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.
Two important pieces written this week on the Impact of undercover involvement with activists, by Ellie Mae O’Hagan and Emily Apple. I’ve taken a few quotes, but go read them in context!
Ellie Mae O’Hagan wrote a Comment is Free piece ‘A life under surveillance, the state’s constant intimidation of peaceful activists like me takes a huge psychological toll on our lives.’ The Guardian, 1 november 2012.
She is @MissEllieMae on Twitter.
Despite the peaceful nature of their actions, the simple act of protesting means that activists’ lives sometimes resemble that of Tony Soprano. Surveillance, police intimidation and undercover officers are routine hazards they must negotiate. As one environmental campaigner who has come into contact with undercover officers puts it: “You don’t have to be self-important to suspect you’re the victim of state surveillance. If you’re politically active, it’s simply a fact of life.” Continue reading