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About Chris Abbott

Chris Abbott is the founder and executive director of Open Briefing, the world’s first civil-society intelligence agency. He is an honorary visiting research fellow in the School of Social and International Studies at the University of Bradford and the author of two popular books on security and politics.

Articles by Chris Abbott

This week’s front page editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Blowback: the failure of remote-control warfare

It all seemed so convenient: remote-control warfare would minimise military casualties while rendering the civilian dead invisible. But the battlefield has come home.

Trapped and beaten by police in Climate Camp

Media coverage of the G20 protests has focused almost entirely on the violence outside the Bank of England and, following the release of Guardian footage, the tragic death of Ian Tomlinson. Events at the Bishopsgate Climate Camp, which was cordoned off in an aggressive operation by riot police, went largely unreported by the BBC and other major media outlets. Most of the reporting has come from online sources (see Stuart White and Beth McGrath for example). Here we publish another eye-witness account of the aggressive police action.

Chris Abbott: I went down to the climate camp after work on Wednesday as I had heard that it was completely peaceful and I wanted to see what it was like. Unfortunately, I got trapped there when the police first charged and then penned everyone in early in the evening and none of us could get out (this was about 7.00-7.30pm). Footage of this is now on YouTube. During this first, entirely unprovoked, attack I lost my girlfriend in the crowd - but I later found out she was punched by a policeman while trying to stop another girl being trampled on after being knocked to the floor.

Once that had calmed down, my girlfriend and I found each other and were sat with others in front of the line of riot police on the south side of Bishopsgate. It was completely peaceful once again and we were even joking and talking with the police. We were there for a couple of hours when they suddenly charged again without any warning (this was about 9.30-10.00pm). We were still sat down and offered no resistance at all. My girlfriend was pressure pointed on the neck (extremely painful), dragged backwards off me and had both her wrists bent behind her back by two policemen who threatened to break them. They dragged her outside the police cordon and then said "what should we do with her now?" before the other said "let's throw her back in", which they did - head first, with her hands behind her back. She landed on the floor and has now got severe bruising on her legs (which we have photos of) and very painful wrists (which we actually thought might be broken).

Beyond terrorism: towards sustainable security

The nature and scale of the security threats facing the world make a radical shift of thinking about global security essential, says Chris Abbott.

The 'Blair doctrine' and after: five years of humanitarian intervention

Britain’s prime minister has justified wars over Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq by reference to humane motives rather than military interests. Five years since Tony Blair proposed the new doctrine of humanitarian intervention, how do his words and deeds compare?
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