21 March: Protest at next hearing of spycops inquiry at the High Court in London

In 2010-11 the scandal of undercover police in protest groups made national headlines when it was revealed that spycops such as Mark Kennedy, Bob Lambert and John Dines infiltrated groups campaigning for social justice and to protect the environment and animals. With it came allegations of miscarriages of justice and sexual abuse of female activists, leading to an apology and payoff from the Met in 2015. 

Public outrage at the scandals around undercover policing led to the Undercover Policing Public Inquiry. After three years,  just ahead of when it was scheduled to publish its final report, it has yet to begin. Beset by police delaying tactics, people who have had their lives turned upside down by the intrusion of state sponsored spies are still waiting for answers. We are no nearer to knowing the extent of the ongoing abuse of democracy.

On Wednesday 21 March the Public Inquiry is holding another preliminary hearing at Court 73 of the Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand,  London WC2A 2LL, Starting at 10am, it will conclude by 4pm. It will cover the the recent anonymity applications by 12 former members of the Special Demonstrations Squad (SDS) and the Lambert Report.

On 5 March the Inquiry published 29 documents in connection with 12 SDS anonymity applications. The documents comprise applications, risk assessments, impact statements and gisted medical reports. A table containing links to those documents can be found here. The Inquiry Chair has issued a direction alongside these documents.

The Lambert Report refers to a document compiled by spycop Bob Lambert in 1994 in relation to one of his colleagues, Mike Chitty, who had secretly returned to the animal rights activists he had spied on after his deployment was over. He wished to carry on socialising with them and resume a relationship with a woman there. When this was discovered by his superiors, they asked lambert to write the report.  It is quoted in the 2013 book by Guardian journalists Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police.

Questions have been raised as to whether they are entitled to publish further extracts of the report. The Inquiry published a direction concerning the Lambert Report on 28 February. In response to that direction, the Inquiry received submissions from Guardian News and Media, the Metropolitan Police Service and the Designated Lawyers.

Please come along and stand with the core participants to support their demands that the Inquiry releases the cover names of the spies, the details of which groups were spied on and opens up the files on people who were targeted. The demonstration will begin will take place from 9am-10am. Spread the word with the Facebook event. Follow events on the day on Twitter.

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