Undercover British cops stifled green movements, developed intimate relations, violated rights
Covert British cops in Green and Social activism movements over the last four decades have tried to stifle environmental and social movements, developed personal relations with activists, devastated many lives and violated human rights.
In 2011, Mark Kennedy was exposed as an undercover cop infiltrated into the green movement in UK and was involved in relationships with activists. He revealed that several other such cops had been infiltrated into these movements by the secretive National Public Order Intelligence Unit, which was set up to tackle domestic extremism. Women activists developed intimate relationships with some of these spy cops and even had children without having a clue about their partners’ double life; many times a spy like Mark Kennedy who introduced himself to activists as Mark Stone had wives and children in their ‘real’ lives.
These revelations and exposes from 2010 have generated into a major movement in the UK to bring accountability in the police force, to deliver justice to victims of these spy cops and to reclaim democracy. The trauma of activists along with subversive undercover activities including report back to police authorities hampered various environmental and social movements, over the decades.
On the 10th of December, Zoe Young, journalist film maker shared real life stories of bravery and heartbreak as ‘deep swimming’ agents like Mark Kennedy left a trail of destruction in environmental movements in the UK and abroad. The University of Falmouth, Cornwall organized the event, where stories of some of the other undercover cops were shared including the infamous Bob Lambert who was involved in four relationships and went on to manage other undercover cops when his own tour of duty ended. In October 2014, the Metropolitan Police agreed to pay £425,000 to “Jacqui” whose child was fathered by Lambert; who was unaware that Lambert was an undercover cop. Currently Lambert is an academic training police manager at the University of St Andrews and London Metropolitan University and as he faces protests, activists and supporters hope that he may lose his job.
All such infiltrators were not men; Lynn Watson is one such woman cop, who went undercover for five years as an environmental activist.
These infiltrator cops, whose salary and expenses were coming from public money, were involved in movements outside the UK too, and were working in collusion with authorities from other European countries. For instance, Kennedy was traversing across many countries including the USA, France, Germany, Iceland, Denmark, and Italy masked as an activist.
Since the exposures, various awareness campaigns and legal battles have been launched by some of the deceived activists and other supporters. The Police Spies Out of Lives is a support group for women’s legal action against undercover policing that is still seeking information and stories to strengthen their fight. A grassroot campaign COPS is attempting to limit state spying and political policing. The book Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police by Rob Evans and Paul Lewis reveals about the secret police operations and the psychological trauma that many are still dealing with. Currently, a drama series entitled Undercovers is raising finance to go into production in 2015.