Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Out of control II

The UK's police spying scandal has got worse. Yesterday, we learned they were spying on the family of murder victim Stephen Lawrence, who were trying to get the police to properly investigate his death. Today, we learn that they were spying on campaigns against police corruption and injustice:

Scotland Yard deployed undercover officers in political groups that sought to uncover corruption in the Metropolitan police and campaigned for justice for people who had died in custody, the Guardian can reveal.

At least three officers from the controversial Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) spied on London-based activist groups.

Mark Jenner, an undercover officer, used the identity "Mark Cassidy" in the 1990s to penetrate the Colin Roach Centre, which was named after a 21-year-old black British man who died in the foyer of Stoke Newington police station in north-east London. The campaigners worked with people who said they had been mistreated, wrongfully arrested or assaulted by police in the local borough – Hackney – which was at the time mired in a serious corruption scandal.


A second SDS spy was used to gather intelligence on another group that represented the victims of police harassment and racist attacks in a neighbouring part of east London. The second spy, whose identity is not known, did not infiltrate the Newham Monitoring Project directly, but got inside associated groups and was able to monitor its activities.

So, criticise the British police, get treated like a criminal. And they wonder why people have no faith in them...

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has called for an investigation, and there's talk of prosecutions. I'll believe it when I see it. The British establishment always covers for its own, as this spying shows...