UK Women sue police, re: Undercovers

goodniteg8 21.11.2012 18:58 Themen: G8 Gender Globalisierung Repression Soziale Kämpfe Ökologie
Today a few of us in Berlin wanted to do our best to support the case of eight women who were deceived into having long term intimate relationships with undercover police officers. They are part of a wider campaign to expose and end the practice of undercover police officers entering into intimate and sexual relationships whilst undercover.

Undercover policing legal case:
• Metropolitan Police slammed for secret tribunal bid
• High Court hearing to start Wednesday 21 November
The women issued a press release and a statement this week which can be read below, and at their web-site:

In their statement, the women mention that "These massive intrusions into people’s lives are reminiscent of the activities of the Stasi in East Germany and those responsible should be brought to public account." For some of us in Germany who know much about such tactics, we couldn't agree more, and so a banner was made to reflect exactly this sentiment. We stood in front of the British Embassy here in Berlin to show our solidarity with these women.

At the same time, other activists in many countries, especially the "Tarnac 9" in France, and others in the USA are resisting state repression there as a result of the scandalous operation of Mark Kennedy. We also wanted to show solidarity with these activists, and therefore showed our support in front of French and USA Embassies as well.

During our trek around the Brandenburg Gate and Pariser Platz going to all of these Embassies, an East German secret police "Stasi Agent" (dressed that way for photos with the tourists) approached us, and when he found out about our protest, was happy to have his photo taken with us. So, we hope the photo makes the symbolism even more clear!

With much solidarity,
from Berlin
all photos anti-copyright for activist use,
but for printing in for-profit media or for higher resolution, contact:
goodniteg8( at )riseup( dot )net

Statement condemning the Metropolitan Police’s attempt to have case heard in secret

“The police cannot be permitted to hide behind the cloak of secrecy, when they have been guilty of one of the most intrusive and complete invasions of privacy that can be imagined.”
The approach of the Metropolitan Police to the litigation has been obstructive from the outset, refusing to provide any substantive response to the allegations and hiding behind a ‘neither confirm nor deny’ policy about the activities of their officers. Now, to add insult to injury, following one of the most intrusive invasions of privacy imaginable, the police are attempting to strike out the women’s claim by arguing that the case should have been started in a shadowy secret court known as the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT). [1]
The IPT exists for the sole purpose of maintaining  secrecy, and under its jurisdiction the case could proceed with the  women denied access to and unable to challenge police evidence, and powerless to appeal the tribunal’s decisions. This will mean that neither they, nor the public will ever find out the extent of the violations of human rights and abuses of public office perpetrated by these undercover units. Thus, the women, who have suffered a totally disproportionate, unnecessary and extremely damaging invasion of their privacy, may be denied access to justice by the very legislation which was purportedly designed to protect their rights.

The public outrage at the phone hacking scandal earlier this year focused on the cynical intrusion into lives of individuals by the press and the police. Today’s hearing relates to levels of intrusion far more invasive than phone hacking, yet so far most mainstream politicians remain silent.

What little information the women have garnered indicates that for 30 years or more these undercover units had (and still have) a rolling brief to inform on political movements and keep files on individuals (simply because they are or were politically active), without investigating any specific crime, and with no apparent intention to participate in any criminal justice process.[2] As a part of this, undercover officers lied and manipulated their way into people’s lives whilst their cover officers, back-room teams and the rest of the police command structure monitored and controlled people’s private lives and relationships. In certain cases, the false identity established by the police was able to be exploited by individual officers to continue their deceit after their deployment had officially ended, seemingly with no safeguard for the women involved, even fathering children in the process.

These massive intrusions into people’s lives are reminiscent of the activities of the Stasi in East Germany and those responsible should be brought to public account. These cases are, therefore, being brought in an attempt to expose the damage done by the Metropolitan Police and to make them publicly accountable for their actions.
This is a statement from supporters of eight women who are bringing legal against the Metropolitan Police. The eight women were deceived into long term intimate relationships with undercover police officers.  The Metropolitan Police has applied to have the cases heard by the  Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT). [1] The application will be heard at the High Court on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 November 2012.

[1] The IPT is a little known tribunal set up under  section 65 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA, 2000) to  deal with claims brought under the Human Rights Act against the police  and other security services.
[2] The HMIC report  states that “for most undercover deployments the most intense scrutiny  occurs when the evidence they have collected is presented at court.  Accountability to the court therefore provides an incentive for police  to implement the system of control rigorously: but in the HMIC’s view,  this incentive did not exist for the NPOIU. This is because NPOIU  undercover officers were deployed to develop general  intelligence…rather than gathering material for the purpose of  criminal prosecutions.” Source:  HMIC “A review of national police units which provide intelligence on criminality associated with protest” (February 2012) p.7

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White power phenomenon!

Radikal Queer 21.11.2012 - 19:32
-no comment!-

Without addressing the actual effectiveness of various types of affirmative action from white_hetero_male Cops in achieving their goals one should not confuse the motivation of affirmative action as …racism". People who support affirmative action do not think one race is intellectually or academically inherently superior to another race, their motivation is quite the opposite. Advocates of affirmative action believe that ability is equally distributed among the races in quite the standard bell shaped curve and that the reason the races are not represented in positions of power, influence, educational attainment and the professions in proportions relatively equal to their proportions in the general population is evidence not of inherent differences in ability but of inherent differences in opportunity both historical and current cultural and economic.

