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Who is Paul Lamarra?


There is a journalist by the name of Paul Lamarra who writes for the Sunday Times. One example of his work is Anarchist 'gallows' to disrupt G8 which was published in the 2005-05-29 edition of the paper. Here is how he describes himself in the article (in the third person for some reason):

A Sunday Times reporter, posing as a maths teacher and an environmental activist, attended the two-day meeting after he infiltrated Glasgow Reshape, an anarchist organisation affiliated to Dissent. He also attended a training weekend held in Glasgow in February and a military-style camp in Lanarkshire in April.

In this article Mr Lamarra claims to have learned about plans for violent or unlawful action targeting the G8 Summit. The average person reading the article might well be outraged by some of the actions being planned. I myself was shocked by what I read, but for a quite different reason.

The thing is, I was present at the Dissent! Organising Gathering in Nottingham from 2005-05-20 to 2005-05-22 and was involved in some of the same discussions as Mr Lamarra. This was before he "broke cover" and I was not aware that there was a Murdoch minion present. What shocked me were the serious factual errors in his article.

At this point I do not want to deal with specifics since I have far more important things to be doing with my time, but I felt the need to put out a general warning. So what I will do is give an idea of the "method" Mr Lamarra uses. Let us imagine that there is a group of activists standing around during a break between sessions, drinking tea and having a laugh. Someone says "What is the point of all this, they are going to have their summit anyway and go back to business as usual?" and someone replies "Yeah, we should just drop a bomb on the place and get rid of the lot of them!". Now any normal person with a sense of humour would take that exchange for what it was - light hearted banter. It happens all the time. But Mr Lamarra does not seem to me to be a normal person. He goes home and writes an article which states that he has "uncovered evidence of an Anarchist plot to bomb the Gleneagles Hotel during the G8 Summit".

So what explanation can we give for his apparent deceit? Perhaps he is suffering from some sort of extreme paranoia which distorts reality and causes him to perceive sinister plots where none exist (I myself have once experienced such a condition during a bad mushroom trip). This would be the most generous explanation and if it is the case then I would advise Mr Lamarra to seek professional help. The other possibilities are more disturbing. One is that he needs to make his articles sensational in order to advance his journalistic career and that if that requires "making shit up" then so be it. Another possibility is that he has an agenda to discredit the Dissent! network and/or create distrust within it and that the truth is subservient to this goal.

But enough speculation, the important thing to come out of this is that it would be extremely unwise to believe anything written by Paul Lamarra. But then what do expect if you are reading a Murdoch rag?

I should make it clear that it is of course possible that there are people planning violent or unlawful protest during the G8 Summit. However, I have not seen or heard anything which would substantiate that allegation, and nor would I expect to at an open, publicly advertised meeting such as the one in which I crossed paths with Paul Lamarra.

www.zenatode.org.uk Ian Gregory 2010