Unwavering support for ‘extremist’ groups

Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

George Monbiot is to be congratulated on his piece about the long history in the UK of attempts to associate peaceful protests with extremism or terrorism (Journal, 22 January).

Some years ago, as a Slough borough councillor, I led a successful campaign to prevent nuclear convoys travelling through the town regularly. As a consequence, two MI5 officers visited me twice. They indicated that I was under surveillance for “unacceptable activities”.

I have had recent discussions with counter-terrorist police and apparently I am a member of seven organisations that the home secretary, Priti Patel, and the police believe might harbour terrorists. They are all peaceful campaigning organisations: Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace, Peta, the League Against Cruel Sports, Cruelty Free International, the Hunt Saboteurs Association and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. I support them by donations, not physical involvement. As I am 97, I would no longer be an effective hunt saboteur.
Richard Stokes
Slough, Berkshire

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters

• Do you have a photo you’d like to share with Guardian readers? Click here to upload it and we’ll publish the best submissions in the letters spread of our print edition