As the Undercover Policing Public Inquiry (UCPI) appears increasingly unfair for purpose, activists across the UK are taking the initiative. Over the next few days there are meetings in Scotland and Wales in which people targeted by police spies will call for justice and spell out their demands.
Scotland, Surveillance & Spycops takes place on Saturday 23 June from 11am-5pm at the Pearce Institute, 840-860 Govan Road, Glasgow, G51 3UU. The UCPI only covers England and Wales. The Scottish government ignored calls for an independent public inquiry into undercover policing there and instead commissioned a whitewash report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland, an organisation of career police officers.
Please come along to this important meeting to listen to those who have been affected by this issue and their demand for a public inquiry in Scotland.
‘Andrea’, a Scottish woman who was deceived into a long-term relationship by undercover officer Carlo Neri in 2002. They met on an anti-war demonstration, and she was involved in trade union, socialist and anti-racist campaigns. They lived together for two years and got engaged. She is now bringing legal action against the Metropolitan Police and campaigning with Police Spies Out of Lives.
Tilly Gifford, a social justice activist who was targeted by undercover political police in Scotland. She is bringing a judicial review of the UK and Scottish government’s refusals to have an inquiry into spycops in Scotland.
Eveline Lubbers, a researcher and writer for the Undercover Research Group who have been meticulously investigating Britain’s political secret police, exposing officers and mapping the methods. Their work has been at the forefront of highlighting the failings of the official investigations.
Spycops in Wales takes place on Tuesday 26 June from 6-8pm at the Pierhead Building, National Assembly of Wales, Cardiff Bay, CF99 1NA.
Speakers will include “Lisa” & “Rosa, two of the many women deceived into intimate sexual relationships by undercover police officers because they took part in political campaigning.
Meanwhile there were further revelations in the spycops scandal this week as it emerged that an undercover officer from the discredited secret Met unit, the Special Demonstrations Squad, infiltrated the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), the Irish Civil Rights Solidarity Campaign and Sinn Fein in London. He used the cover name Sean Lynch and also spied on the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign
Lynch was deployed from 1968-1994 during which NICRA organised the civil rights march in Derry which became known as Bloody Sunday. A second spy from the Met’s Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), known as Alex Sloan, was ordered to target the Irish National Liberation Solidarity Front in the early 1970s.
The news of spycop involvement in the struggle for civil rights in north of Ireland is highly important as Jason Kirkpatrick is currently campaigning for the public inquiry to be extended there. Last year he was given permission for a judicial review on the decision to exclude the north of Ireland from the inquiry but says he is frustrated by delaying tactics used by the Home Office and its legal department.
“We wonder if the reason they have been delaying is because they knew this was going to come out”, he said and added: “There’s a question about agent provocateurs: Mark Kennedy, I would say he acted as a agent provocateur towards me personally. One has to ask: was this Met undercover officer, ‘Sean Lynch,’ an agent provocateur?”
Jason also expressed disbelief “that the Saville Inquiry apparently wasn’t told about this.” That inquiry was set up by the British government in 1998 to get to the bottom of what really happened on Bloody Sunday, when British soldiers shot dead 14 unarmed civil rights protesters. Just as the MacPherson Inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence was not told that a police agent was spying on the Lawrence family, the Seville Inquiry had no idea an undercover police officer was deployed in NICRA.