23 May: Spycops – the truth! Public meeting in Newport

On Thursday 23 May Newport & Gwent Valleys Morning Star Readers & Supporters is holding a public meeting on spycops at the Pen & Wig, Stow Hill, Newport NP20 1JD from 7.00-9.00pm. The speaker will be Alison (not her real name), a politcal activist who was deceived into having a relationship with an undercover police officer. Free entry, all welcome.

Alison lived with Mark Cassidy for five years. She had no idea the man she thought was her life partner was in fact an agent for a top secret Scotland Yard unit called the Special Demonstrations Squad, set up to infiltrate leftwing and protest movements: “The only reason he was in her life was to undermine her values and actions. He was being paid every moment he was with her.”

As she describes:

‘He stands next to me in my mother’s wedding photo that sits on her mantelpiece, he teases me in the family videos of my nephew’s and niece’s birthdays and he lies about his family to my now deceased grandmother in the last video footage I took of her before she died. He is not only engrained in the memories in my head but features in so much of our family memorabilia from those years.

‘I was deeply in love with Mark and he knew this. I do not believe it is a coincidence that all of us involved in this case describe a deep, loving, intimate bond with our ex-partners. In normal relationships, problems can occur when people’s egos clash; in our relationships the men were presenting us only with their state sponsored, easy-going alter egos.

‘That I loved a police officer is a reality that still confuses me all these years later. I had been active in the Colin Roach Centre, an independent group that had exposed police corruption in the early 1990s and promoted trade union, anti-fascist politics. To love someone who, with hindsight, embodied the very institution much of my political energy was channeled into challenging has gone to the core of my own identity and has shaken the foundations of my judgements about many things.

‘Of one thing, however, I remain sure: the state intrusion into my most personal life over a period of five years was unethical, immoral and, I hope we can prove, unlawful.’

On Thursday 23rd May at 7pm, Alison will be at the Pen & Wig in Newport to tell the story of her relationship with Jenner, how his behaviour matches that of so many other officers, the institutional sexism of the Met and its responsibility for these officers, and about the pursuit of justice by the women and other activists who were targeted.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/357891441522228/

Undercover Research Group profile of Mark Jenner.

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