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End #Spycops Secrecy – London demo Tuesday 22 March

End the #spycops secrecy – make the Public Inquiry PUBLIC
Neither Confirm Nor Deny = Neither Truth Nor Justice
Release the Names, Open the Files

Solidarity Demo: Tuesday 22 March 9am-10am
Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London WC2 (Holborn or Temple tube)

The Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing will be holding a preliminary hearing to determine how the inquiry will be conducted. Police authorities have asked ask the public inquiry to keep some evidence secret, and to uphold the police’s shameful ‘neither confirm nor deny‘ policy.
In contrast, those who are fighting back against police undercover abuses and their legal teams will be arguing that the public inquiry must exactly that: public.
Join the demo outside the Royal Courts of Justice. Spread the word.

The Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing is going to make a ruling on disclosure of evidence and protection of identity.
The police – supported by the Home Office and Cabinet Office – have said they want to have large parts of this “public” inquiry held in secret and intend to use their “Neither Confirm Nor Deny” approach.

This has been a tool they have used to obstruct the fight for truth from women who were deceived into relationships by undercover officers. They only invented this hardline policy six months after the women launched their legal case.

It is the police characteristically failing to admit wrongdoing, let alone sanction those who did it. It results in the absurdity of police refusing to confirm whether people like Mark Kennedy and Bob Lambert were ever undercover officers, even after the Metropolitan Police have admitted some of them were, in the press, and apologised to women targetted by these officers and others.

We only have details on 14 officers from Britain’s political secret police – 90% of them are still unknown. The only way we will know what those officers did is if the people they spied on tell their stories and, in turn, the only way for that to happen is if they are told they were targeted.
The inquiry cannot be credible if it hides 90% of the truth. It must release the names of officers. Those who were spied on should see their files to discover what took place and why, rather than take the word of the liars who abused them.

The inquiry has designated 179 people targeted by the 14 known officers as ‘core participants’, and 133 of them have called for the release of the officers’ cover names. For many, this issue is the test of whether the Inquiry is serious or a whitewash.
There will be a demonstration outside the High Court at 9am on Tuesday 22nd March, ahead of the first day of the Pitchford Inquiry’s hearing. Let’s make it clear; without truth there cannot be justice. WE URGE EVERYONE WHO CAN GET DOWN THERE TO SUPPORT THIS DEMO: THIS IS AN IMPORTANT MOMENT TO MAKE IT CLEAR TO THE JUDGE THAT THIS INQUIRY CANNOT BE A WHITEWASH.

A briefing by Police Spies Out of Lives on the police’s submission to the inquiry regarding restricting information can be read here

… and a contrasting submission on behalf of Non State Core participants, ie the individuals and campaigning groups targetted by the undercovers, can be read here.

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Stop political policing – Former spycop John Dines still exporting discredited tactics

In the last 5 years campaigners, journalists and whistleblowers have brought to light the shocking tactics of political undercover policing in the UK. Tactics used by police units spying on environmental and social justice campaigns include officers deceiving women into intimate relationships while undercover; fathering children with political activists; spying on the grieving families and friends of victims of racist murders or police malpractice, passing information to private companies responsible for blacklisting of trade unionists, deceiving the Courts leading to miscarriages of justice and stealing the identities of children who have died. These shocking revelations have culminated in the Home Secretary announcing a Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing, which is now in its preliminary stages.

This week it was revealed that former UK political police spy John Dines, who was part of the widely discredited Special Demonstration Squad, now works at an Australian police training school and is course director for a training program for Indian police officers, which includes training in ‘emerging challenges, viz, Left Wing Extremist and other low-intensity conflicts’.

‘Left wing Extremist’ and it’s counterpart ‘Domestic Extremist’ are widely used but never properly defined phrases trotted out on behalf of the rich and powerful in order to discredit their opponents and discourage opposition to the status quo. They encompass pretty much anyone who challenges oppression or injustice or the assumption that making money is more important than people’s lives or the state of the planet.

John Dines infiltrated London Greenpeace between 1987 and 1991 and during that time deceived campaigner Helen Steel into a two year relationship before disappearing claiming he was suffering from a mental breakdown. Helen then spent

years trying to find out what had happened to her partner before discovering that the name he had been using was actually that of a child who had died 8 years old. As she continued her search to find out who he was and why he had been in her life, the Metropolitan Police arranged for him to be resettled in Australia to prevent her from finding him.

For the past five years, Dines has been working at the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, which is part of Charles Sturt University and he currently directs training courses for police officers. On 6th March after tracking him down, Helen confronted him at Sydney Airport where he was meeting a delegation of Indian Police Officers arriving for training. He apologised for his conduct towards her, however he still remains in a position where he has the potential to encourage further abuse via political policing.

This is not the only example of officers who have committed serious human rights abuses being involved in training other police officers. Earlier this year Bob Lambert was forced to resign after a campaign to have him removed from his teaching positions at the John Grieve school of policing at London Met University, and at St Andrew’s University. During his time in the SDS Bob Lambert had deceptive relationships with four women and even fathered and then abandoned a child while undercover, before going on to head the unit.

