20 thoughts on “British secret police spying on work safety activists

  1. Monday 18th April 2016

    posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

    EFFORTS to drag undercover policing into the spotlight have been set back over the past year, John McDonnell warned this weekend.

    The shadow chancellor said he hoped the upcoming Pitchford inquiry would address the “opacity” of covert police operations along with the “lack of democratic control.”

    But he said police chiefs had treated him with “contempt” when he raised concerns about surveillance.

    Mr McDonnell is involved in the campaign to secure justice for Ricky Reel, a 20-year-old constituent of his found dead in the Thames hours after being attacked by a racist gang in 1997.

    Police argue the death was likely an accident — but Mr Reel’s family say he was murdered, and that officers failed to listen to their concerns because they were Asian.

    In 2014 it emerged that Mr Reel’s family had been spied on by the Met’s Special Demonstration Squad.

    Mr McDonnell said police had told him that their surveillance of his own activities was “simply collateral intrusion” as a result of surveillance of other members of the campaign.

    He told campaigners at a conference on undercover policing at London South Bank University on Saturday: “There was a real irony that here we were, desperate for policing resources to investigate the case, and the policing resources that were being applied were actually for surveillance of what we were doing.”

    He said he had hoped for greater disclosure on the case from the Met last year, but that officers had presented him with heavily-redacted documents showing “one word per page” and which he was not allowed take outside Scotland Yard.

    “So rather than going forward … we’ve actually gone back,” he said.

    “I think we were treated, to be frank — and I don’t say this lightly — I think we were treated with contempt,” he said.

    Speaking at the same conference on Sunday, Mr Reel’s mother Sukhdev Reel said that inquiry chairman Christopher Pitchford “needs to open his eyes, his ears, his mouth and his heart, and he needs to recognise the damage done people like us.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-ff73-John-McDonnell-refuses-to-back-down-in-fight-for-justice-for-Ricky-Reel#.VxUUKnra44A

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  3. Wednesday, 4 May 2016

    NO PROTECTION FOR POLICE SPIES

    CRUCIAL parts of an inquiry into undercover police spies who spent years embedded in political movements are to be heard in secret in order to protect the state, it emerged yesterday.

    ‘It seems they spy on anybody who is challenging the status quo or capitalism,’ victim of police infiltration Helen Steel said yesterday. Steel is part of a group of eight woman who launched a legal action over unwitting relationships they had with police spies.

    One of the spies even fathered a child on one of the eight women. The police spies assumed the identities of dead children to become leading members of left wing groups. The women fear that the Pitchford Inquiry, a public inquiry set up to investigate the police spying scandal, will be a whitewash.

    Steel said: ‘These are serious human rights abuses being committed for a very long time, and if all the evidence is heard in secret we are not going to get to the truth and prevent these abuses again.

    ‘The Metropolitan Police applied to have all of their evidence heard in secret to keep back details of their undercover operations. The evidence would only be seen by a judge and the police. So it would be a completely one-sided inquiry.

    ‘As with Hillsborough last week, when you have the police in control of the evidence you end up with a coverup. The evidence needs to be out in the open about why these human rights abuses were allowed to happen.’

    Speaking about the relationship with the man that Steel knew as John Barker, but who in fact was John Dynes an undercover police officer, Steel said: ‘I’d got to know John over the course of three years, and we started a relationship, lived to gether, talked about spending our lives together, and having children . . . and then he seemed to be going through some sort of mental breakdown and disappeared.

    ‘This is not about individual rogue officers. There were eight women who had relationships with five officers over a period spanning nearly 25 years, and are currently in the legal system. This is absolutely about an institutional practice.’

    She concluded: ‘All of this needs to come out in the open, and if the police get their way and it is held in secret, then there will be little point in this public inquiry.’

    http://wrp.org.uk/news/12069

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  4. Wednesday, 4 May 2016

    No gagging of Pitchford Inquiry into police spies and police provocateurs!

    THE Pitchford Inquiry into police undercover operations directed against various protest movements – trades unions, political movements and MPs – is to be gagged on behalf of the government and the capitalist state after police demands that crucial parts of it be heard in private.

    What has emerged is that police officers were organised to join different protest groups, to take leading roles in them, urging fellow members of those groups to take illegal actions, and, as cover, were encouraged to marry a member of these groups, have families and to live together as loving couples.

    This is until the day that they were redeployed, when they walked out of the families that they had created, leaving wives and children in shock and then acute distress about their unexplained desertion for years, until the truth began to emerge of who their partners or fathers really were.

    The police have applied for sweeping legal orders to have large parts of the judge-led public inquiry held in private. They have made this request to try to prevent the truth that the British ruling class maintains an army of police spies and provocateurs to spy on the workers movement and protest movements, and that these spies routinely break any number of laws on behalf of the state.

    The Metropolitan Police are arguing that significant portions of the inquiry must sit in secret in order to protect the undercover officers who have infiltrated hundreds of political groups.

    In a detailed legal submission made in February, the Met said it wanted to be clear ‘at the outset’ that it would be ‘applying for much of the detail of past or current deployments’ to be considered in the absence of the general public and those who were spied upon.

    Five barristers hired by the Metropolitan Police said it is likely that ‘in the overwhelming majority of instances’ the Met are to argue that ‘the fact of, or details of an undercover police deployment’ must not be disclosed in the open sessions of the Inquiry. Nothing that identifies an undercover officer should be made public, they added.

    They are desperately keen to protect their state apparatus of spies and provocateurs and their illegal activities. Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Stephen’s mother, has already called for the undercover officers who embedded themselves in political campaigns and spied on her family to be named.

    A majority of those monitored by the police, who are taking part in Pitchford’s Inquiry, are pressing for the publication of the fake names of the undercover officers and the groups they infiltrated to be published.

    Helen Steel, a social justice campaigner who was deceived into a two-year relationship with undercover spy John Dines, said: ‘The inquiry was set up to investigate human rights abuses by undercover officers. How can anyone have any faith in it if it is held in secret? Why should those who committed the abuses be protected above those who suffered the abuses?’

    In the legal submission published last week, the Met’s barristers said: ‘Undercover police officers and their families are likely to face real harm if anything is disclosed that tends to identify them, and will suffer the unfairness of losing a lifelong expectation that their roles would not be made public’. They say that this harm could range from revenge attacks to ‘social ostracisation’ and ‘subjective fears leading to serious emotional unhappiness’.

    After the Hillsbrough inquest verdict, and the campaign for an inquiry into the violent police foot and mounted attack on the miners and the NUM at Orgreave, the state has clearly a lot to hide and answer for. There are a number of questions that must be heard and answered publicly. Some of them are: How and why did officers have relationships with women? How many did so? Why did they use the names of dead children as part of their cover? How many miscarriages of justice have they been involved in? Which MPs and trade unionists have been and are being monitored? Did they infiltrate campaigns such as the fight by Stephen Lawrence’s family?

    http://wrp.org.uk/news/12067

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