Updated: Apr 20, 2020
A document produced by the UK Counter Terrorism Policing details groups, logos and branding in an attempt to highlight potential safeguarding concerns among children.
Children and young people nowadays are more susceptible to exploitation than ever before, and it is not uncommon to find young people researching and becoming engaged with material that is extreme.
Teachers and medical staff have been provided with a document highlighting different companies and their logos in an attempt to highlight extremist and terrorist groups. The documents include Cultural Nationalist Groups such as Britain First and White Supremacist Groups including; N2131 and Soldiers of Odin. Accompanied with these groups are their representative symbols such as the Swastika, the Tree of Life and the Wolfs Hook.
The document also highlights tattoos that incorporate branding, slogans, and numbers that may be associated with
the groups. This document is designed to highlight and educate safeguarding workers on typical symbols to look out for where concern for a young person's welfare may be in jeopardy.
Following these initial pages, the next section is titled Animal Rights and Environmental Signs and Symbols Aid, showing the logos for companies such as Greenpeace, Surge, Extinction Rebellion, and PETA.
It is extremely detrimental to the plight against terrorism and the encouragement for environmental awareness to brand companies such as Surge with that of Neo-Nazi groups
Spokespeople for the environmental groups offered their disappointed responses to the submission of the document;
Peta’s director, Elisa Allen, said: “This appears to be a sinister attempt to quash legitimate campaigning organisations – something that is as dangerous as it is undemocratic.”
It is highlighted in the accompanying guide that not all of these groups are 'extremist' suggesting mostly to those under the Environmental header.
Whilst it is evident that more and more young people are joining the protest and taking action towards environmental awareness, following the likes of Greta Thunberg, the moral foundation of the groups must be recognised as being positive, and peaceful.
It is important to stress that many groups post material that young viewers may find disturbing, such as those inside slaughterhouses, however, it is equally as important to detail this completely in the document, and highlight only those companies known to post such material. When submitted to teachers and medical staff, on quick review it is not obvious that there is any considered difference between Greenpeace and the Left or Right Groups.
The guide, produced by Counter Terrorism Policing, is used across England as part of training for Prevent, which is the anti-radicalisation scheme designed to catch those at risk of committing terrorist violence.
It is vitally important now more than ever, that an interest in the environment is encouraged and this document whether intentionally or not, brands those working to protect our Earth, as terrorists.
The Document is available below.
The symbols document can be downloaded here
Clare Collier, advocacy director at Liberty, said the latest document was evidence that peaceful protest was under threat. “We have long warned that the government’s counter-terror agenda is one of the greatest threats to free speech in the UK. If you are passionate about anything from climate change to social justice or fighting racism in the UK today you risk being labelled extremist and your details being passed to the police."
“The UK’s counter-terror measures are designed to co-opt public sector workers like teachers to spy on young people in their care – this guide will only add to the confusion and pressures they face. It also reinforces long held concerns that the government’s staggeringly broad definition of extremism gives the police cover to characterise non-violent political activity as a threat, and monitor and control any community they wish.” - (The Guardian, 2020)
Thanks for reading,
The Climate Corner