The John Grieve school of policing states on its website that it provides training to police forces in other countries, including countries such as Turkey, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia and China where there are widespread concerns about oppression of political campaigners.

In November the Metropolitan Police issued a public apology to women who had been deceived into relationships with undercover police officers, for what the police acknowledged were serious human rights abuses. The Met stated that these tactics should never be used again. We need to ensure that officers from these discredited units do not perpetuate or encourage similar abuses on political movements here or in other countries.

The Metropolitan Police has a responsibility to notify former officers and police /security training colleges that the tactics used by these political undercover units are unacceptable and should not be used again here or abroad.

For more information on the undercover policing scandals see:

http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/

https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/undercover-police-and-policing

<a href="http://undercoverresearch.net/“>http://undercoverresearch.net/

Join the picket of New Scotland Yard Weds 9 March 4pm in solidarity with Helen and all targets of spy cops.

Join pickets against spycops Wednesday 9th March

On Wednesday 8th March there will be two pickets relating to ongoing police attitudes to undercover police spying on campaigning groups, and exporting surveillance and repression techniques around the world.

1. Emergency picket of New Scotland Yard, Weds 9 March, 4-5pm, protesting spy cops actions, and demanding Met abandon policy of Neither Confirming Nor Denying whether an individual was or wasn’t a police officer.. A policy designed to frustrate all those fighting to discover how they have been targetted, exploited for sex, and covertly monitored.
The reason we are doing this at this time is as a solidarity action with events on this issue taking places elsewhere: there will be some news breaking related to former spycop that day.
Please pass on if you can’t attend.

New Scotland Yard, 8-10 Broadway, London SW1H 0BG

Called by Islington against Police Spies

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2. 5pm same day: Netpol demo at Home Office, protesting the Security & Policing event.

Home Office
2 Marsham Street, London London, SW1P 4DF

Join a mass demonstration outside the Home Office to demand an end to their secretive ‘Security and Policing 2016’ event happening this March in Farnborough.

We’ll start at 5pm sharp to make sure we are there when Home Office staff are leaving for the day. We’ll be sharing stories of state repression and militarised policing from people who have been impacted in different ways. At 5.45pm we will have a vigil and lay candles and symbols in tribute to victims of state repression and militarised policing.

Confirmed speakers (will be updated):
– London Mexico Solidarity: the UK’s role in arming Mexico and the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa
– Bahraini survivor of torture and detention

About ‘Security and Policing 2016’

Behind closed doors, the Home Office is hosting a three day shopping spree. Governments, police forces and military delegations from around the world can buy all the necessary equipment to support violent militarised policing, aggressive border controls and oppressive surveillance operations.

Organised far from London, it provides a “discreet environment” for hundreds of companies who want to “display products which would be too sensitive to show in a more open environment”. Companies such as Serco who make a fat profit from the inhumane detention of thousands of refugees in centres like Yarls Wood; or weapons companies like BAE systems whose business is dependent on human suffering and continuous wars.

The heavy policing of borders, militarisation of police, increased surveillance of civilians and high military spending do not improve security and they do not make any of us safer. They make the world a more dangerous place and we need to resist all of it.

#TheyDontMakeUsSafer

Organising groups:
Stop the Arms Fair
Network for Police Monitoring
Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants
Campaign Against Arms Trade

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.

http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/

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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.”

https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/

Solidarity demo: Friday 15 January 2016, High Court, London

another action in the long campaign against police spying on activists…

Solidarity demo: Friday 15 January 2016, 1pm, 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 coincidently 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/

6. A solidarity demo will be held on 15 January.

Voices of the Spied On – Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance Public Meeting

public meeting poster 3

Voices of the Spied On – COPS Public Meeting

WHEN: Thursday 21 January, 6.30-8.30pm

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:
Kate Wilson
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.

Janet Alder
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.

Stafford Scott

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.

Jules Carey
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.

FREE ADMISSION

There will be plenty of time for questions from the floor.

http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1151590728184461/

‘Blacklisted’ book event

ALthough Bob Lambert has resigned from London Met… The investigation into undercover policing and the campaign to hold the spies and police and wider state generally to account continues…

One upcoming event next week might be interesting:

‘Blacklisted’ book event
January 13 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm | £3

at Housmans Bookshop,
5 Caledonian Road
London, N1 9DX
Phone:
020 7837 4473
Website:
http://www.housmans.com/index.php

£3 entry fee is redeemable against a copy of the book.

‘Blacklisted’, by Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain, tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies resorted to in their attempt to keep union activists away from their places of work. This is a story of a bitter struggle, in which collusion with the police and security services resulted in victimization, violence and unemployment, with terrible effects on families and communities.

Bob Lambert was head of the Special Demonstration Squad when evidence gathered from spying on trade unionists was ‘mysteriously’ passed somehow to private blacklisting firms…

Come along and here part of this amazing story…

http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/event/blacklisted-book-event/