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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 January 2016

Political policing: Met spy targeted socialists

Chris Newby, Socialist Party London

The political role of the police - sending undercover officers into democratic socialist organisations - is back in the news.

The Guardian and BBC have reported on 'Carlo Neri', of the 'Special Demonstration Squad', who infiltrated the Socialist Party.

Newsnight on 18 December concentrated on the emotionally abusive relationship 'Carlo' conducted with a woman known as Andrea from 2002. As with many other cases, this happened under false pretences. See socialistparty.org.uk 'Police finally own up to spies' relationships with target women'.

Anti-democratic

It is right that the women who were victims of this horrendous tactic are finally being heard. But at the same time, the mainstream media is playing down the anti-democratic role of the police. Police sent 'Carlo' into the Socialist Party at a time of heightened protest.

The Socialist Party's Dave Nellist was a target of police spying while a Labour MP. He said:

"We do not accept that infiltration, as the Metropolitan Police have implied, is a thing of the past. Surveillance of peaceful protesters has increased dramatically in the recent period. We demand to know what today's 'Carlo Neris' are doing."

'Carlo' was active in the Socialist Party in Hackney, east London from early 2001. At that time, the Hackney branch of local government union Unison was campaigning against cuts and attracting national publicity. Socialist Party members were playing leading roles in this.

He was also a steward on various anti-racist demonstrations. And in July 2001, he joined us on the anti-G8 protests in Genova, Italy.

Socialist Party member Lois Austin, a core participant in the Pitchford Inquiry into political policing, said:

"There was no purpose to infiltrating us. Far from being secretive we publicly advertised our events. The police could have read our leaflets and newspapers, or attended our public meetings, to find out what was going on."

The trade union and labour movement should organise a democratic, public inquiry into police infiltration. Police must be made democratically accountable to workers and the community.

Read our full press statement:'Police infiltration of the Socialist Party'

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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.

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In The Socialist 20 January 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Unite the fightback: Coordinated strikes needed

United workers' action can save NHS

Water firms' 1.2bn in profit off human need

Political policing: Met spy targeted socialists

Trident debate: socialist programme needed

Housing crisis reaches level of 1960s

Civil service: 1bn on consultants

Outrageous attacks on Corbyn for 'sexism'

Them & Us


Socialist history

1986 Wapping strike - Defeat of the print unions


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

People's Budget meeting success

Carmarthenshire Unison campaigns against council cuts

Unite the Union local government committee votes for no-cuts budgets

Preparing a no-cuts people's budget

Momentum and democracy in Hackney and beyond

Angry Labour meeting puts councillors under fire

Gateshead carers oppose respite centre closures

Celebrating Eleanor Marx's birthday


Socialist Party workplace news

Nationalise Tata to save steel jobs!

Tube workers to strike again to defend jobs and conditions

Reinstatement victory for John Vasey

Shop workers lobby council against Sunday opening

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

USA: Fight the billionaire class!

China: Financial turmoil spreads fear across global markets

Northern Ireland: Defy anti-abortion laws


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Letters to the Socialist


 

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