The following post is taken from the Undercover Research Group’s website
One of the untold aspects of the spycops saga has been the effect of undercover police on children and young adults.
People have been affected in different ways. For some it is betrayed friendship with people they trusted, for others it is the affect on their family life. Others will have been directly targeted as young activists. We are aware that there has been a considerable impact to a number of people as a result. In some cases vulnerable people were placed in inappropriate situations, having been deceived by undercover police lying about who they were.
We feel this story is best told by those affected. As a group we wish to bring together and support those in this situation. There is strength in a collective approach, we can be more effective, stronger and we can also ensure that the fullest support is given to those in the group.
What we are looking to achieve is:
- Mutual support, as those most directly affected will fully understand each other.
- Document what happened so we can understand better how spycops infiltrated family and personal life, and the effect that happened.
- Create a strong set of messages that reflects everyone’s needs and ensures that this aspect of the story is not forgotten. This includes putting pressure on the Pitchford Inquiry and the mainstream media to ensure the group is being listened to and being represented properly.
- That no one person is singled out to carry the message of everyone.
- Ensure that everyone gets the level of communication they need.
- Deal with issues of anonymity.
- As a group we feel that we can get better access to resources, including, where needed, counselling and funding for travel.
A few of us have come together to facilitate this happening, based on our conversations with those affected and their parents. We feel this group should be lead by those affected but recognise that time, energy and emotions all need to factored in. So we are prepared to help out where possible, and lift much of the effort, facilitating it as much as possible.
This group is open to all affected, whether or not they are core participants in the public inquiry. Whilst the main focus will be on people who were under 18 at the time they encountered spycops, we are not going to be rigid on this, recognising that people do not magically change once they hit their birthday. Likewise, while we would like to focus primarily on those children and young adults affected, we will need the input of parents / guardians who have their own perspectives to contribute.
If you would like to be part of this process please let us know, tell us what you’d like to see happen and particularly how you would like us to communicate with you. We would like to arrange a meeting for everyone, let us know if that is something you would like to do. If you have any concerns or questions, please get in touch.
Kim Bryan & Dónal O’Driscoll