WHEN: Thursday 21 January, 6.30-8.30 p.m.
WHERE: Diskus Room, Unite the Union, 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8TN
As the scandal of Britain’s political secret police continues to grow, and with a full scale public inquiry imminent, come and hear from those who were targeted by spycops and are leading the fight for justice.
On Thursday 21 January COPS are hosting a public meeting in London.
On the panel are:
The first UK public talk by this social justice activist who was deceived into a long-term relationship by undercover officer Mark Kennedy.
Wilson is one of eight women who collectively took legal action against the police. In doing so they demonstrated that these were not ‘rogue officers’, but the similarity of their experiences proves that what happened to them was accepted strategy.
Their tenacity forced the Met to issue an extraordinary apology in November. Wilson’s case continues.
Tireless campaigner for justice for her brother Christopher who was killed by police in 1999. Despite the inquest’s finding of unlawful killing, no officers were convicted.
Christopher’s body was subjected to a series of indignities, police admit to repeatedly spying on her and attempting to spy on her lawyer, they snooped into her past to smear her, and despite all this she has been denied ‘core participant’ status at the public inquiry.
A key figure in numerous black community and family justice campaigns, formerly co-ordinator of the Broadwater Farm Defence Campaign, Scott is now race advocacy officer at the Monitoring Group.
The exposure of undercover police adds a new sinister dimension to the state repression he has devoted himself to opposing, with campaigns being infiltrated and undermined by officers.
A human rights lawyer at Bindmans, Carey represents many of the people targeted by spycops.
His clients include Jacqui, the first case the Met settled with a woman deceived into a relationship by an undercover officer, and other similar clients whose cases are ongoing.
He also represents Barbara Shaw, mother of a dead child whose identity was stolen by an undercover police officer.
Chair: The meeting will be chaired by Lois Austin, ex chair of Youth Against Racism in Europe, who were also infiltrated by undercover police.
There will be plenty of time for questions from the floor.
SPYCOPS: TWO DEMOS THIS FRIDAY
On 15 January 1990, smoke was seen rising from the Stasi HQ in Berlin as officers desperately tried to destroy the evidence of their abuses. Citizens stormed the building, stopped the destruction and, for the first time, saw the files that showed the scale and depth of what the political secret police had been doing to them.
Twenty-six years later, this anniversary highlights that political policing and spying affects us, here, now…
Picket New Scotland Yard,
Friday 21st January, 2016
9.30 – 10.30
to demand that the Metropolitan Police STOP SHREDDING THE FILES
It was revealed this week, by a police whistleblower, that Special Branch destroyed a number of files they held on Green Party member of the Greater London Assembly and House of Lords, Jenny Jones – immediately AFTER she had met with National Domestic Extremist and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU) bosses to request (under data protection laws) to see the files they had on her.
The upcoming Public Inquiry into undercover policing was ordered in the wake of the revelations that Special Branch spied on not only campaigners and activists, but the family of Stephen Lawrence, other families of racist murder victims and even MPs. As well as abusing women, acting as agent provocateurs, and committing miscarriages of justice.
What justice can people can expect from this Inquiry, when the police are destroying the evidence of who they targeted and what ‘data’ they held…?
Join some of those spied upon to protest and demand that this cover-up is halted.
New Scotland Yard
8-10 Broadway. Westminster. London. SW1H 0BG
nearest tube: St James’ Park.
Solidarity Demo at the High Court
January 15 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London, WC2
nearest tube: Holborn or Temple.
On 15 January 2016 the High Court holds the latest hearing in the case of Kate Wilson, a social justice activist who was deceived into a long term relationship by undercover officer Mark Kennedy. More than four years in, the police are still obstructing her fight for truth and justice.
But it’s about more than Wilson. The other women who have received an apology from the Met have received little in the way of answers.
Beyond that, all the information about spycops comes from the 12 exposed officers, less than 10% of the total deployed since the Special Demonstration Squad was founded in 1968.
The only way we will ever get the truth is if those who were spied on can tell the stories of what was done by officers they knew. The only way that can happen is if they are told they were spied on.
The police must release all the ‘cover names’ of officers from the disgraced politcal policing units, and the list of groups targeted as well. Those who were spied on must be given access to their full files so they can judge for themselves what was done.
