Bob Lambert, Spinwatch and me

Late October 2011, Bob Lambert was exposed as a police infiltrator in the activist movement. Using the name ‘Bob Robinson’ he had had a longterm affair and a child with a woman who believed him to be a genuine campaigner.

In an effort to save what was left of his reputation, Lambert publicly refered to his work on Islamophobia and his cooperation with Spinwatch on this front.

Since I have been working with people who had been spied upon for many years, in particular with London Greenpeace, a group that had been infiltrated by Lambert himself and later by others under his supervision, and as one of the founders of Spinwatch, his use of our organisation in his defense was unacceptable. The statement below summarises what happened late laste year.
N.B.
It has since been revealed that, as an undercover animal rights activist, Lambert set fire to a Debenham store – for selling fur.

SpinWatch stands in solidarity with the infiltrated, 2 November 2011

On the 20 October 2011, SpinWatch wrote an open letter to ex-Special Branch Officer, Bob Lambert about his exposure as an infiltrator in the activist movement. The letter challenged him to confirm or deny the allegations, apologise if they were true and to dissociate himself from such actions. In response Lambert acknowledged that in his 26 year career of with Special Branch, he infiltrated London Greenpeace for several years in the 1980s. For this he apologised.

Subsequently he moved on to supervise other undercover agents. Lambert, and other infiltrators he supervised, had long term relationships (including sexual partnerships) with campaigners and those close to them. This is one of the most abusive breaches of trust imaginable. Lambert apologised for this as well, but claimed it was all part of his cover story to gain the necessary credibility to infiltrate animal rights groups.

Lambert did not, however, disavow his previous work, with serious consequences for his credibility in his current work. Continue reading “Bob Lambert, Spinwatch and me”

March 2012: HMIC’s ‘empty’ review leaves little hope for robust scrutiny of undercover cops

With the latest developments in the case of the women who filed a case againtst the infiltrators who deceived them into longterm relations – sometimes with children as a result, it might be useful to go back to my critique of  the only official review into Mark Kennedy’s activities (at least the only one that has been published so far).

Published by Spinwatch.org , 28 March 2012

If the first official review of undercover policing is to set the tone for the next dozen or so evaluations to come, there is not much hope. Of all reviews, this is the only one focusing on the activities of Mark Kennedy specifically and the supervision of undercover officers by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) more generally.

The findings and recommendations of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) are shocking for their emptiness, in three different ways. The findings are flimsy, which makes you wonder whether the search was superficial, or even worse, that there was nothing to discover. Its recommendations are ridiculous, the tightening of the term ‘domestic extremism’ by broadening it with yet another non-existent subjective term ‘serious criminality’ will not bring any clarity as Matt Salusbury pointed out earlier at SpinWatch. Thirdly, the report is shocking for what it does not discuss – the pressing issues that the responsible authorities have left untouched.
Continue reading “March 2012: HMIC’s ‘empty’ review leaves little hope for robust scrutiny of undercover cops”

Mark Kennedy in Corporate Intelligence

Originally posted at my blog spin.off , while working on the book.

 

Mark Kennedy is now selling his experience as an undercover agent within ‘extreme left political and animal right groups’ to the highest bidder.  His apparent move into corporate spying is yet another sign of the increasingly blurred boundaries between public and private forces in undermining protest.

Kennedy’s LinkedIn profile –  first spotted by Indymedia early June – is clarifying in many ways.  On a personal front, it strips away any last doubt about his position. He is not a turned agent, as he suggested just after he was first exposed in the mainstream media. Nor is he a lonely soul longing for his true love and missing his activist friends, as he claimed in a documentary devoted to his double play.

Kennedy claims to now work as a consultant for the US based Densus Group, a security firm specialised in risk analysis and assessing threats from protest groups and domestic extremism. Densus serves both companies and law enforcement – a prime example of the blurred boundaries mentioned above. Today its focus is on containing the Occupy movement. Continue reading “Mark Kennedy in Corporate Intelligence”

Statement: SpinWatch stands in solidarity with the infiltrated

Originally posted at SpinWatch.org

Wednesday 2 November 2011

On the 20 October 2011, SpinWatch wrote an open letter to ex-Special Branch Officer, Bob Lambert about his exposure as an infiltrator in the activist movement. The letter challenged him to confirm or deny the allegations, apologise if they were true and to dissociate himself from such actions. In response Lambert acknowledged that in his 26 year career of with Special Branch, he infiltrated London Greenpeace for several years in the 1980s. For this he apologised.

Subsequently he moved on to supervise other undercover agents. Lambert, and other infiltrators he supervised, had long term relationships (including sexual partnerships) with campaigners and those close to them. This is one of the most abusive breaches of trust imaginable. Lambert apologised for this as well, but claimed it was all part of his cover story to gain the necessary credibility to infiltrate animal rights groups.

