Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1060/29723

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 October 2019

Pressure needed to force secret police disclosure

photo COPs campaign

photo COPs campaign   (Click to enlarge)

Lois Austin, Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, and Socialist Party

For at least 40 years, special undercover sections of the police spied on trade unionists, socialist organisations including the Socialist Party, and campaigners such as the family of Stephen Lawrence, victim of a racist murder. Almost 120 'spy cops' are thought to have infiltrated over 1,000 groups.

But the official inquiry has major problems with disclosure and evidence. So the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (Cops) is holding a Trade Union Conference Opposing Political Policing on 16 November.

Police are known to have spied on campaigns for at least the period from 1968 to 2008, and we believe before and since as well. Officers often used the names of dead children. Many deceived women into long-term intimate relationships, even fathering kids with them. They also befriended grieving families, and acted as  agents- provocateurs.

Such was the public outrage when details emerged, that in 2015 Theresa May as home secretary was forced to launch the 'Undercover Policing Inquiry'. But for the last four years we have been swimming in treacle.

Numerous hearings have considered the legal principles of anonymity, disclosure, and data protection. Police legal representatives have drawn this out to protect the identities of their operatives.

With a sick sense of irony, the officers claim releasing their fake and real identities would breach their human rights! The new judge in charge - Sir John Mitting - has danced to the tune of the Metropolitan Police and strung out proceedings.

The inquiry promised to publish all the infiltrated groups once the anonymity process for the Met's 'Special Demonstration Squad' was complete. It is now complete, but there has been pushback from the inquiry. We are campaigning for full disclosure.

Meanwhile, scrutiny is  limited to police squads in England and Wales. This is despite much evidence demonstrating political policing in Scotland. And it is not clear how the inquiry intends to deal with Special Branch officers directed by MI5, or indeed how the security services will be considered.

The inquiry has announced it will begin taking evidence in three 'tranches' starting next year. At this stage no timetable has been released.

Members of Militant Labour and the Socialist Party, as well as Youth Against Racism in Europe, were targeted by the Met throughout the 1990s. Over the years, supporters of Militant, especially in the unions, were targeted by MI5.

The inquiry is assembling evidence packs from the police to help undercover officers prepare prior to giving statements. But the core participants in the inquiry, those spied upon, will not get the packs until just before the spy cops give evidence!

This cannot be accepted. We will challenge it legally - and, more importantly, through the workers' movement.

The inquiry feels pointless at times, and potentially a recipe for a cover-up. However, Marxists must take up battle even on unsympathetic territory - if that means the courtroom, then so be it.

We intend to squeeze every last drop of information and disclosure from this inquiry, and where possible use it to expose the class nature of the 'democratic' capitalist state throughout the labour and trade union movement. To this end we are encouraging union branches to send representatives to the Trade Union Conference Opposing Political Policing.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 16 October 2019:


What we think

Corbyn must stand firm against establishment and Labour right

Mass united action against the war on Syrian Kurds


Low pay

Minimum wage debate: how can we end the scandal of low pay?


News and reviews

Tories out - general election now

The Cameron Tory legacy

Climate watch


Workplace news

Massive vote for strike action: postal workers - "we're out to win!"

PCS general secretary election: Marion Lloyd - standing for action on members' pay, jobs, pensions and more

Wales: Hundreds march to save the Orb works

RMT: Jared Wood - Fighting cuts, defending jobs, pay and conditions

Hackney SEND transport workers achieve victory

NEU support staff dismiss Tory 'extra funding' hype

Workplace news in brief


Tony Mulhearn

Tony Mulhearn 1939-2019: Courageous fighter for the working class and socialism

Book: The Making of a Liverpool Militant by Tony Mulhearn


Chinese revolution

China after the 1949 revolution: the benefits of the planned economy stifled by bureaucracy


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Be part of the future: join the Socialist Party

Mass union mobilisation needed to counter anti-choice group

Major new book out in November: In Defence of Trotskyism

Trade unionists discuss climate change

Pressure needed to force secret police disclosure


International socialist news and analysis

Uprising in Ecuador forces government climbdown

Catalonia: Mass protests against punitive political jailings


 

Home   |   The Socialist 16 October 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance:

triangleSecret police infiltration of workers' movement exposed

triangleTrade union conference to force secret police disclosure

triangleSpycops inquiry - dancing to the police's tune

triangleCouncil meeting abandoned after undercover policing protest

triangleCampaign Opposing Police Surveillance: Spycops and Strikers- from Grunwick to Now

Police:

triangleUnion lawyer arrested on security guards' picket line

triangleHong Kong's uprising

triangleNorthern Ireland: Campaign mounts over historic sexual abuse allegations cover-up

triangleKnife and gun crime a product of poverty and austerity

Policing:

triangleLondon: COPS trade union conference

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Resist political policing - no to spy cops!

triangleLondon: Political undercover policing - public meeting

Union:

triangleWestex Carpet strike reaches two month mark

trianglePCS: Time to rebuild the left

Trade union:

triangleLow Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

COPS:

triangleSocialism 2019 - what you thought

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

15/1/20

Young people

Young people who voted for Corbyn's manifesto will now ask... How can we win those ideas?

15/1/20

Scotland

Massive Scottish independence demo marks new stage in struggle

15/1/20

London

London: Protesters return to oppose Middle East war

15/1/20

Government

Cladding scandal: Government steps up defence of landlords

15/1/20

Nottingham

Nottingham: Youth protest against Barclays 64 million fossil-fuel investments

15/1/20

Strike

Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark

15/1/20

Newham

Stop gentrification in Newham: "We are here, you have consulted us and we're not going anywhere!"

15/1/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party national committee meeting

15/1/20

Hackney

Hackney school bus workers win pay increase following strikes

15/1/20

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: Thousands of nurses continue to strike for better pay

15/1/20

Buses

London bus drivers ballot to strike

15/1/20

PCS

PCS: Time to rebuild the left

15/1/20

Union

Union lawyer arrested on security guards' picket line

9/1/20

Unison

Unison national executive members challenge validity of nomination for Keir Starmer for leader of the Labour Party

8/1/20

Unions

Build union resistance to Tory attacks

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999