The spying on London Greenpeace is one of the case studies in my book Secret Manoeuvres. The chapter is called McSpy – just as the trial was called McLibel as a playful reference to the hamburger giant that brought this upon us. I brought up possible further cooperation, with Special Branch using the corporate infiltration as a stepping-stone to target animal rights activists.
Little did I know then about the role of Bob Lambert and his blueprint for future spies – identical concepts anywhere you go.
Seated at wooden benches, with a cop right behind me. Was he reading over my shoulder? I don’t know. When I sit back, I crumple his notes. That’s how close we are. Streets around the High Court were riddled with police, awaiting the student protests. The London School of Economics is just around the corner. The helicopter hovering low all morning just adds to the atmosphere.
This is the legal cases of the women who were deceived into having relationships by undercover police officers. Last week saw the first set of hearings devoted to the technical procedures. If the Met has its way, this could be the only public hearings in the entire case.
Two days of hearings were not enough, the Court needed more time on Friday. The judge has now retired, as the women write at PoliceSpiesOutofLives.org, to consider the issues raised and has not yet indicated when the judgement is likely to be handed down.
The legal claim is about the extent of damages for the harm caused, which is of course difficult to translate into financial figures. The women are also bringing claims for deceit, assault, misfeasance in public office and negligence. They seek to highlight and prevent the continuation of psychological, emotional and sexual abuse of campaigners and others by undercover police officers. Continue reading
Preparing the workshop in Essex, discussing this with Tom Anderson from Corporate Watch: there is just so much to talk about!
Since the workshop as a format implies input from those who join, we may as well make it interactive from the very start. So, there you go: what would you expect from a workshop on corporate and police spying on activists? And what would your own contribution be?
- I could talk through one of the case studies featuring in Secret Manoeuvres, just to get an idea.
- Explain how the research I do is different from investigative journalism (“I start where the papers stop”).
- We could address the issue of what is needed to understand the issue of corporate spying: case studies, time lines, following the money, the people/companies behind it.
- Address the question of approaching corporate & police spying on activists within the larger context of so called ‘issue management’, reputation, globalisation, undermining of protest.
- We can talk about infiltrator’s role in the undermining of social movements.
- How to balance between talking about research and talking about spies?
Do we expect our participants to read Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark first? ->-> Purchase it now – or get a copy in Essex! <-<-
Let me know, I’ll open the comments, tweet your feedback to @evelinelubbers, or use the Secret Manoeuvres mailbox at xs4all.nl.
N.B. If you can’t come to Essex, I can come to you – we might turn this into a tour!