Lambert did not, however, disavow his previous work, with serious consequences for his credibility in his current work. Continue reading “Statement: SpinWatch stands in solidarity with the infiltrated”

Sir Hugh Orde and ACPO’s ‘lack of transparency”

Originally posted at my blog spin.off , while working on the book.

Sir Hugh Orde has criticised the News of the World for ‘lack of transparency’ and for ‘withholding information from an important investigation’.

Last week the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) appeared on BBC Radio’s Today programme again, promoting himself as the next commissioner of the Metropolitan police. Now he has accused Rupert Murdoch of a complete denial of responsibility for what went on at News Corp. (Watch Orde on the BBC).

What seems to have been forgotten in the current media frenzy, is that ACPO itself is under investigation as well … for very similar facts.

Under Hugh’s presidency, the organisation had Mark Kennedy (pictured) infiltrate the climate movement for seven years. The ACPO undercover agent secretly recorded meetings of environmentalists who had discussed occupying the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power plant. But in the case brought against them, the tapes were not among the evidence in court. Continue reading “Sir Hugh Orde and ACPO’s ‘lack of transparency””

Only A Public Inquiry Will Do Into Green Spy

Originally posted at SpinWatch.org.

Andy Rowell and Eveline Lubbers, 17 January 2011

The solicitor acting for the climate protestors, Mike Schwarz from Bindmans, is calling for a full public inquiry into the Mark Kennedy case. Schwarz believes the new IPCC investigation that was announced last Friday, will not go nearly far enough.

“We need a public inquiry into what has happened, similar to the Macpherson Inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence,” argues Schwarz. “We must have a measured inquiry to get the whole picture, including the policing of protest generally. It needs to be independent, with clout, with full disclosure”.

One of the main areas of concern is Kennedy’s actions as an agent provocateur. “We need to look at the whole issue of whether Kennedy in this case, and police officers generally, act as agent provocateurs in protests”, says Schwartz. “What are their limits about encouraging, condoning, and facilitating offences?” Continue reading “Only A Public Inquiry Will Do Into Green Spy”

Martin Hogbin is a spy!

Originally posted at my blog spin.off , while working on the book.

Letter to the editor of the Guardian, 28 October 2009.

In an excellent three day series revealing an intimate cooperation between the police and corporations under fire in gathering intelligence on activists, the Guardian published spotter cards used to identify protesters. One of the cards holds a picture of  Martin Hogbin, portrayed as an activist accused of being an infiltrator, but denying it.

This denial invites contestation, with facts confirming that indeed he did supply information to British Aerospace (BAe). The following overview is based on publicly available information, most of it online. It shows that Martin Hogbin infiltrated the Campaign Against Arms Trade from 1997 until 2003. He started as a volunteer, and worked at CAAT’s office in London as a paid campaign coordinator from 2000 until his suspension and subsequent resignation. He was a spy from the beginning until the end. The evidence consists of the results of the internal investigation of CAAT’s Steering committee sustained by sections in Evelyn le Chêne’s spy files, the findings of the Information Commissioner and legal documents substantiating that BAe indeed hired Evelyn le Chêne to spy on CAAT. Continue reading “Martin Hogbin is a spy!”

Nestlé infiltrates Attac Switzerland

Originally posted at my blog spin.off , while working on the book.

Last week, 12 June 2008, the Swiss investigative reporters program Temps Present revealed that Nestlé had infiltrated Attac Switzerland, for more than a year. The food multinational paid Securitas, one of Switzerland’s largest security firms, to plant a woman in the protest group from the summer of 2003 until 2004.

Using a false name the infiltrator participated in meetings and preparation sessions around the time of the July 2003 G8 summit in Evian. Continue reading “Nestlé infiltrates Attac Switzerland”

The parallel universe of BAe

Originally posted at my blog spin.off , while working on the book.

Letter to George Monbiot at the Guardian, 13 February 2007

Dear George,

Your Guardian column today  devoted to “The parallel universe of BAE” reveals that confidential and legally privileged material belonging to CAAT landed on the desks of BAE Systems plc. The company has refused to state how it came into possession of the material.

You recall the exposure in the Sunday Times that revealed how BAE had carried out a “widespread spying operation” on its critics.  CAAT took the case to the UK’s Information Commissioner, who found that the email address belonged to “a company with links to Evelyn Le Chêne.”

I have had the opportunity the study the many surveillance reports about CAAT that were sent to BAE, the source material used by the Sunday Times. SpinWatch published an elaborate dossier on the case. It’s called the  Threat Response Spy Files, investigating this case of corporate intelligence. Continue reading “The parallel universe of BAe”

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