Police have carried out what is thought to be the biggest pre-emptive raid on environmental campaigners in UK history, arresting 114 people believed to be planning direct action at a coal-fired power station.Interestingly, notice that this was not done under anti-terror legislation, even though I rather think it could have been. This also addresses something I will say in the aforementioned terrorism comments, namely that anti-terror legislation can't be seen too much as a radical break from pre-existing law or some kind of 'creeping fascism'. Ordinary criminal law can and often has been used in such a way as to capture various forms of non-standard political opposition when this is percieved as particularly threatening. Conspiracy law is particularly relevant here as it was historically deployed so as to criminalise the formation of trade unions.
The arrests - for conspiracy to commit criminal damage and aggravated trespass - come amid growing concern among campaigners about increased police surveillance and groups being infiltrated by informers.
I think this is important to remember because some civil liberties type are insisting on seeing this anti-terrorism stuff as some kind of rupture as opposed to a contingent articulation and (perhaps) an intensification of an already existing trend.