On June 18th 1999 a car skidded across a road in the financial heart of London. As traffic was blocked thousands of anti capitalist protesters including Reclaim the Streets barged their way into various corporate buildings.
The J18 Carnival Against Global Capitalism according to George Monbiot ‘went well beyond non-violent protest. According to the police, 42 people were injured and over £1m of damage was done. One building was singled out: the London International Financial Futures Exchange (Liffe), where derivatives were traded. Though protesters entered the building at 1.40pm, the police did not arrive until 4.15pm.’
Jim Boyling’s car blockading the road
A man who was in that car was Detective Constable Andrew James ‘Jim’ Boyling – an undercover cop. In Monbiot’s Guardian article ‘He alleges that the same man helped organise a street party that went wrong and turned into the worst riot in London since the poll tax demonstrations.’
I filmed his car being pulled furiously away by cops (video still above) once they manage to break the steering lock.
‘After furious recriminations from the Lord Mayor and the people who ran the Liffe building, the City of London police conducted an inquiry. It admitted that their criticisms were justified, and that the police’s performance was “highly unsatisfactory”. The problem, it claimed, was that the police had no information about what the targets and plans of the protesters would be, and had no idea that Liffe was in the frame. The riot was “unforeseen”.
undercover cop Jim Boyling
Was it really unseen? The Met Police had a cop working undercover on organising the carnival and which buildings would be occupied.
Jordan was a member of “the logistics group that organised the tactics for J18. There were about 10 of us in the group and we met weekly for over six months.” Among the other members, he says, was Boyling. “The 10 of us … were the only people who knew the whole plan before the day itself and who had decided that the main target would be Liffe.”
A Reclaim the Streets activist John Jordan said Boyling who went undercover with the name of Jim Sutton ‘drove one of the two cars that were used to block the road to the building.’
Activists were furious when Sutton/Boyling ‘accidentally’ left the window open allowing six of his fellow cops to break the steering lock and push it out of the way.
Undercover cop Jim ‘Sutton’ Boyling
Monbiot lays it out
‘It is hard to think of a more serious allegation. For six months an undercover officer working for the Metropolitan police was instrumental in planning a major demonstration, which ended up causing injuries and serious damage to property. Yet the police appear to have failed to pass this intelligence to the City of London force, leaving the target of the protest unprotected.’