Furthermore advocates of affirmative action believe the society at large would benefit from the identification and advancement of the best and brightest of all races and classes rather than the perpetuation of the dominance of one woman, class or race. One should not underestimate the degree to which the society remains segregated by both race and class. To the advocates of affirmative action this is undesirable and in need of correction for us to realize our full potential as a society, as a culture, as a nation. Just as societies which suppress women suppress half of their human capital and potential, societies which tolerate de facto segregation (even though it is no longer enshrined in law) fail in providing equality of opportunity and as a meritocracy promoting their best and brightest.
Not quite, the concept of social status is an apprehension of how one is valued by those around you and one's economic means. Inequality does not necessarily go away if one dispenses with talking about social status. In this way it has the same problem as "colourblind" arguments. If you remove awareness of social status, one can no longer see it and it becomes impossible to have an awareness of when things aren't equal. Even social mobility is a concept which has relevance to this, as the idea of moving individuals from one social position to another is required to make a conscious effort to change a society from an inequitable situation to an equatable one.

It is, however, certainly the case that a serious effort to make impact on inequality has not occurred.


no uco 21.11.2012 - 22:49
sorry, what does that piece above have to do with supporting the women's lawsuit against undercover cops?
much support to them!

here is an article in the guardian today:

Political activists sue Met over relationships with police spies

Women say undercover officers including Mark Kennedy tricked them into intimacy
in order to foster emotional dependence

Rob Evans and Paul Lewis
The Guardian, Wednesday 21 November 2012

Undercover police officers had long-term
sexual relationships with political activists and joined them at family
gatherings and on holidays to make their targets "emotionally dependent" on
them, according to papers submitted to the high court.

The allegations were revealed at the start of a legal attempt by the
Metropolitan police to have the claims heard in secret.

Ten women and one man have launched a legal action claiming they were conned
into forming "deeply personal" relationships with the police spies.

The case is the first civil action to be brought before a court since the
Guardian revealed police officers frequently slept with political campaigners as
part of a spy operation over four decades.

Lawyers for the police are applying to have the cases struck out of the high
court and moved to a little-known tribunal that usually deals with complaints
about MI5.

The solicitor Harriet Wistrich, who is representing most of the claimants, said:
"These women are suing for a gross invasion of privacy, and the Met's response
is to try and hive it off into a secret court."

Most of the claimants had long-term and serious relationships with police spies,
one lasting nearly six years. One was a man who had a close personal friendship
with a police spy who ended up having a sexual relationship with his girlfriend.

The submissions also refer to the case of a woman who had a child with an
undercover officer who was spying on her and who vanished from her life when the
deployment came to an end.

Three of the women referred to in court had intimate relationships with Mark
Kennedy , who spent seven
years living as an environmental campaigner. Details of Kennedy's deployment
were made public last year after activists worked out he was a police mole.

Two other women in the case had sexual relationships with a colleague of
Kennedy's who served undercover alongside him. The police spy claimed to be a
truck driver called Mark Jacobs when he infiltrated a small anarchist group in
Cardiff until 2009.

As Jacobs, he had taken part in "deeply personal aspects of their lives", even
attending the funeral of one woman's father after he died of cancer, barristers
told the court in their written legal submissions.

"In doing so, he had exploited the vulnerabilities of the claimants and sought
to encourage them to rely on him emotionally," the documents added.

"Jacobs" had instigated a sexual relationship with one of the women, the court
was told, while she was going out with another male activist, who is part of the
legal action.

"During the course of those relationships, Jacobs purported to be a confidant,
empathiser and source of close support to each of the claimants," the barristers

Lawyers for the 10 women involved in the joint legal action against the Met,
which had overall responsibility for the deployment of the spies, claim the
deception caused their clients "serious emotional and psychiatric harm".

They told Mr Justice Tugendhat the undercover officers had used the long-term
relationships to gather intelligence on the women or for their own "personal
gratification", while pretending to support them emotionally.

They said the "grave allegations" of police misconduct raised serious questions
about the "extent to which covert police powers have been and may in future be
used to invade the personal, psychological and bodily integrity" of members of
the public.

There is confusion over the rules governing the conduct of police spies. Senior
officers have claimed it is "never acceptable" and "grossly unprofessional" for
undercover officers to sleep with their targets; however, a government minister
recently told parliament the tactic was permitted.

The evidence uncovered by the Guardian suggests the practice is routine. Eight
of the nine undercover officers identified over the past 21 months are believed
to have had intimate sexual relationships with protesters they were spying on.

Documents submitted to the court allege that Kennedy attended intimate family
gatherings with all three women and joined them on holidays.

"He discouraged [them] from terminating the intimate sexual relationships,"
their barristers said.

Kennedy, who was married with two children, had one relationship with an
activist for two years. Another activist, who became his long-term girlfriend,
was in a relationship with the police spy for six years.

Phillippa Kaufmann and Heather Williams, QCs for the women, who want to remain
anonymous, said none of them would have had agreed to have had sex or entered
"the most intimate of relationships" if they had known the men were police officers.

Monica Carss-Frisk QC, for the police, said their argument was not about denying
the women remedy, but determining the correct forum for determining their claims.

The police argue the case should be heard in the investigatory powers tribunal,
as it was set up specifically to consider allegations of unjustifiable
surveillance by the state.

They also argue they may be unable defend the case because they have a
long-established policy of neither confirming nor denying the identity of
undercover police officers.

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