(From Past Tense)
Past Tense are taking part with many others groups and individuals, in planning the following program of events for July 2018, celebrating 50 years of resistance since 1968, but specifically focussing on groups spied on by undercover police from units like the Special demonstration
Squad, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit and others...
There will be many '50 years since 1968' events this year - but one element we and others targetted by spycops are hoping to push high on the agenda is that it was the demos against the Vietnam War in March and October 1968, the size and combativity of which which caught the
Metropolitan Police on the hop, that led directly to the creation of the Special Demonstration Squad. The SDS and its successor units targetted thousands of UK activists in hundreds of groups, from peace campaigners to trade unionists, from anarchists to MPs, from the families of people
murdered by racists to environmentalists; they abused women, acted as agent provocateurs and passed information to blacklisters.
We hope people will support this event among the many others going on; but although this is initially called to take place in London, we would encourage everyone out there to also take part and hope people will be inspired to create your own spycop-related events; to include links to the repressive measures used against those of us fighting for social change in the debates, commemorations and discussions taking place in this important anniversary.
In particular, we encourage radical history groups and networks to get involved, either supporting the COPS event, or creating your own to coincide...
Spread the word!
Get in touch with past tense or the event email contact point below if you are interested.
One idea we are asking for help with: for the Sunday 8th event, we are putting together an exhibition of material from struggles, campaigns, movements of the last 50 years. This could include posters, leaflets, papers, magazines, pamphlets, books…
If you have anything you think we could use for this exhibition that we could borrow, please get in touch with us. We would return any items to you after the event.
1968-2018: A Celebration of 50 years of Resistance, Campaigning and Alternatives for A Better World - despite 50 years of police opposition, spying and repression
Sat 7th / Sun 8th July 2018
Sat 7th: Anniversary Roll Call / Commemoration / Celebration in Grosvenor Square, London W1 @ 1pm - 3pm
Sun 8th: London Conference and Exhibition
This will include meetings/discussions: including 5 discussions based on events and struggles of five decades since 1968, a discussion of a People’s Public Inquiry into pilice spying, and a workshop on spycops with Undercover Research Group.
Reel News will be showing films.
There will be space for some shared stalls, and a Parents/kids room.
|Well-known spycop at work (right), from "Undercover" by Rob Evans|
MOVEMENTS FOR A BETTER WORLD GROW - POLICE REACT WITH REPRESSIVE TACTICS
In 1968, following demonstrations against the Vietnam War in London's
Grosvenor Square, the police set up a Special Demonstration Squad (SDS).
Since that time, 50 years ago, over 1,000 groups campaigning in the UK
for a better world have been spied on, infiltrated and targeted by
political policing. Their protests and demonstrations are also subjected
to ongoing police opposition and control to try to limit their
This targeting has included groups campaigning for equality, justice,
the environment and international solidarity, for rights for women,
LGBTQ, workers and for animals, for community empowerment, and those
campaigning against war, racism, sexism, corporate power, legal
repression and police oppression and brutality. Such groups have
represented many millions of people throughout the UK who want to make
the world a better, fairer and more sustainable place for everyone.
Yet almost any group of any kind that stood up to make a positive
difference has been or could have potentially been a target for secret
political policing. We now know this because of campaigners' recent
efforts to expose and challenge the SDS and other similar secret units,
and their shocking and unacceptable tactics. Individuals within those
campaign groups have been spied on, subjected to intrusions in their
personal lives, been victims of miscarriages of justice, and many
deceived into intimate and abusive relationships with secret police, ie
people that who were not who they said they were. In July 2015 we
succeeded in forcing Theresa May (now Prime Minister) to set up the
current Undercover Policing Public Inquiry, which was tasked with
getting to the truth by July 2018, and insisting on action to prevent
police wrong-doing in future. Now, 3 years on, the public inquiry has
achieved very little due to police obstruction.
When the SDS was formed they stated that they would 'shut down' the
movements they were spying on. But despite disgusting police tactics,
movements for positive change are still here and growing, and have had
many successes on the way.
CELEBRATE 50 YEARS OF CAMPAIGNS AND STRUGGLES, RESILIENCE AND SUCCESSES
This planned two-day event in London, backed up by a call for a week of
actions all around the UK, is in support of those campaigning for full
exposure and effective action at the Undercover Policing Inquiry, and
against police attempts to delay and undermine it. We aim to encourage
more groups to find out about the Inquiry and how they can get involved
and support each other, and to unite the many different groups and
organisations who have been victims of our police state because of their
efforts to improve society.
Backed by the Campaign to Oppose Police Surveillance [C.O.P.S.] -www.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
SIGN UP FOR GROUPS TO SUPPORT THIS PROPOSAL
YES we broadly support the proposal. Please add our name to the list of
Name of organisation ........................
Name of contact/rep .................. Position in group
Contact details: Email: ..............................
___ Attend the Grosvenor Square Rally
___ Publicise the event(s)
___ Identify/loan/donate a 'historic' item for the exhibition
___ Organise a local celebration/commemoration event that week, and let
you know the details when finalised
___ Help with planning the London event(s)
• Affiliate to the C.O.P.S campaign yourself here:
• Donate to the C.O.P.S campaign yourself here. (you can add a note
specifying its for 50 yrs events if you wish): https://www.paypal.com/donate/
• Subscribe to the C.O.P.S. campaign newsletter yourself herehttp://
• Solidarity and thanks from the 50yrs events planning group!
Return form to: firstname.lastname@example.org