someone should read the Riot Act to them and then call out the troops.

    More seriously, they do seem to be positively *spoiling* for a fight. This can't be healthy.

  37. Jon Axtell
    Black Helicopters

    Hen/Stag parties

    It's common for a group of people to wear the same shirts, have the same logo, and be themed when they are going to a hen or stag do. They will also likely to make a group booking if going by train. Are such groups going to be banned also?

  38. Frank Seeger
    Paris Hilton

    A title is required

    "Any group bookings to London that day/s"

    Wow... that's really suspicious. Sherlock couldn't do a better job...

  39. Christoph Silver badge

    Very effective propaganda

    The police have managed to ensure that the protests are linked to terrorism and violence even if not one single act of violence happens (from the demonstrators of course - there will probably be several such acts by the police).

  40. Graham Marsden

    You don't have to give your name and address...

    ... Nor are Police allowed to hassle you or search you *because* you decline to give your name and address.

    And download a copy of Mark Thomas's "Don't waste my time" card from here.

    Meine Papier? Nein, mein Herr!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @One for the lawyers...

    "More seriously, they do seem to be positively *spoiling* for a fight. This can't be healthy"

    Why do you think they shipped London and other South East coppers up North during the miners strike?

  42. MinionZero

    ID Papers at civilian checkpoints in the UK? ... what?!

    ID Papers please ... What you think its a free country, I'm sorry, this is the UK, we don't accept protesting here. One more word out of you and you're nicked. Stand there, shut up and we will check your ID Papers. Then you will be free to go on your way ... (In other words you are not free now!).

    I was born in the UK, but sadly this isn't the same country I was born in.

    I would love to have known what someone like Churchill would have made of all of this. If you could have tried to describe all of this to him, I suspect he would have probably thought you were talking about early 1940s Germany.

    People in Germany in the early 1930s could see how their country was changing into a police state. They did nothing and then when it was getting to bad, they could do nothing to stop it. ... How long is everyone going to wait this time. (Because it is going to get ever worse, as there is no way to provide oposition to the ones in power and they don't want to listen ... its like a machine without feedback).

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The Irony

    Isn't it ironic that the police recently took a ballot regarding their right to protest (in the form of strike action) whilst at the same time appear to deny all other forms of protest made by the public?

  44. John Smith Gold badge

    Choice of name

    "Glencoe was the scene of the largest massacre of civilians in British history "

    Which either says a lot about the ignorance of history of senior Polic officers or a lot about their hopes for how this event will turn out.

    But here's a question. Will the plod be under the scrutiny of the London Police Authority (IE Bozzer Johnson) or her Wackiness the Home Secretary?

  45. Anonymous Coward

    @ac -What the hell is US English anyway?

    It's the better version of UK English; wanker.

  46. Andy Bright

    I see a big oops coming

    Anyone else see the huge flaw in the thinking behind this email? Apart from protesters heading to London, can anyone else tell me which groups of people wearing the same brightly coloured shirts, sporting the same logos, would be "traveling" to London this week?

    Let me me tweak your thought process.. which city sports a large number of football clubs and is, coincidentally, also hosting an England home qualifier on Wednesday?

    Can you also tell me what the most typical form of transportation is for these groups that often group book their tickets to the capital in advance?

    If you want to interfere with train loads of drunken football supporters, be my guest, but you have no one to blame but yourself when it takes a turn for the worse.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @How can the police use a law which does not exist?

    Who would stop them?

    It's like when Keith Vaz seems to know about private telephone calls, or any of them seem to know private info, you suspect that a rozzer has abused a RIPA and handed the info to them, but proving it is another thing entirely. You can't even be sure the RIPA has been recorded properly.

    By treating protestors as terrorists, that enables NETCU to misuse a load of nasty anti democracy laws.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    if they had the two forms of identification

    yes, an uzi in one hand and an ak47 in the other...and you thought us stupid 'merkins love our guns too much....ha ha ha ha ha

  49. Nebulo
    Black Helicopters

    Not entirely surprising though

    It's only a week or two since that front page headline in the Guardian that the police were "expecting" violent protest this summer. I can't be the only one who thought "Ah, right, police are *planning* a summer of aggro " - it looks like they're just getting in a bit of early practice.

    None of which excuses in the least degree what they're doing, of course, but WTF do they or their bosses care about that. Another nail in the coffin of our free society.

  50. jai

    noticable themed clothing

    like a suit, shirt and tie theme?

    there's hundreds like that on my train everyday! they must be some kind of sect - who do i report them too?


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