Spycops monthly roundup, March 2020

4 March 2020 — Spycops

Here’s this month’s roundup of news from the campaign for truth and justice about Britain’s political secret police.

METROPOLITAN POLICE UPHOLD COMPLAINT AGAINST SPYCOP ANDY COLES

The Metropolitan Police have upheld a complaint against undercover officer Andy Coles, made by ‘Jessica’ who he deceived into a relationship when he was deployed in the 1990s.

Coles infiltrated peace and animal rights groups, during which time he groomed ‘Jessica’, who was a vulnerable teenager, into a sexual relationship. When the facts came to light in 2017, he immediately resigned as Cambridgeshire’s Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner.

Uniquely among the exposed spycops who deceived women into relationships, Coles flatly denies any of it happened. He appears desperate to retain his position as a community figure in Peterborough, where he is a conservative member of the city council. To admit the facts would not just be about his abuse of Jessica in the 90s, he would also concede that he’s been lying to friends, family, colleagues and voters in Peterborough for the last three years.

The Met have said they would bring the strongest possible disciplinary charges against him if he were still in their employ, and they will not be contesting Jessica’ claim against them for damages cause by what he did. Coles is still denying everything and has told the local press the Met have exonerated him! In doing this, he exacerbates the damage he’s caused to Jessica.

Protests will continue outside Peterborough Town Hall before every council meeting until he resigns. See the COPS website’s events calendar for details.
http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/events/

Whether you can make it to the protests or not, please sign and share the petition calling for Andy Coles to resign.https://www.change.org/p/c-mon-peterboroughcc-it-s-time-for-cllr-andy-coles-to-resign-peterborough-spycops

Background and response to the Met upholding Jessica’s complaint:https://sackandycoles.wordpress.com/2020/02/26/metropolitan-police-uphold-complaint-against-andy-coles

KATE WILSON’S HUMAN RIGHTS CASE

Kate Wilson was deceived into a long-term relationship by undercover officer Mark Kennedy. She is bringing a claim for breaches of her human rights. The Met have already said they don’t contest her claim that they violated Article 3, the absolute right to freedom from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment. Wilson is representing herself at the hearings as there is no longer legal aid for her case.

On 27 February she had the latest hearing in London, concerning disclosure of police evidence ahead of the full hearing of the case scheduled for later this year.

Police have delayed up to now by simply saying they haven’t had time to be prepared and they’re ever so busy with preparing for the public inquiry. Given that the Met’s staff levels are so high that their public relations team is the size of the entire Undercover Policing Inquiry staff, this is clearly yet another ruse to avoid accountability. 

As one attendee said, ‘attending court hearings where lawyers defend the police on spycops matters makes me think of a child who has not done any homework explain that they do not have a pen, does not know when they will be able to find time to go to the shop to buy a pen, if indeed such a pen exists’.

The police argued that, to protect the people named, they must redact all names in the documents, which would take away a lot of Kate’s ability to understand what was in them. It’s ironic that they now appear concerned with the privacy of people they’ve been spying on and documenting for years. Part of the hearing was a closed session, where just the police lawyers and judges were present. There is no way of knowing what the police may have said.

Kate made important steps toward getting the disclosure of officers other than Kennedy who also reported on her, something the police have been considerably resisting. Albeit, as seems in everything in relation to this case, more legal arguments will have to be heard before she will hopefully finally gets the documents, so police probably regard it as a success that they’ve kicked the can slightly down the road.

The next hearing in this process taking place in June. 

For background about the case, see our post:
http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/2020/02/17/spycops-back-in-court-over-human-rights

‘MARY’

‘Mary’ is one of a number of women who was deceived into sexual relationship by undercover officer Richard Clark, aka ‘Rick Gibson’, during his infiltration of Big Flame and the Troops Out Movement 1974-76. Clark is now deceased. Mary has been granted core participant status by the Undercover Policing Inquiry, and her legal costs for participation will be covered.

Here’s and interview she gave a year ago:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jan/31/woman-reveals-police-spy-tricked-her-into-relationship-in-1970s

And here’s the Undercover Research Group page on him:
https://powerbase.info/index.php/Rick_Gibson_(alias)

SPYCOPS VS UNIONS, 1944 & 1984

Spycops infiltrating political organisations is nothing new, nor has it been limited to London. The Undercover Research Group have recently published two new articles lifting the lid on historic cases of state monitoring of union organising in the North East of England.

The Tyneside apprentices strike of 1944, resisting conscription away from their trade into coal mines.
https://undercoverresearch.net/2020/02/06/state-subversion-in-the-north-east-1944/

The Department of Health & Social Security strike of 1984, when police feared the involvement of workers who were in Militant.

https://undercoverresearch.net/2020/01/06/state-surveillance-in-1984-trade-union-organising-as-conspiracy

BRISTOL RADICAL HISTORY FESTIVAL

A programme of free talks and events on Saturday 16th May including:

  • State and private surveillance of labour and social movements (1792 to now)
  • Hidden histories of post-war mainland Britain (1945-51)
  • Black Power & undercover policing in 1970s

Speakers include spycops specialists the Undercover Research Group.

https://www.brh.org.uk/site/event-series/bristol-radical-history-festival-2020

SOLIDARITY: BLACKLISTING FILM

There are some upcoming screenings of the award winning documentary on construction firms and spycops colluding to keep politically active people out of work. Each has a Q&A with director Lucy Parker.

7 March The Green, Nunhead London

8 March Rhubaba Gallery, Edinburgh

9 March Grassmarket Community Project, Edinburgh with Neil Findlay MSP

12 March Broadway Cinema, Nottingham with Nadia Whittome MP and Greg Howard IWGB

19 March East London Rugby Club (West Ham Labour Party CLP fundraiser)

19 April The Forum, Tunbridge Wells

http://www.solidarityfilm.com

Copyright © 2020 Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS), All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS)
5 Caledonian Road
London, N1 9DX
United Kingdom

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