Police Spies Out of Lives, the group of Wilson and the seven women who got the recent police apology, have issued a statement and called a demo outside the High Court on the day of the hearing, remembering what was done by people power against the Stasi, and anticipating what will be done against the Stasi tactics used by the Met.
“The lessons from Germany during the fall of the GDR are clear: legal processes, courts, and government inquiries alone cannot be trusted to uncover the truth. It took direct action and pressure from the grassroots to forcibly expose the abuses of the Stasi. Today, as the court decides how to proceed over the question of disclosure in this case, we remember the bravery and conviction of the people of the GDR; and to the police and the Pitchford inquiry we have this message: enough is enough, it is time to release the cover names and open the files.”
Background: Solidarity demo: Friday 15 January 2016, 1p.m., High Court, London
in support of Police Spies Out of Lives
• The latest court hearing will see renewed pressure on police re disclosure in legal case
• 15 January is anniversary of dramatic Stasi secret files events of 1990
• SDS officers themselves knew “that will be us one day”
• women issue advance statement concerning the anniversary and hearing: https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/statement-stasi-anniv/
On Friday 15th January 2016 a legal case over undercover police relationships will return to the High Court, in a renewed battle to force the police to follow normal court procedure and issue disclosure documents in the case.
The date of the hearing comes two months since the historic apology issued by the Metropolitan Police, after which calls began for officers’ cover names to be released, so that others affected may know the truth about disruption to their lives.
The hearing also coincidentally takes place on the anniversary of occupation of the Stasi HQ in Berlin. The occupation led to files being protected and opened to those who had been spied upon. It is understood that in the UK in 1994, SDS officers, when viewing coverage about the Stasi files, predicted to each other “this is going to happen to us one day”.
The group of eight women issued a statement ahead of the hearing and anniversary, in which they said:
“Despite the apology and very public settlement of seven of our eight claims, the police have so far refused to disclose any information to any of us about the files held on us, the extent of the intrusion into our lives, or the motivations behind the abusive police operations we were subjected to.”
Kate Wilson, who’s ongoing case will be the subject of the hearing, added:
“I would like to see the true nature of Britain’s political policing fully exposed, and I believe everyone affected by these abusive undercover units should be given free access to their files.”
Key background links:
1. The hearing on 15 January will be a case management conference to clarify the timetable for disclosure and related matters. Previous hearings have sought to ensure the Met follows normal court procedure:
– Police climb down and withdraw ‘strike-out’ application March 2014: https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/press-release-metropolitan-police-climb-down-in-undercover-case/
– Women issue legal challenge to NCND in court June 2014: https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/5-6june-sds-ncnd/
– Partial NCND victory Aug 2014: https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/met-confirm-foll-lgl-chall-by-women/
2. The claims arise from the deception of women into long-term intimate relationships by five police officers who had infiltrated social and environmental justice campaigns. The common law claims relating to the 15 January hearing include deceit, assault, misfeasance in public office and negligence.
3. As part of an out-of-court settlement for seven out of the eight claims, the Met police issued a comprehensive apology in November 2015 – their first admission that the relationships had taken place and had caused significant damage. Kate Wilson’s case continues, as do other civil cases being brought against the police over undercover policing. A public inquiry has also been launched.
4. The eight women bringing this legal action are doing so to highlight and prevent the continuation of psychological, emotional and sexual abuse of campaigners and others by undercover police officers. ‘We come from different backgrounds and have a range of political beliefs and interests, and we are united in believing that every woman, and every person, has a right to participate in the struggle for social and environmental justice, without fear of persecution, objectification, or interference in their lives.’ – from ‘Where we stand’ Statement.
5. For how the SDS officers viewed the events surrounding the Stasi files, see https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/sds-happen-to-us/
Based on research by the Undercover Research Group:
Another #spycop exposed: Carlo Neri confirmed as an undercover...
18th January 2016 in BBC Newsnight 22.30 UK [missed it but there's iPlayer]
*Undercover policeman proposed to activist*
By Richard Watson & Maria Polachowska
and Rob Evans in the Guardian of course!
Woman who was engaged to police spy sues Met over 'psychological torture'