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Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/17696

Posted on 6 November 2013 at 14:00 GMT

Campaign for a public inquiry on undercover policing

The following letter initiated by the Haldane Society was signed by the Socialist Party:

We the undersigned are a mixture of individuals, organisations and lawyers affected by undercover police operations or representing people who believe that they have been the targets of undercover policing.

In June this year the public reacted with shock and outrage to revelations that undercover police surveillance was used against members of Stephen Lawrence's family, to find "dirt" that could discredit them.

This is yet another revelation about the nature and extent of secret policing in Britain, showing decades long spying on and interference with political movements and campaigns.

In addition to efforts to spy upon or smear people such as the Lawrence family who have lost loved ones, particular disgust has been expressed at the gross intrusion of undercover officers forming intimate sexual relationships with some of those upon whom they were spying; at the use of the identities of dead children to obtain cover; and at police links with the blacklisting of trade union members.

It has also become apparent that many criminal convictions have been rendered unsafe as a result of misconduct by the police and prosecutors.

We have no faith in Operation Herne nor any of the up to 16 often secret, internal police or prosecutor reviews.

They are not sufficiently transparent, robust or independent to satisfy public concern and they do not come close to addressing all of the issues raised.

The public is entitled to know what has been going on in their name and paid for by their taxes. We therefore call for an independent public inquiry into all the revelations that undercover policing has been used against political protest and campaigns.

This inquiry must have full powers to compel police officers to give evidence. Such political policing has no place in a democratic society and a mechanism must be found to ensure that such unjustified conduct does not continue into the future.

Tamsin Allen, Mike Schwarz, Bindmans Solicitors
Lois Austin
Raju Bhatt, Bhatt Murphy Solicitors
Blacklist Support Group
Ruth Bundey, Harrison Bundey Solicitors
Jules Carey, Marian Ellingworth, Tuckers Solicitors
Louise Christian, Christian Khan Solicitors
Deborah Coles and Helen Shaw, Co-Directors INQUEST
Liz Davies, Chair, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Claire Dissington, Anti Nazi League
Estelle du Boulay, Director, Newham Monitoring Project
Suresh Grover, The Monitoring Group
Imran Khan, Imran Khan & Partners Solicitors
Anna Mazzola, Consultant Solicitor, Bindmans Solicitors
Frank Smith, blacklisted trade unionist
The Socialist Party
Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary, National Union of Journalists
Harriet Wistrich, Birnberg Peirce Solicitors, Belinda Harvey, Helen Steel & 6 others in legal action against undercover relationships
Youth Against Racism in Europe

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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