Was my friend a spycop? English talk by Eveline Lubbers, Jessica (Netherlands/United Kingdom)
Don Bosco Saal: Main hall, ground floor
UK undercovers infiltrating activist groups and what you can do about it.
In 2010, Mark Kennedy was exposed as an infiltrator by his friends who no longer trusted him. He had been living the life of an environmental activist for seven years, first as a police officer, then as a corporate spy. Today we know that secret units of the British police have been infiltrating political campaigns since 1968, and that at least 150 undercovers spied on over 1000 groups, including forming relationships with women and using the birth certificates of children that died young to build their legend.
The Undercover Research Group has helped finding out the details of about 20 further spies over the years, and supports people who want to investigate their suspicions of having been spied upon. Eveline Lubbers will explain how the ongoing exposures have helped building pressure for the campaign demanding the truth about the spycops. A judge-led Inquiry has been set up to investigate the undercover policing scandal, while the police continue to do everything they can to keep up secrecy.
Jessica only recently found out that her first boyfriend in the 1990s had been an undercover officer. After she came forward to tell her story, Andy Coles was forced to resign from his current public position. She will talk about the impact this has on her life, both personally and politically, and why she will continue the fight for justice.
The workshop will also reflect on the cooperation between the police and corporations targeted by campaigners and how intelligence gathered can be used to undermine political action. And of course we will talk about why infiltration can be dangerous for activists groups and what you can do about it.